Police Reunion

San Juan, PR
Coliseo de Puerto Rico Jose Miguel Agrelotwith Fiction Plane
The Police haven't missed a beat in 25 years...

The theme for Tuesday night's The Police concert at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum could have been: What 25 years?

On a simple black stage, supported by a dazzling light show, The Police reminded fans what a rock band really was. It was as if singer and bassist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland had never really separated, performing together with the same energy, professionalism, and creativity that still makes them unforgettable.

There was no need for seats at the coliseum that night. Before the band started, a recording of Bob Marley's 'Get Up, Stand Up' was played. Many in the audience obeyed, and once the band appeared on stage, starting with an energetic 'Message in a Bottle', most of the crowd never returned to their seats.

The energy flow between The Police and the crowd barely died down. Sting even spoke in Spanish between songs, a quick Gracias or Te adoro. Anything longer than a few words was met by a confused mumble from the audience, who would cheer anyway.

The band played familiars such as 'Synchronicity II', 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' to a very enthusiastic reception.

However, the experience and time spent as separate artists seems to have allowed them to improve on songs like 'Driven to Tears', 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' and 'Reggatta de Blanc',making their message more powerful in these particular performances. Sting sang comfortably through the set list, his voice relatively clear through the coliseum's over-amplified speakers. His voice still had that youthful, pristine quality, but it sounded more encouraged and strengthened by the years of experience and practice.

Copeland, as proof of his energetic power on the drums, went through dozens of drumsticks during the length of the show. He also made use of an unusual, rectangular percussion set-up behind his drum set, with cymbals hanging from the structure, and drums, a xylophone and a gigantic gong in the rear.

The gong was used to add some exotic sounds to compositions like 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'Walking in Your Footsteps'. He commanded the attention of the crowd at these times, switching between the drum set and the alien percussion system, experimenting with the sounds on different songs.

Guitarist Andy Summers was also showing his stuff, displaying a mastery of his instrument with powerful solos during 'When the World Is Running Down…' and 'Walking in Your Footsteps'.

The band played for almost two solid hours nonstop, looking as fresh and energetic at the end of the show as when they began.

They had barely broken a sweat. The band finished with a coliseum-rumbling, extended version of 'Roxanne' and the crowd couldn't help but sing along. The reunion concert was, in a sense, a celebration of the 30th anniversary of this hit song, which gave them their first taste of fame in the United Kingdom.

With that song, and one more "Gracias," the band disappeared backstage. The crowd continued to cheer, not calling "otra" as usual but delivering a rumbling cheer of encouragement which sent the same message. The band returned for an encore of three songs: 'King of Pain', 'So Lonely' and their internationally recognized 'Every Breath You Take'.

Sting and Copeland disappeared again. Summers remained on stage to psyche up the crowd for another encore, an energetic rendition of 'Next to You'. There was a final bow, and a singular promise made by Copeland: "We'll be back."

(c) The San Juan Star by Julián Oquendo