Madison Square Garden Arena (New York, NY)
Concert Date: August 2nd, 2007
Set and Lighting Design (SLD)
Review: The Police fresh as ever at MSG
Sting performs with The Police
BY RAFER GUZMÁN
Before guitarist Andy Summers became a sometime photographer, before
drummer Stewart Copeland became a film-score composer and before
singer-bassist Gordon "Sting" Sumner became a purveyor of pillowy
jazz-pop, they were, collectively, The Police, an edgy, tough-minded rock
band and one of the best around. After five ambitious albums they broke up
in 1984 as each member yearned to pursue his own path -- but on Wednesday
night they regrouped, took their places on stage and picked up pretty much
exactly where they left off.
Expectations have been high for The Police's 30th anniversary tour (the
band formed in 1977) ever since they hinted at a reunion by performing at
the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for their 2003 induction into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame. A harsh review of the tour's Vancouver kick-off show in May
came from the usual place -- a blog -- but from a surprising author,
Copeland, who called it "a disaster" and "unbelievably lame." Still, that
didn't stop the band from adding dates, like the one on Oct. 31 at Madison
On Wednesday, The Police never seemed like a nostalgia act, despite their
most recent material dating to 1983. They played on a clean, sleek stage
free of rugs, backdrops or props (save for a small, Oriental-style table
that held a mug of liquid for Sting). The show began with straightforward
versions of "Message in a Bottle" and "Synchronicity II," but a spaced-out
take on "Walking on the Moon" signaled a shift in approach, and the band
took to stretching and shaping its old material into new forms.
Madison Square Garden Arena (New York, NY)
Concert Date: August 1st, 2007
Set and Lighting Design (SLD)
The Police roll out old siren songs
BY JIM FARBER
DAILY NEWS MUSIC CRITIC
Thursday, August 2nd 2007, 4:00 AM
The last time the Police played the city, Ronald Reagan ruled the White
House and "Dynasty" dominated the television ratings. Given their long
time away, let's just say the band had a lot to live up to.
Luckily, at their first local reunion performance, held at Madison Square
Garden last night, the Police retained all the lean sinew and pop flair
that made them the world's biggest band back when they last hit town in
August 1983 at Shea Stadium. Certainly, they didn't stint on the hits.
They stuck almost entirely to their best-known material in a nearly
two-hour show that started with a full-throttle take on "Message in a
In songs like this, or its chaser, "Synchronicity," Stewart Copeland
smacked the drums with a spidery command that made it sound like his arms
had quadrupled in reach. Guitarist Andy Summers ran bright rings around
the beat, while Sting sent his trademark "oh-eee-ohs" around the arena
with boyish ease.
Buoyed by the added years of experience, and a sense of the occasion, the
Police took their old numbers at a brisker clip, yielding an almost
fat-free performance. Though they rendered the material with the essential
reverence fans require, they gingerly shook up some tunes and rhythms for
a dash of the fresh.
Worst Venue I have ever been to. The band was great! Sting looked Yummy. This is my 3rd time other 2 times was along time ago when REM opened for them. Hershey needs to either upgrade this facility or not book major bands there. I the feeling of impending doom because you couldn't move. You had to wait 45 minutes to an hour for beer.Took us 2 hours to even move from the parking lot. Sound quality was poor to start. I either got use to it or it got better.
Please come to DC
In May drummer Stewart Copeland notoriously dubbed the Police's first
reunion tour performance a "disaster." Thus ended his career as the band's
official blogger and began the whisperings of concern among the faithful
about this long-awaited return to active duty.
Sunday night at Fenway Park, the justifiably Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame-enshrined trio didn't even flirt with disaster. They were efficient,
expansive, and dutiful. But, with a handful of exceptions, Copeland,
guitarist Andy Summers, and bassist-singer Sting were rarely much more
In the second of two shows at the venerable ballyard, the Police played
well but never threatened to blow off the metaphorical roof, or even
appeared to be enjoying themselves all that much. The lack of superficial
cheerfulness could be forgiven by the concentration required to navigate
the intricacies of some of the most sophisticated songs ever to be worn
out by classic rock radio. But the consistent spirit of excitement, of
"event"-ness, of affection for the audience achieved by past Fenway
denizens like the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen never materialized.
Musically when the three planets aligned, the results were magnificent.
The opening salvo of "Message in a Bottle" and "Synchronicity II"
announced that Sting was in mighty voice. To his great credit he continued
to hit most of the money notes the same way he wore his tight black
trousers, with Sting-ian self-assurance.
Early rockers "So Lonely" and "Driven to Tears" were at once familiarly
jittery and a platform for Summers to remind the assembled -- including
his bandmates -- of the fire in his fretwork. "Every Little Thing She Does
Is Magic" neatly demonstrated the trio's ability to compensate for missing
instrumental elements, as the signature keyboards were not required to
revive the song's tropical froth. The crowd's unprompted supply of the
refrain "that's my soul up there" during a sinuous "King of Pain" lent the
song a communal poignance. And Copeland's tasteful, exotic percussion on
"Wrapped Around Your Finger" was a shivery delight.
The Police: Every little thing was magic
Posted by Kira L. Schlechter/The Patriot-News July 21, 2007 17:07PM
Fans seemed to anticipate the Police show last night at Hersheypark
Stadium with a blend of excitement and dread. Would the band be great, as
it was during its 1980s heyday?
Or have the members lost a little something, having been apart since an
acrimonious breakup in 1983?
Press reviews have been generally positive, but drummer Stewart Copeland
skewered the band's performance a few dates into the current tour as being
less than stellar.
No worries. The sold-out crowd heard bassist-singer Sting, guitarist Andy
Summers and Copeland -- all looking ridiculously fit -- play for a solid
two hours-plus with as much fire, intensity and capability as in their
younger days, with only a few small steps lost.
Beginning with "Message in a Bottle" and the vivid tale of corporate
drones that is "Synchronicity II," the band flourished its greatest
strengths -- Sting's supple voice and penchant for playing with the beat,
Summers' icy-cool shimmers and Copeland's complex cornucopia of percussion
Sting went in and out on high notes throughout, sometimes tackling them
with assertiveness, sometimes taking things down a more comfortable step
A beautifully syncopated "Walking on the Moon," with plenty of
call-and-response singing and trademark ee-yo-yos, was followed by a
medley of "Voices Inside My Head" and "When The World Is Running Down, You
Make the Best of What's Still Around," Sting pounding out the bass line