Here's a quick concert review for you. Last week, I was fortunate enough to see one of my musical inspirations in concert. Yes, I saw the Police.
I'm somewhat of an anachronism. My favorite bands pretty much broke up before 1986. Given the fact that two of my favorite bands pretty much hated each other, I'd pretty much written off ever seeing the Eagles or the Police. Age and the almighty dollar mellowed out the Eagles enough they reformed, and I have been lucky enough to see them a few times since 1994's reunion: HELL FREEZES OVER.
I've written before about "Every Breath You Take" being the entire reason for me picking up a guitar. That's one of the greatest guitar licks of all time. "Message in a Bottle" is yet another inspirational lick of pure genius. Alas, I never imagined I'd get the chance to see the band that laid those tracks down.
Well, I guess I can die happy now. Last Wednesday's show was worth every bit of the three hour drive to see them, and the three hour drive back starting at 4:15a.m. to make it to docket call in court the next morning. Painful to be sure. I'm not as able to do that sort of thing as I was in my sleep-deprived youth. Nonetheless: wow. What a show.
Sting still has amazing pipes. He can still hit the screaming high notes, combined with one of the smoothest voices in his natural range that I've ever heard. What really gets me is the guy's 54 years old at this point, and he could easily pass as 20 years younger. He's still athletic as all get out. And he sang his guts out for two solid hours, with almost no break.
Andy Summers is darn near pushing 70. Yet his guitar work has done nothing but improved over the years. I've always felt he was a bit underrated as a guitarist, and that Sting maybe never quite let him play as he is capable of playing. He did some amazing stuff with the Police, but I always had the feeling there was even better stuff he had under his hat. He was one of the first players I ever heard who really used guitar effects in new and different ways.
Stewart Copeland is one of the greatest rock drummers ever. I'd be hard pressed to decide whether he or Neil Peart is the greatest, and I think convincing arguments can be made for both. Stewart may actually get the nod, simply because there's not many drummers out there who can actually claim to have composed an opera. That's worth something.
As a unit, I think they were better than they had any right to be. Almost 30 years of separation did nothing but mature them. They played their songs in new and different arrangements that were a joy to listen to. They were tight, no doubt about it. There were no backup singers, and no synthesizers. Just three guys playing their butts off. Andy covered all the stuff they used to play on keyboards on guitar, and it was brilliant.
The press has had a field day wondering how long they could hold it together. If what we saw on stage that night was genuine, they are going to be at it quite awhile longer. They looked like they were having a blast up there, and that's not easy to fake. I looked back at the Synchronicity video, and they really looked like they were struggling in comparison.
The show was only slightly marred by getting mauled by a drunk chick who sloshed onto our row. There's one in every crowd, I guess. Somebody had fun with her that night, if she managed to stay conscious. Fortunately, she sloshed off somewhere else relatively quickly. I still don't get how people find that sort of thing enjoyable.
I never thought I'd get to see the Police, and I'm pretty blessed to have the opportunity. I've seen some really good concerts in my time, being pretty much a live music junkie. This show topped them all. If you have the chance, I'd say this show is worth your while.