Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Review of The Police Concert, 4th February 2008, Singapore Indoor Stadium

[ p.s. I just noticed visits from The Police fansite's message boards, but can't access them because I can't register as a user - keep getting prompted to choose a U.S. state but I live in Singapore.
So if someone can post a comment to update me on what's being said over there, I'd greatly appreciate it! ]

Simply put, it was FREAKING AWESOME!!! :D

Worth every cent ( i.e. S$400 x 2 ), and the seats ( 1st tiered row ) offered an excellent, unobstructed view.

My main grouse: that the show proper started at 9:15pm. Didn't really enjoy the opening act ( Fiction Plane, starring Sting's son, Joe ) -- very rock-star-ish, complete with a leap from the speakers on stage, head-banging and long hair. I wasn't even aware that the singer's related to my idol, though I did notice that he sounds a lot like him.

Anyway, on to the concert repertoire. Here's a list of the songs that I remember hearing that night:

Message In A Bottle ( 1st of the night )
Every Breath You Take ( last song of the 1st encore set -- there were TWO, woohoo! )
Roxanne ( the BEST! )
Don't Stand So Close To Me ( fantastic! )
Hole In My Life
King Of Pain
Can't Stand Losing You
So Lonely
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic ( LOVED this one )
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da

There were more, but I'm not familiar with all their songs, so please add to the list if you know the titles.

It was a beautiful show in every aspect. Sting looks even better now than he did 3 years ago when I caught him during his solo concert. ( I still can't believe I've seen him twice in 3 years! Yay, more please! :)). He wore this tight black ensemble which showed off his bulging biceps, tight abs and long legs. Back in 2005, when I reviewed his performance ( entry dated January 11, 2005 ), I mentioned how darn sexy he is. On Monday night, he looked gorgeous, sounded phenomenal, and even gave my mom a few chills of her own.

The songs are classics from the '80s, yet redone spectacularly by The Police in a 'live' setting, and it's just amazing how 3 guys can produce such a rich, layered sound, sans backup.

Sting, as always, delivered the goods with his pitch-perfect vocals and mesmerizing stage presence. He was friendlier this time round, chatting with the audience and egging us on to sing along, clap in rhythm and yell ourselves hoarse. He smiled a lot, laughed a few times, and looked visibly impressed when the 10,000-strong crowd filled in the blanks at certain points when he deliberately stopped singing to see if we knew the lyrics.

Naturally, the biggest hits got the best response -- Message In A Bottle, Don't Stand So Close To Me, Roxanne ( the audience was practically roaring on this one! ) and of course, Every Breath You Take.

His buddies -- drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers -- kept pace and intermittently stole the show. Copeland, especially, is a joy to watch. 55 years old with graying blonde hair, but decked out in '80s regalia -- complete with a sweatband on his head, something with a net-like pattern on his sleeves, and a pair of Michael Jackson-style gloves. His physical prowess on percussion is astounding, as he pounded non-stop for 2 hours without losing any steam, and left everyone breathless during Hole In My Life and King Of Pain, where he hopped between the drums and a set of chimes behind him, doing what I can only describe as a fluid dance number, accompanying Sting flawlessly on both pieces.

Summers impressed with his guitar skills ( he's 65 ), but compared to his fellow partners, he paled in terms of personality and stage energy. Still, his numerous solos had fans cheering their approval.

Another thing I noticed is the beat-up instruments wielded by Sting and Summers. The new plasma screens hanging above the stage provided high-definition vivid pictures of the band, and I could see all the scratch marks and flaky paint on their guitars during the close-up shots. I found it very apt, considering the nature of these performers -- old but still rocking hard and beating their younger counterparts hands down. It seems only fitting that we realize it's the musician that matters, not the condition of his instrument.

I'd also like to give kudos to the full-capacity crowd at the Stadium that night, for making the evening such a success. The audience ranged from kids to white-haired seniors ( many Caucasians attended as well ), but from the moment The Police stepped on-stage, we stayed on our feet, sang and screamed ourselves hoarse, and managed to generate enough noise to garner TWO encore sets ( 4 songs in total, yeah! ). Sting obviously likes Singapore ( he received an equally effusive response in 2005 ), so maybe the fans have something to do with that. :)

At the very end, the 3 blokes came to the front of the stage to link hands and take a bow, before Sting yelled a good-natured "Happy New Year!" and waved goodbye.

I remained partially deaf until the next morning, but enjoyed an adrenaline high that kept me up till 1am and helped me wake 5 hours later for some early morning New Year marketing. I'm now blasting Sting's All This Time 'live' concert recording on the car stereo, and counting down to his next show in Singapore ( hopefully it won't take another 10 years to get him down here again ).

Rock on, dudes! :D

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