Tonight was The Police show! I went with amybang, who came into town for this special event. It was quite a good show -- they played a good cross selection of the big hits and some smaller songs, across their entire catalog, and a well-balanced variety of their different styles. A few songs were mixed together, one blended into another and back; probably the best example of this was the rendition of "Can't Stand Losing You" (which happens to be one of my favorites) cross cut with "Regatta de Blanc". Not all of the versions they played were gems -- they did some strange things to "Synchronicity II" and "Roxanne" -- but overall I am more than satisfied. We danced, we sang, we cheered, I completely thrashed my voice, but it was worth it. When they first walked out on stage and started playing "Message in a Bottle", I had the realization that yes, that really was Sting singing at me, and it really was Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers up there with him. Just that moment was worth the price of admission.
Like Bono, Simon LeBon, and other rock star tenors of "a certain age", Sting can't really sustain the high notes anymore, so he can't belt the tunes out quite like he used to. But they worked around it quite well, I thought; he didn't try to sing anything that was beyond him, and they covered with instrumentals and bringing him down into harmony. Gracefully acknowledging his age while still rocking hard: I can admire that. And they did rock it hard. I suppose you can only tell so much from a distance, but they seemed to be giving the show them all, and also enjoying themselves, and it's hard to ask for more from a live concert.
Funny side thing: this show was a rock concert in a sports arena. Dress code casual, right? Except at least one person didn't seem to get that memo. Sitting in the section over from us was a woman dressed in a silver sequined mini-dress, spangly strappy two-inch silver heels, rhinestone cuffs, disco-ball earrings, and -- the crowning glory -- a white fur coat. A fur coat. At a rock concert. Which she casually tossed over the back of her seat. How dirty must that seat be? How many beers have been spilled on it over the years? amybang and I couldn't stop looking at her. Terribly rude of us, I suppose, but she was just so out of place. We kept waiting for her date to bring her a chili dog and complete the picture of incongruity, but it never happened. (Her date was also overdressed, but not nearly to that extent. He looked like he might have just come from work. She looked like she was on her way to a gala opening.)