Friday, January 18, 2008

Welcome to this one man show

Listening to: Greatest Hits-The Police

The Police concert was ppppprrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiiiimmmmmooooooo.
Just awesome, Best stadium gig I have been to since the U2 ZooTV tour.

I didn't start listening to The Police until 1990 or so (although I have a clear memory of hearing 'Every little thing she does is magic' drifting across the water from a yacht moored in the northern Waitemata harbour in Auckland while we explored the old flying boat ramps at Hobsonville one still summer evening in 1985), and by that time they had ceased to be a recording and touring entity several years earlier, under such reportedly acrimonious circumstances that talk of a reunion fell into the 'never' category.

I never expected the opportunity to see them live, let alone in my home town, but here we are.

After my mandatory merch hunt on arrival, Rich, Anna and I settled in, only to be promptly given a free upgrade to stand seats closer to the stage.

Opening act Fictionplane were competent enough to warrant further investigation, but I can't say much more, other than the lead singer has very good teeth.

In a warm-up/main combination that has been defying my comprehension since it was announced, Fergie then arrived (yep, that Fergie). She bounced through a set that seemed to consist mainly of medleys of other peoples songs, although the cover of Heart's 'Barracuda' actually wasn't that bad.

Then the Police arrived, to the sounds of Bob Marley's 'Get up, stand up', which considering the crowd in the expensive seats at the front had been constantly reminded to remain seated, I thought was a pretty smooth move. The crowd thus got up and stood up, rendering the security guards powerless.

'Message in a bottle' opened the show, reminding me how much I like that particular riff (I forget these things periodically), but it wasn't until second song 'Synchronicity II' that the full stage and lighting rig was employed, and it was pretty damn cool.

Gordon Sumner looks pretty good with a beard, with a passing resemblance to Wofgang West from 'Outrageous Fortune'.

Observation 2:
Stuart Copeland, in addition to being heavily involved in composing music for the Spyro Playstation series, could be mistaken in a dark alley for one Andrew Loughnan, although I'm not sure how happy either would be with the comparison.

Observation 3:
I had never before realised just how important Andy Summers is to the overall distinctiveness of the bands sound.

All of the classics came out, as well as a few album tracks. Most were re-worked in some way, I really liked the amped up version of 'Invisible Sun', and the slightly pared version of 'Wrapped around your finger', which saw Copeland dashing between two drum kits, one conventional, and one semi orchestral (including timpanis and a very large gong). Perhaps mercifully, and certainly appropriately, Sting's solo work was ignored. When 'So Lonely' was played during the first encore my night was complete. The band seemed to be having a good time, unlike other gigs I could name (anyone else remember Soundgarden's last Welly gig?), and so did the crowd.
Rich made the astute observation that they sound like there are more than just three members.
It was an excellent way to relive times when everyone involved was a lot younger, although it was cool to see a lot of kids there as well (reminding me of New Order's set at the BDO a few years ago).

I just missed out on getting tickets for Billy Bragg at the San Fran last night, and it would have been a really cool contrast, an intimate pub gig one night, and a no limits stadium bash the next.

It was way cool.

Well worth missing the Big Day Out for at any rate. Although any radio station that even mentions the BDO tomorrow will be swiftly detuned. I hate hearing DJ's blather on about a gig you can't be at.


R said...

Thanks for securing those upgrades - most appreciated! :)

Homeperm said...

they were awesome ahe! i could have done with an upgrade though. i had possibly the worst seats in the house. also, no: don't stand so close to me, which i felt a bit cheated by. but so lonely is my actual fave and that went OFF so i can't complain too much.