The Police TD Bank North Garden, November 11,2007
TD Bank North Garden
Sunday November 11, 2007
Got an extra hundred or so bucks laying around? You may or may not want to see the Police who are currently touring the world. Over the summer the band played two shows at Fenway Park. Tickets went fast and I was shut out. Before those shows even happened they announced this Boston Garden show and I was lucky to get a ticket.
I arrived in my seat just moments before Fiction Plane took the stage. The big thing with that band is that Stings son sings and plays bass. They were "okay" somewhat generic but man, if the Police ever wanted to continue without Sting they could with Joe Sumner as his voice is IDENTICAL to his fathers.
About 8:45 the band took the stage and it was a wide open stage at that. What is nice at the outset is the band doesn't add additional musicians to the mix. If you see the Stones, or Roger Waters there are suddenly 4 guitar players and 4 keyboard players etc. It was just the three, the classic line up. Sting on the left, guitarist Andy Summers to the right and drummer Stewart Copeland set back and a bit higher than the band on the riser. It was a wide open stage as noted, so the band roamed a little, but didn't get too crazy.
The set opened with "Message in a Bottle" that rolled in to "Synchronicity II". Suddenly, at least for me I felt something was missing. I am not sure if it was a botched note, or a timing issue but even Sting rolled his nose that was visible on the jumbo screens. It somehow set a tone that took a while to shake for me personally. Suddenly I had a far more critical ear and was "waiting" for them to botch something else.
Thankfully they cleaned up as the set went on. Sting was honestly in fine voice. He realizes his limitations perhaps now vocally but had more than enough range to get "up there" when needed but he also changed the key on some songs (King of Pain comes to mind) to save face. Sting gets most of the credit but I was overly impressed with the guitar work of Andy Summers. I never realized he is SIXTY FOUR years old! He took the spot light on more than one occasion with some great solos. Stewart Copeland is just insane. Plain and simple. When you watch him you feel he is listening with the most intense criticism of himself and the "product" they are showing. I was ready for a scorching moment early in the set when then band did "Voices in my Head" which on the studio version has some terrific drum fills, but by the time they got there they changed gears to "When the World is Running Down..."
The crowd was pretty much in to it from the get go. I was in the lower bowl (far end from the stage) and the bulk of my section sat for a lot of the tunes. It was fine, but the people in front of me stood, so I needed to. Sting was keen to mention the Red Sox on more than one occasion and that was met with thunderous ovations.
Later in the set Stewart had a crazy percussion set come up behind him and he just went off on "Wrapped Around your Finger". He was up top, then he'd jump down for the drum fill portion, then back up. He was really fun to watch and he was in the zone.
Here is the set list with an audio sample from my recording
Message in a Bottle
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Truth Hits Everybody
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
King Of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Next To You
For the second encore Andy didn't even leave the stage. He stood there almost like "come on guys lets just do this". At the conclusion of the tune Stewart jumped down, grabbed hands with Sting and Andy and center stage for a final bow. The ovation was great, but the lights soon came up and left many asking "Where the hell is/was "Roxanne". Honestly I didn't miss it..I figured it was going to be a 10 minute drawn out version.
Overall I was pleased. The one down side was the versions of the songs. Hear me out please. Many of the songs had extended guitar solos, sure they were good and showed the abilities of the band but some of them just sort of lumbered on. Sting repeating a series of "Call and response" chorus' that went on just a tad too long.
I was glad I had the chance to see them but at the same time I think once is enough, at least on this tour