20 July 2008

The Police concert

This is what ramen noodles are made for, my friends... to help fund concert going habits such as mine. :-)

The Police played to a full 'house' at USANA Amphitheater on Saturday night (19 July 2008) . I've grown up listening to The Police. Sting is one of my heros (as a songwriter, and a gentleman). The opportunity to see The Police, incarnate, was truly fantastic. I hesistate to say I was suprised by the show, as I had very few expectations of what a Police concert may be like, but here are a few things that really stood out to me, in no particular order.

  • Sting's bass tone was much more 'in your face' than I was expecting. Usually his tone is very subdued, you feel it more than you hear it. Tonight was different. That old Fender P-bass was barking out tones that were reminiscent of Geddy Lee, but with a more organic, 'woody' texture to them. You heard and felt Sting's bass parts in the mix.
  • Stuart Copeland is as energetic a drummer as they come. He seemed 20 years younger as he powered through the Police songbook. In particular, his re-work of the percussion in "Wrapped Around Your Finger was really beautiful. Here is a video from another show on the tour: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPIWLc2tQJ0
  • The staging was very spartan. Drums on a riser, bass amps on stage left, guitar stacks at stage right, and that's about it. The light rig felt minimalistic but was extremely effective.
  • Andy Summers comes is one of the great atmospheric guitarists... he really knows how to fill up a song with sweeping chords. He seems somewhat enigmatic, as he never smiled during the show (that I could see), but it's hard to think that the 15,000 raving fans did not make him happy that night
  • "There has to be an invisible sun
    It gives its heat to everyone
    There has to be an invisible sun
    That gives us hope when the whole days done"

    The whole night was full of amazing moments, but one of the most potent for me, personally, was their performance of "Invisible Sun". During the song, they had portraits of children displaying on the big screens behind the stage. I don't know who the photographer was, but these portraits were *exquisite... one common thread was that the eyes of each child were striking... it's hard to quantify exactly what had been done, other than that the photographer had a wonderful ability to capture the eyes of his subject in a most penetrating way...it almost felt like you were personally staring each child in the eyes. It was incredibly moving. The video of their performance does not focus much on the images, but you can see a few of them:
The show concluded with 2 encores, which included "Every Breath You Take" and "Roxanne". For this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the legendary Police, I say... bring on the ramen!

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