Reunited Police a tour de force - Band has 30,000 fans on their feet from the beginning...

June 02, 2007

Oh, they were walking on the moon at Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday night.

"I've got goosebumps!" 32-year-old Lonnie Campbell said as he danced in his seat to When The World Is Running Down.

From the floor seats down in front to the back rows of the stadium, fans were on their feet and cheering wildly when Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers finally hit the stage at 9 pm.

The much-anticipated event, the second stop on a world reunion tour, drew roughly 30,000 fans from several generations.

"My wife and I brought them to Sting in '88 in Calgary," Karl Letourneau said of his children. When word got out that The Police were reuniting for a tour to mark the 30th anniversary of their first single, Roxanne, the family knew that they had to be at the show.

Karl, his wife Loree, their daughter Devon Werenka and granddaughter Cara Werenka are all big fans.

"I like the music," said Karl.

"She just likes Sting," said Devon, pointing to her mother.

Loree was hardly the only fan at Commonwealth particularly fond of the Police frontman.

"I think he's amazing," said Dianne Cooke, 53, who came up from Red Deer. "He's determined to change with the times. We're going back to the '70s and '80s tonight but he personally hasn't stayed there."

Cooke has been a fan since she first heard one of the trio's songs on the jukebox at the arcade she went to as a teenager.

She and her co-worker, Chris Thorne, each bought 5 Gold Hotseat packages for the show through Ticketmaster.

The tickets came with Police buttons and an embroidered bag, but the best part was that Cooke and Thorne got to be just metres away from Sting, in an exclusive seating section near the stage.

Rob Charlton, in the 22nd row on the floor, wasn't too far away. While he thinks Sting is an "amazing lyricist," he was most excited to see the man behind the singer.

"Stewart Copeland is one of the best drummers in the world," Charlton said. "He influenced me to start playing the drums."

The 43-year-old from Claresholme has been a Police fan since the '80s. He didn't get a chance to catch the band before Sting, Copeland and Summers split up in 1984.

The last time the Police came to Alberta, they played to a sold-out crowd at Northlands Coliseum in August, 1983 on their 'Synchronicity' tour. Charlton was only a teenager then, and too young to go to concerts.

"I've waited 24 years for this!"

Josh Palmer was just a kid when The Police played their last concert but he was just as excited as Charlton. The 24-year-old arrived in a vintage Police tour shirt from 1984. He bought it at a thrift store in Saskatoon, his home town.

Palmer plays guitar and is just kicking off his own music career.

He credits The Police for inspiring him. "I never thought I'd get the chance to see them," he said.

Neither did Eric DenHaan, who got tickets to the show for his 15th birthday, which is next month.

DenHaan hitched a ride up from Lethbridge with his parents. They went to visit family while their son and his friend Evan Peacock, at his first concert ever, took in The Police.

"All the bands that came out now took something from them," said DenHaan, who recently learned how to play 'Message in a Bottle' on guitar. When he heard the band would be reuniting, and making a stop in Edmonton, he couldn't believe it.

"I was flipping out!"

"I count myself lucky to have a chance to see them," said Lyne Arial, from Ottawa. "I can't believe there's only three people on stage right now, the sound is phenomenal."

© The Edmonton Journal by Jennifer Fong


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May 29, 2007

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