Police sting Columbus - Show fizzles rather than sizzles...

May 04, 2008

They may all be over the age of 54, but that doesn't affect their ability to rock- for the most part.

The Police played Sunday night to an initially sold out Nationwide Arena, which began clearing out not even halfway through their set.

It was almost as if the band neglected to have a sound check. Guitarist Andy Summers was seen speaking to a backstage attendant and gesturing to his guitar, which sounded, for lack of a better phrase, really loud.

It was so loud, in fact, that during 'Demolition Man' and 'Synchronicity II', Sting's vocals were almost completely drowned out.

However, Summers did prove that he can more than shred on his beloved Stratocaster, making up for the ear-splitting volume of his playing by showcasing his obviously untarnished "ripping" chops.

For those less-than-avid Police fans, here is a quick history lesson. The band split in the mid-eighties, and has since reunited for a 2007-2008 world tour, coinciding with the celebration of the 30th anniversary of their breakout hit single, 'Roxanne'.

Having sold over 50 million records worldwide, the band is known for their revolutionary pop-punk-reggae sound and is listed in Rolling Stone Magazine as number 70 on their list of "100 Greatest Artists of All Time."

They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 11, 2003.

After working out the proverbial and literal kinks, an impressive live show presented itself.

Great performances of 'Message in a Bottle' and "Can't Stand Losing You" made up for a few sketchy bass moments on Sting's behalf and the overall harshness of the sound.

A noted difference was heard in the lack of range of lead singer Sting's voice.

Transposing his formerly high-pitched vocals down an octave for songs such as 'Roxanne' and 'Walking On The Moon', although you couldn't tell by looking at him, with his bulging biceps and lean figure, it was evident that, at least vocally, these guys are no longer spring chickens.

Undeniably, however, the band was highly entertaining, energetic and excited to play the oldies.

Drummer Stewart Copeland incorporated the use of a gong and a xylophone-like instrument to enhance 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and provided non-stop "stick" tricks and flicks to impress the crowd.

All in all, the crowd and the band may have aged, but most of their music and songs have remained the same.

Hopefully you caught the band this time around because, according to Sting, "There will be no new album, no big new tour, once we're done with our reunion tour, that's it for The Police."

© Tan & Cardinal by Andrea Bolt


May 3, 2008

Show Date: May 03, 2008
Location: Buffalo, NY
Venue: HSBC Arena

May 2, 2008

Before a packed house, The Police took the stage amid a mass of Summers' guitar feedback and Copeland's frantic high-hat flutters, lapsing into the sweet nylon-string strains of 'Bring On the Night'. And with that, the 31-year Police drought in Ottawa was over...