The Police in Concert
Last night, I saw the Police in concert. I hadn't had the chance to see them a few months ago when they toured the U.S., so I was excited that they added more dates (and a show in DC) so I could see them this go-round.
The most surprising part of the concert was just how good Sting's voice still is. He can still hit all of the high notes and hold them with power, which is pretty impressive for a 56 year old man. Sometimes the length he would hold a note seemed almost indulgent, but...he's Sting! And the crowd loved it, so it's difficult to hold the excess against him.
The set list for the show (November 5, 2007 at Washington D.C.'s Verizon Center):
Message in a Bottle
Walking on the Moon
When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Driven to Tears
There's a Hole in My Life
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
Walking in Your Footsteps
I Can't Stand Losing
King of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Next to You
So...a lot of greatest hits. Which was fine with me. "Message in a Bottle" is my favorite Police song, so it was great that they started with it. I wasn't surprised, because every set list I have seen from this tour shows they started with this song. In fact, there are few deviations from this set list and the others I have seen--the biggest difference I have seen is that they appear to have played "Murder By Numbers" at their other concerts, but not last night.
I have to admit that I didn't love some of their lesser-known choices ("When the World is Running Down," There's a Hole in My Life," "Truth Hits Everybody"), and I'm sure many critics would complain that the band was uninspired in playing so many hits. But as someone who will probably never have another chance to see them play in concert (and I guess that the other 18,000 people there are in the same boat), I enjoyed hearing their popular songs. They generally played the songs as they were recorded, although they did alter the arrangement of "Walking in Your Footsteps" a bit, and it sounded quite good. (The graphics of footsteps playing on the large screens above their heads were not as inspired.)
There weren't many young people at the Verizon Center last night (I don't know that I saw anyone who looked under 30), which I think makes getting the crowd worked up a little more difficult. I'm generally not someone who dances at concerts and I certainly wasn't the only one sitting in my seat. But the band did a nice job of getting people excited and they just sounded really good. I'm glad I can add them to the list of great bands of my youth I have seen live.