Sting: More Police Tour, Plus Elvis Costello...

February 13, 2008

The Police are going to announce a third leg of their phenomenally successful reunion world tour on Thursday. It begins May 1 in Ottawa, continues through a number of cities they haven't already gotten to in the U.S. through the month, takes off for Europe in June and then returns to the U.S. for all of July.

The big news is that Elvis Costello is going to open every show with his group, The Imposters. Hot stuff, huh? This may be the tour of all tours. I know people who may leave jobs and families just to follow this one to the end!

Of course, The Police's reunion, which started on May 28 in Vancouver, already is the most successful tour of all time.

Last week, Pollstar - which monitors concert tours around the world - gave The Police its 2007 Major Tour of the Year Award. The reunited group beat Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus and Van Halen.

But this round will be different. It's the end. The End. When The Police - Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland - play their still-unannounced finale in New York in August, that will be it, for all time.

Sting called in from Japan the other day to confirm all this. It was snowing when he called, after coming in from "frolicking like kids."

I wondered, by the way, what Sting's been up to on the road since he left on Dec. 1. He spent New Year's Eve in Sydney, Australia, on a boat with Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and members of his family. "They're a lovely couple," he said. "Very happy about their baby."

On the boat, his 17-year-old daughter, Coco, who's determined to be a rock star, sang for everyone and played guitar. So did eldest son, Joe, whose group, Fiction Plane, opens for The Police.

What else has he been up to? Reading, of course. He's got a few books going including Alex Ross' "The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century," Thomas Pynchon's "Against the Day" and the latest by J.M. Coetzee among them.

But even all that reading can get a little tedious. What will he do when it's all over, and The Police are finally put to bed?

"Go home to Italy and write," he replied. He and wife, Trudie Styler, and their extended family of six kids live in a magnificent villa near Florence where Sting has written, rehearsed and recorded for many years. It's where he composed his best-selling classical album, "Songs from the Labyrinth," for example, three years ago.

"I'm going to pick a few olives," he said, and "think about new songs." Unlike some artists, Sting doesn't find writing conducive on the road.

But... is this really it? "I think it's done," said the multi-tasking singer/songwriter/activist/actor. "People came to see something from the past, and it was great."

But before he gets to Italy, Sting has many miles to go. This leg of the tour begins May 1 in Ottawa, Canada, and continues through the month. All of June is set for Europe including the famous Isle of Wight concert on June 15. Then July is a trip through America that will make Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" look like a Disney adventure.

Some of the cities include Buffalo, Columbus, Chicago, Kansas City, Omaha, Orlando - you get the drift. There are about 14 cities in May and July, with a more or less final date set for Long Island's Jones Beach on Aug. 4.

Along the way, The Police will release a DVD of concerts filmed in South America from last December described as a "Valentine" to the group's fans. So far no CD soundtrack is planned, although I pleaded with him to consider it. And, sorry, there never will be a new album of Police music. The tour was meant to be a trip through the past, although it's also been a learning experience.

"I've learned to navigate relationships, and a lot about letting go," Sting said, with a laugh. "I'm a control freak. But I can't control everything. It's difficult going back to an old marriage. I've learned a lot of spiritual lessons."

So far he has controlled one thing: the set list. The songs have not changed much since the tour began last May. "I say if it's not broken, don't fix it," Sting said, although he is considering adding a couple of surprises in the last shows. (Some of us would like to hear "Spirits in the Material World," "Synchronicity" or "Canary in a Coal Mine," for example.)

Doesn't he get a little tired of the same songs, though, night after night?

"Never!" he declared. "I love those songs because they've been very good to me. I show them respect. I'm grateful for those songs."

And we are, too!

© Fox News by Roger Friedman



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