Police Reunion

Singapore, SG
National Indoor Arenawith Fiction Plane
Still captivating...

More than 10,000 fans were in The Police's custody in Singapore last week, and they loved every minute of it.

Age might have crept up on them but if there's any doubt that it might lessen The Police's live prowess, their gig last Monday at the Singapore Indoor Stadium should silence sceptics.

Vocalist-bassist Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers proved to the capacity crowd of 10,700 roaring fans just why they are one of the most revered rock acts of modern time.

The fans, mostly baby boomers, stood up and roared their approval when the show opened with 'Message In A Bottle' and they remained on their feet for most of the concert.

They knew the lyrics to every song as the band ran through a seamless string of hits such as 'Don't Stand So Close To Me', 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' and 'Roxanne'.

It's a testament to their song-crafting abilities that a mere three-piece rock band can make their three-minute reggae and jazz-tinged ditties larger than life, sans fancy stage backdrop.

They didn't need elaborate set-ups - all focus was on the three.

Sting, 56, and Copeland, 55, have lost none of their nimbleness with their instruments. Summers, 65, may be jumping a little less higher than in his heyday but his fingers still flew fast and furious on his Fender guitars.

Copeland leapt from his drum set to a set of chimes for 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'King Of Pain'.

Before they came on at 9.15pm, the audience was warmed up by opening act Fiction Plane, led by Sting's son Joe Sumner.

The 31-year-old is a chip off the old block, right down to the three-piece rock band line-up, the Fender bass as choice of instrument and a wailing voice that sounds so much like his father's.

But it was his Dad that the fans came to see and they rose to their feet, clapped in unison and sang along whenever Sting, looking youthful in tight black pants, bade them to.

Playing for an hour and 40 minutes, the band capped their performance with two sets of encore, including a rousing version of their biggest hit, 'Every Breath You Take'.

This was the reunion concert that their fans have been waiting for the last 20 years. The band, formed in Britain in the late 1970s, disbanded in the mid-1980s, arguably at the peak of their career.

The reunion tour was named the biggest money-spinner in the United States by Billboard last year, raking in over US$200mil (RM660mil).

The Police broke records in Singapore, too. With ticket prices peaking at S$600 (RM1,380) a seat, the receipts totalled a little under S$3mil (RM6.9mil).

Fans were only too happy to spend on Sting and company. Twenty-year-old student Tri Yuhiyarto Wijoyono Sigit was not even born when The Police disbanded but he flew in from Indonesia and bought premium seats to see his musical heroes in action.

''I've been listening to The Police since I was 12,'' he said. ''Getting to see them live is amazing, like a dream come true.''

(c) The Malaysia Star by Eddino Abdul Hadi

Arresting concert - The Police, reunited at last, rock like they never missed a beat...

The Police came and went and many - 10,000 in all, including and hotel tycoon Ong Beng Seng - turned up to see their show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium Monday night.

Not only did they play the big hits ('Every Breath You Take', 'Roxanne', 'Message In A Bottle', and so on) but they also dipped into their pool of lesser-known-but-live-staples such as 'Hole In My Life', 'Invisible Sun' and a medley of 'Voices Inside My Head'/'When the World is Running Down'.

The crowd was already treated to an impressive set by opening act, Fiction Plane - a rock trio featuring Sting's 31-year-old son Joe Sumner on bass and vocals, natch - as they ran through songs like 'Hate' and 'Two Sisters'.

So, by the time The Police came on, the audience was already whetting for more. And the band didn't disappoint.

Drummer Stewart Copeland, looking slightly like a displaced school teacher with his round John Lennon glasses, showed that he could still beat the crap out of the skins; and I swear guitarist Andy Summers discovered two new notes to the musical scale as he mixed dissonance with harmony to come up with guitar solos only he could pull off.

Sting, the most familiar face, showed few signs that age was going to be a factor in his performance.

Okay, so he may not have hit those notes that he used to with ease - was it me, or was he straining during 'Can't Stand Losing You'? And did they have to use his sampled backing vocals for some of the songs? But hey, only Sting can turn 'Roxanne' into a ballad and still make it work.

The band's promise not to play all their old songs as was meant that they wrought new arrangements - changing the intros to some and slowing the tempo to others, which confounded some fans.

But for most part, they were enraptured by what was going on onstage, and were more than willing to cheer, chant and clap and accede to Sting's every request for a sing-along.

Did they sing, ''eee-yohhh eee-yay eee-yay yoh'' during 'Regatta De Blanc'? Yes, siree! Did they sing ''eee-yoh yo yo yo'' during 'Walking On The Moon'? You betcha! Did they sing ''eee-yoh-oh, eee-yoh-oh, eee-yoh-oh'' during 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic'? With all their heart! You get the picture.

And perhaps to show the band's coming full circle, The Police bookended their finale with two songs from their last album, 'Synchronicity' ('King of Pain', 'Every Breath You Take') and two songs from their first album, 'Outlandos d'Amour'.

The latter two, 'So Lonely' and 'Next To You', may have lacked the punk pathos of the 1978 originals - these guys are middle-aged, you know - but The Police have been around long enough to know that when all else fails, you can always turn up the volume to burst an eardrum or two where necessary.

Copeland's furious drumming connected with Sting's pounding bass to lay the backbeat as Summers punctuated the rhythms with his incisive fretwork.

Of course, the big question is whether it was worth the $600 price tag. Let's put it this way: These guys didn't have to rely on a pyro show or elaborate stage sets to impress - they just had their music.

And if William Shakespeare's famous phrase about music being the food of love is true, then we were fed on a whole lotta love that night.

(c) Today Online