Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Police concert last night at Dodger Stadium was great. It was surprisingly easy to get both into and out of the stadium area, something I've never experienced before. Admittedly, we DID get there early, and even though we left after the show like everyone else, the fact that my friend and I weren't drunk and stoned probably helped us get to our car and out of the lot quicker.

I haven't been to many concerts in the 12 odd years I've lived in L.A. for a couple of reasons. One is the huge venues, the hard to get and often expensive tickets, and the fact that there's usually several opening bands causing the headlining act to hit the stage sometime around midnight. I knew the Foo Fighters were opening, which I was looking forward to. What I wasn't expecting was to be a spectator for the band Fiction Plane, which hit the stage when there were probably only 1,000 of us in the arena. The main thing I have to say about them is that they totally blew. Seriously. Their sound level was way too high, they sounded like a lame rip off of Soundgarden or some other early grunge band, and the lead singer couldn't seem to find a key and stick with it. I couldn't figure out why this band was opening for the others - two very popular and well known bands. With all the musicians in L.A. you would think they could have found someone (anyone) who was better. Jokingly, I said to my friend, "What, is this guy Sting's son or something?" Well, as it turns out, it WAS Sting's son, Joe Sumner, and Fiction Plane is his band. I checked out some of the band's music today on their MySpace page, and it sounds ok-ish, but man do they put on a horrible live show.

The Foo Fighters put on a great show as I expected they would. They sounded great and put on an excellent show. Dave Grohn even made it a point of getting off the stage and running around the ground area with his guitar so he could get closer to those of us WAY back from the stage. I'm sure it was a disappointment for the Foo Fighter fans in attendance who came just to see them because, since they were the openers, they only played for about an hour.

The Police finally hit the stage sometime after 9pm. It was awesome to finally get to see them live, since I'd been just a little too young to see them on their final tour for Synchronicity. It would have been nicer if I had been close enough to be able to watch the guys in person instead of having to watch the video monitors, but they sounded great. I'd been worried that their type of music wouldn't lend itself well to the stadium arena, but it was fine. I had forgotten until I heard them play hit after hit how inspired they were by reggae music. My biggest letdown of the night: the version of "Don't Stand So Close To Me" was much closer to the 1986 redo than the original version.

For guys who haven't played together in over 20 years, they sounded excellent. Stewart Copeland was right on the mark, and though Sting couldn't hit the high notes anymore, he was Sting full of all those off-rhythm vocal ad libs. I would have to say the weakest part of the band was Andy Summer who managed to miss his cues on several occasions, and I'm pretty sure, played a song in the wrong key for the first verse. All in all, I was just happy they put this reunion tour together so people like me could finally see them live.

The bands weren't the only entertainment there, either. There was Freakishly Obsessed Foo Fighters Fan who did a lot of air drumming. There was Annoying Drunk White Guy Dancing Like A Fool And Pissing Off His Girlfriend. And finally, there were various air guitarists and air bassists (who would choose to be an air bassist?). Some idiots were doing the wave between sets. Apparently, being in the stadium made them feel like they were at a Dodgers game. Other than the bands, it was the same old could even buy a sundae in a helmet. Looking out over the crowd in the darkness, all you could see were open cell phones as concert goers texted friends and called people. Perhaps the concert itself wasn't entertaining enough. The best part was when the stoned guy in front of us tried to shoot a photo with his cell phone through his binoculars, in the hopes that they would work as a zoom lens. The better part was when he seemed frustrated that he couldn't make that work. It was a very entertaining night.

I was so glad the Police didn't do something stupid like play any Sting songs. They did exactly what everybody wanted them to do - they played all the great old songs we know and love. I'll still use Sting for the song of the day, however - "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free" off his debut 1985 album The Dream of the Blue Turtles. The album was released only a year after the official break up of the Police (though I didn't know of the breakup at the time). It marks a departure from reggae-rock to a more jazz based style. I loved this album when it came out, but I can't say I saw it as the start of such a mammoth career for Sting and as the definitive end of the Police.


Blogger Diane said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

Glad you had a good time - the reviews of the shows have been kind of sketchy . . . Here is my review of the old Police shows circa '79 - '82. And the Foos rock!

6:34 PM  
Blogger Diane said...


6:35 PM  
Blogger LA said...

I recently read Sting's memoirs and only just learned that Andy Summers is something like 10 years older than Sting and Stewart. Maybe that explains his missed cues and keys?

Glad you had such a blast. I love the Foos.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Kings Fan said...

I was thoroughly entertained by the Double-Legged Drummer Way Into the Foos. Too bad he saw you looking at him every time I nudged you to see what he was up to. If they didn't block off the infield, our seats would have been much closer. At least they were right in the middle with no obstructions. I can now scratch two other bands I really wanted to see off my "must-see" list.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Diane said...

the kid d/n look like Sting, but he sounds alot like him . . . must be a kid from his first marriage. b/4 his first wife's best friend - Trudy Styler - stole Sting away

12:17 PM  
Blogger D.O.M. Dan said...

Sounds like a good time. Too bad about their version of "Don't Stand So Close To Me". Can't stand the redo version I have on disc. Nothing like the original.

12:36 PM  
Blogger EditThis said...

Diane - yes, he's Sting's first born son.

12:50 PM  

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