Friday, August 1, 2008

Almost imperceptible, Something inexpressible

Listening to The Police on vinyl could be listed as one of my favorite pastimes. This band influenced a large part of my musical preferences. Growing up in the 80’s I was swayed by their Reggae-infused New Wave style. Synchronicity is one of my all-time favorite albums. I continue to feel elated whenever I hear the title track.

Needless to say I was thrilled to see them live for the first time at my favorite venue! July 21st at Red Rocks, the energetic pop sounds of The Police exploded out on an adoring crowd. Beneath the mammoth Hi-Definition screen versions of themselves the band belted out all the tunes Police fans expect to hear.

From “Roxanne” off Outlandos d'Amour to “King of Pain” off Synchronicity we were led through classic hits of the entire discography. I enjoyed watching the computer font from Ghost in the Machine take over the visual display during “Demolition Man”. I was greatly amused by the way the audience freaked out when they launched into “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” from Zenyatta Mondatta.

The band was technically precise without ever sounding like worker drones running through the motions. They added a spirit and touch to each song. Sting (Lord Sumner) strutted around stage in his black mesh shirt. He would stand in regal pose, thumping his bass with a stage presence you would expect from a man who had just completed five hours of Pilates – he was completely invigorated by the music he was playing. Stewart Copeland kept the polyrhythmic heartbeat with his impressive percussion spread. Beneath the giant gong he was surrounded by a plethora of cymbals, bells and chimes which he breathed life into during “Wrapped Around Your Finger”. Andy Summers shredded his way through his back beat sounds. He seemed rather stoic and distant through most of the show, but his South Park guitar strap added a touch of humor.

The distance between them seemed palpable; I found it amusing during the encore that Sting sang the lyrics to “So Lonely” interjecting:

Now no one's knocked upon my door
For a thousand years or more
All made up and nowhere to go
Welcome to The Andy Summer Show (this one man show)

Elvis Costello opened the show with an impressive amount of energy. He seemed so much more upbeat than the past few times I have seen him in concert. A very playful version of “Watching the Detectives” fit into the theme of the evening of these musicians influenced by the Reggae sounds - after all the Police have an album named Regatta De Blanc, which means "White Reggae." Sting came out and joined Elvis for a rendition of “Alison” which was quite lovely.

Overall I was just struck with how great they sounded and of course how fit Sting looks. A woman to my right kept shouting at me “See how clear his eyes are?!?!?!?!” She was clearly taken by the fact that he may be the yoga poster child of his generation. I guess all that Tantra work pays off.

- Natasha

No comments: