The Police

New Orleans Arena

June 30, 2007

BY JASON SONGE


I had a ticket for a seat high behind the stage, which I was worried about until I saw the circular layout and realized I was right behind Stewart Copeland's set. It was also cool to be able to look through binoculars and see Sting and Andy Summers' many guitar pedals and the scrolling prompters at their feet. Sting had lyrics rolling, while Summers cheated from outlines of each song, i.e. where the solos are and when they improv.

I missed the opening band on purpose. It was Sting's son's band. To think of all the huge, awesome bands that you could still justify as being small enough to open for The Police and we get some band no one's ever heard of. Sounds like a stipulation to the contract.

Before I get into the music, I wanna say that the stage and lights were super high end. It makes sense that they went all out, but light columns that look like palm trees that rise behind the stage for only one song? That's over the top.

The band played pretty well, and the crowd was into it, though they seemed a bit reserved. Most of the people in the balcony sat down, and would it surprise you the middle-aged white audience wasn't into playing call and response to Sting's African and Reegae-influenced chants?
They wanted the hits, which they got. The only song I missed was "Synchronicity I."

The band seemed in good spirits, and they seemed to enjoy the show, but it's not like they put their life on the line or anything. The only person who looked like he wasn't taking the safe road to the bank was Copeland, who couldn't hide his energy. Every time he stood up from his kit, he didn't know what to do with himself. He had a whole bunch of percussion with him--timpanis, xylophone(which was cool to watch him play considering Jason Marsalis was sitting right behind me the whole night), chimes, etc.

I had forgotten that Summers could even solo, so when he did I was surprised, but I wish his solos were more compact and melodic. It was like he was just throwing notes in there without any thought for progression or the chorus. I gotta hand it to him for doing some dramatic jumps, though. He's 64.

The band played a few songs a little slower than I remember, but they also extended some into some cool improvs. The songs win, in the end. Just to hear those songs live, I gotta give the thumbs up to The Poilce. They didn't have to blow anyone outta the water at this show. They just had to not screw it up.

SETLIST:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Voices Inside My Head/When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close to Me
Driven To Tears
Walking on the Moon
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
The Bed's Too Big Without You
Murder By Numbers
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You/Reggatta De Blanc
Roxanne

Encore I:

King of Pain
So Lonely

Encore II:

Every Breath You Take

Encore III:

Next To You


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