Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Police Concert, Opening Night Vancouver

The last time I saw The Police was in back in the 1980s during the final tour before the band broke up, so I was very excited when the reunion tour was announced, and even more excited to learn that the tour would start in the Pacific Northwest. The only problem was, back when the tickets went on sale, I had no idea if my travel schedule would allow for me to go to the concert. So I didn’t buy any tickets. But as luck would have it, the first show of the tour was in Vancouver, BC on Monday, May 28 and I didn’t have to leave town until the following day.

One week before the concert, I started looking for tickets through brokers like StubHub, and on eBay. With the date getting closer, all those people who thought they’d make a killing scalping tickets were obviously starting to panic. I ended up getting a fantastic deal from a guy in Ohio. I picked up a single $225 ($238.25 including Ticketmaster charges) floor level seat in row 35 for $49 plus shipping. Then, after exchanging email, I bought a second single ticket two rows behind mine from the same guy for the same price so that my friend Tom Dudek could go with me.

(my actual ticket, purchased for $49 on eBay)
We drove up to Vancouver on the afternoon of May 28, had a nice dinner, and then walked over to GM Place. By the time we bought a couple of beers, the opening band had already started. We missed the introduction, but learned the next day that it was Sting’s son’s band FictionPlane. We thought they looked and sounded a lot like The Police.

The opening band got a decent reception, but the place went absolutely nuts when The Police took the stage. No one sat down for the next two hours.

The Police opened with “Message in a Bottle” and then went into “Synchronicity II” after which Sting introduces the band. The rest of the set included:

  • “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”
  • “Voices Inside My Head”
  • ”When The World Is Running Down”
  • “Spirits in the Material World”
  • “Driven To Tears”
  • “Walking On The Moon”
  • “Truth Hits Everybody”
  • “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”
  • “Wrapped Around Your Finger”
  • “The Bed’s Too Big Without You”
  • “Murder By Numbers”
  • “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da”
  • “Invisible Sun”
  • “Walking in Your Footsteps”
  • “Can’t Stand Losing You”
  • “Roxanne”
  • “King of Pain”
  • “So Lonely”
  • “Every Breath You Take”
  • “Next to You”

The show was everything I could possibly have hoped for. The sound was superb, my seat was good, and the concert itself was incredible. Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland were all at the top of their form. After watching Copeland intently throughout the show, I’m convinced he is one of the greatest drummers ever. At several points during the show, his drum kit was augmented by additional drums, gongs, and bells that rose up on a second platform behind him.

Summer's guitar playing was flawless.

Even the people sitting behind the stage were treated well, with Sting and Summers often mounting a semi-circular riser behind the main stage platform and playing to the people behind them.

There wasn’t an off moment the entire evening. If I weren’t traveling for the next few weeks, I would go to one of the other shows in Vancouver or Seattle. As things currently stand, I’m going to see if I can arrange my travel plans so that my path coincides with one of the other many stops on the tour.

(photos are from The Police website, AP, and other wire services)

1 comment:

  1. Just saw the band in Dallas (1st night of a two night stand) and have to say that I was impressed. They had a few glitches, but it was a fun show that nobody can say that they were disappointed with.