Reggatta de Blanc

Melbourne, VIC, AU
Festival Hallwith The Radiators
Police were arresting...

When the three members of one of the world's hottest rock properties The Police strolled onto the stage at Festival Hall last Friday night, it was obvious everyone was going to have a good time.

"Everyone stand up," ordered singer, bass guitarist and keyboards player Sting (real name Gordon Sumner). "Our music's for dancing." And to the wrath of the Festival Hall red-coated brigade, everyone did.

By the end of an inspired evening of music, the crowd were converted to The Police: their personalities (especially Sting's cheeky grins and casual stage presence) and the music we've all come to know so well.

They did all their hits: 'Message In A Bottle', 'Walking On The Moon', 'Bring On The Night', 'So Lonely' and an extended, almost reggae version of 'Roxanne'.

Even the songs that haven't graced our AM radio stations were familiar to everyone.

The sound was, as promised by the promoters, remarkably full for a three-piece band. although many of the songs were far removed from the recorded version.

But, as drummer Stewart Copeland said at their Melbourne Press conference, the band is probably better live. The thousands of screaming fans at Festival Hall seemed to agree.

The Police aimed to please. They satisfied the crowd's hunger with two encores, guitarist Andy Summers taking the limelight on 'Be My Girl'. The band would have played all night if the crowd had it their way, but we were all beaten by the house lights.

(c) The Age by Peter Wilmoth