I waited twenty-five years to see The Police and it was worth every minute of the wait (though, it would have been amazing to see them perform during their original run). I have the photos, memories and the $40 t-shirt (I know, I know) to prove I was there — the July 25th show at Montreal’s Bell Centre.
It’s amazing that three people can create such incredible music. The degree of complexity, simplicity, depth of sound and open spaces is astounding. It’s no wonder The Police have cemented their place in music history and that people are flocking to their shows in amazing numbers and at record rates — makes you think that Sting, Stewart and Andy should seriously consider long term plans including another studio album and a supporting tour.
I was relieved to figure out that the critics of the tour have it all wrong. They have complained about reworked and experimental versions of the hits. Anyone who has seen The Police live, or has watched or listened to any of their live recordings between ’78 and ’84 will know very well that the band has always explored, experimented and reworked songs in their live act. In fact, Regatta De Blanc (the song) evolved out of the extension of live version of Can’t Stand Losing You. I will concede that Don’t Stand So Close To Me was a bit dull with the leveled vocal range, and that the smoothed-out singing in Truth Hits Everybody and Next To You took away from their edginess.
Stewart performed in a shirt that read “Leroy Coolbreeze”, the nickname of his brother, Ian, who was the booking agent for The Police (among others). Sadly, Ian lost his fight with skin cancer in May 2006. If those shirts were available for sale at the concert, I would have bought one.
I did the road trip to Montreal for the concert with three high school friends. During the drive to Montreal we recorded some of our thoughts about The Police and concerts. On the way home, we did an impromptu review of the concert. I’ll release some of that audio as a podcast on this site in the next few days.
Would I see The Police, again? Without a doubt.