The Police @ MSG (August 1, 2007)
9:10 PM show starts
Intro Song Over PA – Get Up, Stand Up (Bob Marley)
1. Message In A Bottle
2. Synchronicity II
3. Walking On The Moon
4. Voices Inside My Head/When The World Is Running Down…
5. Don’t Stand So Close To Me
6. Driven To Tears (with an extended solo by Andy)
7. Truth Hits Everybody
8. Bed’s Too Big Without You (with a big instrumental break)
9. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (with lots of crowd participation)
10. Wrapped Around My Finger
11. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
12. Inivisible Sun
13. Walking In Your Footsteps
14. I Can’t Stand Losing You
15. Roxanne (end set)
16. King of Pain
17. So Loneley
18. Every Breath You Take
19. Next To You
11:05 show ends
Was it fun? Yes. Was it the greatest concert of my life? No. Am I glad I went? Definitely.
The Police played a charged set to a capacity crowd at MSG last night and showed that they’ve still got chemistry as a band and chops as musicians. I love the fact that they still play their original road worn instruments from back in the day when they toured the world in the back of a van, (although Stewart’s trademark “Fuck Off You Cunt” was conspicously absent from his drum skins – perhaps Best Buy wouldn’t allow it). The show took straight off from the opening notes of Message In A Bottle and didn’t really slow down much at all for the next two hours. I’m usually pretty jaded, but when they stepped out on the stage, I really felt like I was witnessing something special, there was a lot of certainly a lot of cheering, but it was more than just that, it was more like rejoicing. People just couldn’t believe they were back, and they were welcoming them a mix of jubilation and awe that I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed before. (More of this review after the jump).
A few more pictures and more of my review after the jump. Lots more pictures on Flickr.
Anyway, enough about the mood of the audience, here’s more about the setlist. The first three songs were all crowd pleasers, and the mostly over 35 crowd jumped right out of their seats. Songs 4-7 were probably a bit of a mixed bag for some more casual Police fans, with the likes of Voices Inside My Head, Driven To Tears and Bed’s Too Big Without You mixed in with the popular Don’t Stand So Close To Me. While you might say these songs are something for the “real fans”, I think they actually slowed the show down a little and during this sequence and I noticed that some people, (myself included), began to sit. I was a little disappointed with their rendition of Bed’s Too Big Without You, it’s a song that I really love for both it’s great guitar riff and the excellent bass line. But for some reason, the band decided to open the song up a bit (a la Tea In The Sahara), and I think it really suffered for it. I would have loved to have heard Sting drag out the heavy bass line live, much like he does on the record, but he didn’t. They just kind of meandered through it and I thought it put an otherwise great song out of sorts. After Bed’s Too Big, they really brought the crowd back into it in a big way with Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic; it must be a something else to have 18,000 people sing your lyrics back at you when you’re up on the stage. The song started off with the trademark drums from Stewart, but the first verse was different melodically from the original until it came to the chorus. From then on, the show really didn’t slow down (ok, maybe a little for Inivisible Sun) until the big finish. For a change of pace, Stewart got off the kit and played some different percussive instruments on Walking In Your Footsteps. I also think they must have employed a sound machine on that song to get that trademark background sound (truth be told, that’s the only time I detected anything other than three of them playing the whole night). The first set ended predictably with Roxanne, (ya gotta play it). The first encore ended with their biggest hit, Every Breath You Take, which was honestly when I thought the show was going to end, but then they came back out and played Next To You as a final encore. Next To You was really great and was a much better note to finish on in my opinion. In the end, these are guys are pros, they go out every night and they get the job done. Having said that, I think there was a spark last night though, something special about being back in New York, and eventhough the North American tour is probably more than 3/4 over, it seems like it has really just begun.
On the guitar, Andy Summers.
On the drums, Stewart Copeland.