Caught in the act...
There's an extremely fine line between a great concert and 'an event'. The Police succeeded in crossing that line though with a performance that reflected their status as 'the band of the eighties'. The lucky couple of thousand who shelled out fifteen dollars for those precious ducats were launched into orgasm of delight by guitarist Andy Summers, vocalist/bassist Gordon 'Sting' Sumner and percussionist Stewart Copeland.
Opening strongly with 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'Walking On The Moon' and closing even stronger with 'Message In A Bottle', and 'Roxanne', plus two searing encore sets, The Police exude such a genuine, natural ambience on stage that it's easy to be swept away by their exotic, reggae-based rhythms.
Switching from stand-up bass to his regular axe, Sting hopped around the stage like a demented kangaroo, yet sang with such natural ease that his performance seemed totally effortless. Matter of fact, the whole band cruised through the evening with almost computerised perfection. Copeland, banging out those complex drum patterns, and Summers anchoring the sound with some textured, synthesised guitar work.
If there was one small criticism it would be based on the set's pacing. After a blistering opening segment, The Police almost lost the audience with a brief spell of self-indulgence before returning to the right patch for a breathtaking final flourish. The raw power of 'Roxanne' was spellbinding. Sting's voice sending shivers down the building's four walls.
'Zenyatta Mondatta' has sold 300,000 copies in Canada in a matter of weeks, ample testament to the trio's popularity in this country. The 2,800 fans who caught them at Massey Hall went home with the realisation that live on stage, The Police are world class - possibly even the world's next supergroup.
(c) Music Express by Keith Sharp