"How did it come to pass that an opposition's measure of a president's foreign policy was all or nothing, success or "failure"? The answer is that the political absolutism now normal in Washington arrived at the moment--Nov. 7, 2000--that our politics subordinated even a war against terror to seizing the office of the presidency." - Daniel Henninger - WSJ 11/18/05
"the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts." - George Orwell

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Police 30th Anniversary World Tour 2007

The Police on a world tour is something I honestly never expected; had I the money I would be all over the show that is coming to Phoenix on June 18 this summer. At this point of course I’d have to have a lot of money as tickets are sold out. Radio contests? Yep, I’m trying, but so is just about everyone else in the valley of the sun.

The Police were ultimately my favorite band growing up. It was the bass lines in their music that led me to my interest in learning to play bass guitar; which to hours spent learning and playing along to the songs on their albums.

It was the guitar skills of Andy Summers that brought me to the epiphany that guitar didn’t have to be insanely loud and continually obnoxiously upfront to be perfection. Summers has a way of making the right sound with that instrument that makes the music fit and flow. Using his skills as a musician and obvious knowledge of different sounds and styles contributes to the sound that is The Police.

Stewart Copeland? Holy jumpin’ crabopolis!!! No, no, no, none better to my ears. Making use of everything but the kitchen sink (I think), every surface of the drum head, cymbals and on. Top hat? Sure, he like other drummers use it, but the center of a cymbal…sweet…check out Regatta de Blanc for a small sampling. Regatta de Blanc just happens to be on the newly released Police CD

Then there’s that guy that goes by the name of Sting. Being the lead on vocals allows one to note how that instrument has changed over the years; from the raucous, young punk in a tune like “Fallout” (also on the just released Police CD), to ballads sung today; one hears the pleasant mellowing with age like that of a fine scotch.

Speaking of The Police CD compilation, the only songs missing from it are those not on it. Does that make any sense? Ultimately it is the reason I have all their albums; then those on cassette; then of course CDs. Having to pick a favorite song would be like having to tell one of your children which is you favorite; it’s an impossibility. Let’s just say there isn’t a Police song I don’t like.

Each album The Police released was one of a kind and an original (was that redundant, redundant?); each concert tour gave the audience a new twist or take on the sounds. When I saw The Police in concert in 1982 at McGill Stadium in Montreal Canada I was but a young lad of 16. Driving North with friends I honestly had no idea how great a show it would be, even though I was a die hard fan of the band.

In keeping with the mix of styles and sounds that are a hallmark of The Police, the opening bands, each different in sound fit the bill. Opening first, Corbeau, and Canadian band in my mind was somewhat forgettable, if only because I had no clue who they were. Following Corbeau, was A Flock of Seagulls, a band I was more familiar with and enjoyed immensely enough to purchase their albums. The closing act before the big show, The English Beat flippin’ rocked the house (uncovered stadium) with their reggae sound and full compliment of brass have to this day remained a favorite.

The Police performed without missing a beat; no recording could come close. Often when a band has a concert you get their albums live, with The Police you get live arrangements of the familiar songs that make you double take and think ‘whoa I can’t believe they did that with that song.’

After years of not touring or recording together I cannot imagine what kind of show they will offer, but like wine I have no doubt they will improve even on what would seem. One can only expect to get more than what they paid for; if not you mistakenly purchased tickets to a Police cover band.

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