During the first of two sold-out, back-to-back shows in Toronto, singer-bassist Sting, 55, guitarist Andy Summers, 64, and drummer Stewart Copeland, 55, played hit after monster hit from their late '70s, early '80s heyday, just as they did during their Vancouver tour launch two months ago, although the set list was slightly altered.
Beginning with 'Message In a Bottle', the trio of musicians seemed primed from the opening note on their stripped-down, in-the-round stage which boasted massive lights, speakers, overhead video screens but little else in the way of distractions.
Still, it was hard to keep your eyes off Sting's tanned, chiselled arms, which were shown off to great effect in a white sleeveless shirt.
The point is really that this tour is supposed to be about the music and frankly when the music is this good - the strong opening continued with 'Synchronicity II', 'Walking On the Moon', the latter inspiring a crowd singalong on the chorus with Sting and Summers doing a walkabout on their massive circular catwalk, and 'Voices Inside My Head'/'When the World is Running Down You Make the Best of What's Still Around' - that's probably not a bad call.
For those who didn't get tickets to The Police's two sold-out ACC shows, they return to the same venue on Nov. 8 for which there are still a few tickets left.
And while it's hardly the same thing, Summers also has a Police-related photo exhibit at the Edward Day Gallery on Queen St. W. in Toronto from July 25-Aug. 14.
The 38 black-and-white photos were culled from his recently released coffee table book, "I'll Be Watching You: Inside The Police, 1980-1983" (Taschen).
Opening last night with a loud if largely underwhelming 45-minute set was the British rock trio Fiction Plane, fronted by Joe Sumner, the son of Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner.
As it turns out, Joe is also the singer-bassist in a British rock trio and vocally sounds uncannily like dear old dad, particularly in his upper register.
Sadly, he doesn't have the same propensity for songwriting hooks as his father.
After tonight's second show, The Police roadtrip heads to Montreal's Bell Centre next for two sold-out shows on Wednesday and Thursday nights.
The reunion trek is expected to be far and away the No. 1 tour of the year and with dates just added in Australia and New Zealand in January and February, Summers told Sun Media there could be even further touring next summer after a break.
In other words, The Police tour could also prove to be 2008's biggest roadtrip.
© The Toronto Sun by Jane Stevenson