Buffalo, NY, US
Buffalo Memorial Auditoriumwith Re-Flex
Caught in the act...

There's something starkly hypnotizing in the form of Sting telling 17,000 frenzied fans that he's 'So Lonely'. Maybe the King Of Pain is the champion of isolation but he's certainly got plenty of disciples willing to share in his personal anguish.

Actually, it's pretty hard to buy Sting's alienation routine. They certainly haven't alienated too many people over the past 12 months in ascending the throne of rock music's most popular working group and they were in high spirits at the Aud. in concluding their US tour commitments.

The components which made this concert work so majestically are the same elements which have made The Police so universally popular. Great songs, simplistic delivery and a boyish enthusiasm for their work which is totally invigorating.

A bare stage with no backdrop and an efficient but not particularly awesome lighting grid stripped the show down to its naked essence - three musicians whose combined chemistry filled the lofty arena with an aura of warmth that was totally infectious. The fluidity of motion from the opening beat of 'Synchronicity' to the show-closing 'So Lonely' marked The Police as being at the peak of their powers. Their delivery was crisp and direct yet loose enough to suggest they were having as much fun as their audience. Sting ran through his vocal repertoire with such a disarming ease it was almost as though the songs were pre-recorded, while Andy Summers, the consummate low-key guitarist, dispatched his chores in workmanlike fashion. Driven along by Stewart Copeland's propulsive percussion and afforded only the luxury of three female backup singers, The Police still manage to concoct a sound that is sparse yet technically proficient.

If The Police enjoyed this show as much as they appeared to, I don't think there's any worries about a premature retirement. These guys are having too much fun to quit now.

(c) Music Express by Keith Sharp