Reggatta de Blanc

Washington, DC, US
Ontario Theater
A truly arresting performance...

The shrill sound of police whistles careened off the walls of the Ontario Theater last night. Crowds of people flung themselves into the aisles. Spotlight sliced through the darkness as a murderous barrage of sound thundered from the stage. The Police had arrived!

The Police, in this case, were an English-American rock trio that has emerged from the new wave punk scene. Like many of their counterparts, they draw much of their power and substance from the crunching power chords and raucous rhythmic assaults of mid-'60s musical styles. But this group adds a melodic flair and urbane lyrics that are an intelligent twist to current rock. Their show blended bright vocal harmonies with savage musical onslaughts in a dazzling display of exuberant energy. Andy Summers' guitar and Stewart Copeland's drums, slashed out at the crowd while Sting added thumping bass lines, creating a powerful yet chunky sound.

The addition of swirling, electronic chords and quirky reggae beats on some of the numbers gives the group a sense of style that evades many new wave musicians. The Police gave a truly arresting performance.

(c) The Washington Post by Harry Sumrall