Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Police at the MGM Garden Arena

I was so far back I wouldn't have used my camera if I had it.

If you told me at the beginning of the year that I would see The Jesus & Mary Chain, Smashing Pumpkins and The Police in concert, I would have laughed. I still have hopes for Hum and Quicksand but I am not going to get greedy. It was surreal to walk into the MGM Garden Arena and see a merchandise booth stocked with The Police tour memorabilia.

"Hi!, We are Fiction Plane!" exclaimed Joe Sumner(Bass/Vocals). I wonder how much of the audience knows that Joe is Sting's son? I heard some unsavory comments from the crowd after they played their forty five minutes set. I could think of a thousand different bands that would have been better openers for the The Police, especially with the ticket prices as high as they are. I have to give Joe some credit as he tried to get the audience involved. While Joe did not inherit Sting's penchant for songwriting, Joe did a fairly good job with the basslines and did hit a few notes vocally that were in his father's range. My judgment could have been clouded by the fact that The Police would be onstage soon.

"Get Up, Stand Up" by Bob Marley blasted over the speakers as the lights dimmed. The buzz in the arena became palpable.The crowd obeyed and stood up out of their seats. "Message In A Bottle" was the first of many delights of the night. It was quickly followed by "Synchronicity II" featuring an extended Andy Summers solo with his "Who Killed Kenny?" South Park Guitar strap. "Spirits in the Material World" was divine as Stewart Copeland's arms looked like a blur behind his drum kit. "Walking On The Moon" had some nice tremolo work on the solo by Andy Summers. "Everything She Does Is Magic" was spectacular in watching Andy work his finger picking magic on his candy apple red Stratocaster running through some Mesa Boogie Cabinets. Andy seemed to have some technical problems since he called to his guitar tech a number of times during the set. I did notice though that he was not doing his own pedal switching. Sting was magnificent on the bass. Aspiring bassists should take notes on his economy of movement. Sting barely moved his right hand all night as he rested his fingers on the bridge of the bass while plucking along. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" had a slowed down intro and alternate percussion as Stewart Copeland was perched on a riser banging on a variety of cymbals and chimes. "Invisible Sun" was the song I really wanted to hear the most. It also not a coincidence that Hum used to cover this song live. Sting's voice sounded great during the song. "Roxanne" and "Every Breath You Take" were performed very close to the original recordings. I was not surprised when the whole arena lit up red during "Roxanne". I was amazed that a large portion of the crowd started to leave prior to the first encore. The show clocked in at two hours. It seemed like it was twenty minutes.

The Police setlist for the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas(6/15/07)
"Message in a Bottle"
"Synchronicity II"
"Don't Stand So Close"
"Voices Inside My Head"
"When the World is Running Down"
"Spirits in the Material World"
"Driven to Tears"
"Walking on the Moon"
"Truth Hits Everybody"
"Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic"
"Wrapped Around Your Finger"
"The Bed Is Too Big"
"De Do Do Do De Da Da Da"
"Invisible Sun"
"Walking In Your Footsteps"
"Can't Stand Losing You"
"King of Pain"
"So Lonely"
"Every Breath You Take"
"Next To You"

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