They're back, and they sound really good.
It's been 24 years since The Police released its last studio album 'Synchronicity', but Stewart Copeland, Andy Summers, and Sting showed Tuesday night that they haven't lost much in the way of playing good music.
The Police put on a very strong performance at Rentschler Field in front of thousands of excited fans of various ages.
Prior to this year's reunion tour, the band hadn't toured for more than two decades. But apparently the group has worked out any kinks it may have had after such a long layoff and managed to find the old magic of the past.
The band opened with the popular 'Message in A Bottle' and continued onto 'Synchronicity II'. Other hits like 'Wrapped Around Your Finger', 'King of Pain', and 'Every Breath You Take' were part of the performance.
Yet other less-noted songs like 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' and 'When the World is Running Down' gave hardcore fans a little something extra and helped break up a simple live rendition of the 'Every Breath You Take: The Classics' greatest hits album.
But the night wasn't solely about rehashing studio versions of the band's catalog. Instead, Copeland, Summers, and Sting found ways to extend songs and add a flourish to squeeze every ounce of music out of a song.
Copeland was a madman going from here to there in his percussion area, and he showed his amazing versatility during 'Wrapped Around Your Finger'. Andy Summers was on his game on the guitar and had many great moments - a very notable one was his play during 'Synchronicity II'.
Sting, holding his old beat-up bass guitar, also did a nice job on vocals. As the front man, it was Sting's job to bring the crowd into the show. Whether it was talking about the large visible "Connecticut moon" or asking if the audience was ready to sing tonight, Sting managed to keep the crowd entertained between some of the tunes.
One nice moment came before the band began playing 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'.
"This song is not autobiographical," he told the audience.
Sting, a former teacher, made sure that no one had the wrong idea about the song. The subject is about forbidden love between a female student and her male instructor.
The lighting and screen projections also gave the performance a nice feel. For example, the dinosaur bones walking on the large stage television screens had a nice complementary effect during 'Walking In Your Footsteps'. The lighting was also strong during 'Synchronicity II' and 'Can't Stand Losing You'.
Perhaps the best projection moment was during the final song of the evening, 'Next To You'. During the performance, a collage of the band was played that showed the three guys during their old touring days.
The opening band, Fiction Plane, was also entertaining. Sting's son Joe Sumner is the lead vocalist in that band, and the song "Death Machine" is a very impressive tune.
As for dad's band, Sting and The Police played for a little less than two hours and cranked out about 20 songs.
It would've been nice to hear a couple more tunes to extend the set. Songs like 'Synchronicity I', 'Does Everyone Stare', 'Murder By Numbers', 'Tea In The Sahara', and 'Man In A Suitcase' could've made the show not only longer, but even stronger.
Also, whether it could be helped or not, 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' didn't quite match the power of the studio version.
The performance also felt somewhat like a carbon copy of the Sunday night Fenway Park show in Boston. It would've been nice if the guys would've changed a couple songs around here and there. This would've given some fans, who are familiar with what set lists have been played in other cities, a sense of surprise. Sometimes the wonder of what will be played next is one of the best things at a concert. If something unexpected were played from the band's catalog, or if songs were played in a different order on tour, it could possibly enhance the concert experience.
But these are small gripes.
The band played great versions of 'King of Pain', 'Driven To Tears', and 'Roxanne', among others. Perhaps the best performance of the night was a fantastic extended version of 'Can't Stand Losing You' toward the end of the set.
Again, overall it was a strong performance, and it's good to see Copeland, Summers, and Sting playing together again. Hopefully, it won't be the last time that the three perform together in Connecticut.
Although the band won't be returning to Connecticut during the tour, they'll be playing relatively nearby for a number of tour dates. The Police play tonight and Friday at New York City's Madison Square Garden. The band will also perform Sunday at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
The Police will also swing back to play Halloween at Madison Square Garden and Sunday, Nov. 11, at the T.D. BankNorth Garden in Boston.
© The Journal Inquirer by Mark D. Simpson