Review : The Police @ Fenway


Hello Boston Metblog readers! This is David from Metroblogging DC, giving a fine hello to my favorite town in the US (don’t tell anybody in DC that) with a review of The Police concert at Fenway on Saturday.

The most remarkable thing about taking in a concert at Fenway, is how many people, once they get ont he field, aren’t looking at the stage, but looking at the rest of the stadium from the vantage point of the field. Honestly, if you’re a Red Sox fan (as I am — remind me why I live in DC again) it’s a once in a lifetime experience to stand (although protected by nylon protective blocks) on the field where so many baseball greats also stood. Then of course, taking notice of the stage, and realizing you’re about to take in one of the greatest rock bands ever, who famously imploded almost 20 years ago.


As for the concert, it started with Fiction Plane, a band fronted by Sting’s son, Joe Sumner. They were fairly innocous sounding, with your standard uninspiring “I’m a loud Brit-pop band with nothing to really say” feel. There was nothing in their opening set that really inspired wanting to drop buck on acquiring their CD. Of course, most of the 50-somthings who came to see the show at this level probably thing this was nearing just the level of “noise” to ears wanting to hear “Roxanne”, “Walking In Your Footsteps” and others, avoiding the obvious allusions to nepotisim.

Shortly after the switch off of Fiction Plane, the stagelights dimmed, Bob Marley pumped up on the speakers (an obvious allusion to the Carribean rhythms that inspired the early rhythms of many Police tunes). Stewart Copeland’s percussion platform rose from center stage with theatre fog blowing west to east engulfing Sting, Stewart and Andy as they strolled confidently on stage. The show started with a rousing “Message In A Bottle”, showing that 20 years between hanging together as a group, and just as many pursuing solo projects, they barely missed a step. The concert proceeded down their standard setlist for the tour. Sting bumped the microphone off the stand during “Sprits In The Material World” which left a lighthearted and more “humanizing” bit to the set. Only the bumbled sound during “The Bed’s Too Big Without You” halfway through the show left a technical imperfection smear on the performance. It was a bit scary that Andy Summers can now collect retirement benefits, and having his vericose veins pop out at you in high-def on his Fender on a huge 30 foot screen, was not a visual I’d really want to repeat. Sting’s bass perfomace was generally acceptable, and Stewart has remained on his game as one of the best rock drummers ever. Sting famously recalled, on stage, their “love affair” with Boston venues during their heyday, and thanked, quite significantly, the residents for their support then and now.

Now for somebody who had their luggage lost the same day that contained the ticket, only to arrive two hours before the show, expectations were high as to “was it worth it”. People have some strong opinions about the spiraling costs of “premiere” concert tickets, with many of these reunion shows maquee performers going at least $250+ retail or some astronomical amounts for resale from brokers. At a face value field ticket, it was worth it minus the travel headaches, but nothing I would go overseas or even cross country to see (really, does anybody need an excuse to visit Boston). The Police also scheduled a second date, tonight, at Fenway, both, thankfully devoid of the threatening rain that was forecast both evenings.

5 Comments so far

  1. mc (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 12:33 am

    I went tonight (Sunday). What a blast. I felt 18 again. I think Andy Summers is awesome, veins or no.

  2. LaraChick (unregistered) on July 30th, 2007 @ 1:02 pm

    I was at Sunday nights’ show. I’ve waited to see them in concert for 25 years, they have been my favorite band since about 1980. They did not disappoint!!!

  3. ml3 (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 10:25 am

    I went Sunday and while the band sounded much as they did 20 years ago, I was actually quite disappointed with 2/3 of the show. Maybe it’s just part of who the police are, but I feel that after 20 years, people paying huge amounts of money want to sing along with the songs, not listen to the band indulge themselves in changed melodies and drawn out jams. Sting’s tendency to allow the audience to sing echoes of his 48 variations of ‘yay-oh’ is no compensation. We’ve waited, we’ve paid, let us participate at least a little.

  4. Kat (unregistered) on July 31st, 2007 @ 11:47 am

    I have to agree with ML3. I too had waited 20+ years to see them. I never got the chance the 1st time around. I was sadly disappointed with Sunday’s show as well. I was hoping they wouldn’t just do all the general public favorites, but some of the not so popular tunes that I personally cherish. I also loved the Reggae roots of The Police, the early days, and felt like I was at The Police meet Van Halen tour. Oh well. I guess you can’t be all things to all people. At least I can say I saw them live once.

  5. Peter Wieselquist (unregistered) on August 2nd, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

    Very good overall…Did NOT like all the key changes. Key of C “So Lonely” sounded positively unauthentic all the way down to G. I’d rather have seen Sting compromise the vocal line and keep the instrumentation in tact. Also, would have loved to see Stewart oblige the legions of drum fans with the signature fills in “Every Little thing…”. Some things need to be left alone.

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