For about half my life I've wished and wished I could find some way to travel back in time and see Sting (aka Gordon Summoner and the Milkman's son), Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers; as The Police. Together again.
I always felt like I was gypped out of ever hearing the greatest songs and the greatest band live, because they broke up before I knew their greatness. All I had to comfort me and assure me that I've heard their genius form-- live-- was their two-disc live album... appropriately called LIVE!
Sunday, June 10, 2007, became the day I would right the wrong; the injustice.
I traveled back in time, and a gold Ford Freestyle was the time machine. We drove the time machine past the ticket scalpers and desperate fans holding up signs, and into the already almost full parking lot. An old man wearing a staff vest greeted us and we showed him our VIP parking pass.
"It's gonna be a great show... it sure was last night!" he told us.
We thanked him and found tailgaters all over the parking lot. Stepping out of the time machine, sounds of The Police permeated the downtown air.
We walked the walk of people about to see something revolutionary; past a few grills, lawn chairs and endless radio station booths.
The reunion of The Police. Sting (aka Gordon Summoner), Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. Together. Again.
When I heard the news of these musical geniuses' summer reunion tour, I felt like I'd died and gone to heaven. The Police. In Denver. The Police were coming to Denver. And after much trouble and depression, I used my connections and acquired a free ticket.
The day had finally come.
People in summer attire were walking toward the same destination as us. Once inside, synchronicity colors were blinking on tiny buttons, and were being flashed in my face, for $5/each. A guy with a vendor box tied around his Police-clad torso showed us keychains and other things that would take away from my t-shirt budget. We declined and went up the escalators.
All I wanted was to get my hands on a t-shirt to prove to myself later that this wasn't just a dream; that the ticket I held in my hand was for a realistic event, and not just some replica of one past. That I hadn't died, but that I had in fact, gone to heaven, if only for a few hours.
There were so many t-shirts, and I wanted them all. I made my decision fairly quickly and it was the blue Regatta de Blanc t-shirt. When the guy behind the counter spread it out on the glass, and I felt its blue cotton and its white screen print of The Police, I knew that this was it. This t-shirt was going to be the reality check-point when this colossal experience was over. I paid the man an insane amount of money for a t-shirt and walked away, feeling like a kid with candy.
We took our seats, and they were perfect enough. I waited impatiently for what in my opinion is the greatest band since the Beatles. A small-time band called Fictionplane opened, and they were good... good enough to open for The Police, but I just wanted them to finish and start the real show.
When the lights finally came on to signify the entrance of The Police on the stage, I was on cloud nine.
Message in a Bottle was the first song, and it rocked even more than on the recorded live versions I'd heard. Synchronicity, So Lonely, Driven to Tears, Don't Stand So Close to me, I can't stand losing you, The bed's too big without you, Roxanne, Truth hits everybody, Invisible Sun (with a montage of the war in Iraq), King of Pain, Every Breath you Take, Every little thing she does... I heard all these live and very very well.
Sting looked great and sounded great. His guitar looked more worn than he was, and his lean muscled arms bulged as he played and wowed the audience. Not that I was close enough to see such details, but thanks to large screens at concert venues, it was possible.
Andy Summers was completely engrossed with his guitar and he too, rocked.
Stewart Copeland blew everybody away with his awesome drums and percussion. This man is a genius when it comes to sound. Kudos to the guy I saw with a t-shirt that read "Stewart Copeland for President".
Throughout the night, I didn't forget for a moment that this was a colossal event. The Police, reunited and together again after many years. Sting's solo voice mixed with the early days of punk rock. It was fresh, yet classic and familiar. I felt like I had traveled back in time, yet witnessed something new... to a time when music rocked, and The Police were still intact, only this time they knew what a good thing they had.
As we neared the end of the night, whenever the lights would go out and they would go offstage, I'd panic. But I would soon be comforted by it being a false alarm.
They tried to end the evening several times-- four to be exact-- but the crowd wouldn't let them. When it was actually over, the audience just stood there, amazed at what they had just witnessed; this colossal event.
The Police came to Denver. They came and they conquered the top of concert charts. This is the reunion of the century, and if it comes to your town, make sure you go if you know what's good for you-- musically.
It is the greatest show on earth.
Reem lives and writes about it. She thinks that's what writers do, anyway. If it's not, then she also has a degree in journalism under her belt, along with the titles of reporter, editor (in chief, even) and, of course, opinion columnist.
ABOUT REEM AL-OMARI
more about reem al-omari
6.11.07 @ 7:32p
Wow. I'm glad you got to see them.
My own biggest regret was never seeing the Talking Heads. My second-biggest was passing up a free Santana concert at my college's Spring Carnival. What a bonehead.
6.11.07 @ 8:41p
Perhaps the Talking Heads will take a cue from the Police and reunite, as well. You never know.
6.11.07 @ 9:31p
Wow. Wow. Wow. That so rocks.
Before I'm dead, I need to see Prince.
6.13.07 @ 2:47a
I would be surprised if Talking Heads got back together. David Byrne seems to get angered by the very question. Fortunately, Alex, I was able to see Prince (and The Time!!!) at the Staples Center on the Musicology tour. You'll see him, he's doing shows all the time between LA or Vegas. He'll swing 'round your way eventually.
I kept talking about how badly I wanted to see the Police, but now that they're back together, I'm dragging my feet. Thanks for seeing them for the both of us.
6.13.07 @ 4:13a
Jason! You saw PRINCE! AND the Time! That's so cool! *Sigh*, hopefully my short god of badness makes it out to the East coast. (I'd also kill to watch Sheila E or Wendy & Lisa play with him).
A band I'm glad I saw before breaking up was Midnight Oil on their 1986 Beds Are Burning tour. Thought they aren't quite on the iconic level of Prince or the Police, they broke up since their lead singer, Peter Garrett, is now a member of Australian Parliament.
6.13.07 @ 1:41p
I love love love Midnight Oil! Finally someone knows them without me going into a huge explanation and singing an entire song before they go "OH! THEM!" That's cool you got to see them, Alex.
Jason, I almost didn't go to the Police, because the ticket prices were insane... but if I had the money and it wouldn't have put a dent in my budget, I would've paid the money. However, I was lucky and landed a ticket thanks to an awesome friend who works in radio. After having gone, I can't believe I was even thinking of not going... it was amazing.
6.13.07 @ 6:08p
As much as I was going apey when the tour was announced, I've decided to pass. I am so, so, SO spoiled with having good concert tickets that the thought of coughing up $250 or so for just one ticket was tearing me up inside.
Prince and the TIME! Man, that must have been a wild show!
6.14.07 @ 11:36a
Erik and I saw Prince on the Musicology tour as well. It was awesome, and I'm not even that big of a Prince fan.
My personal dream was achieved when I got to see David Bowie in concert. So. Awesome.
6.14.07 @ 12:17p
Prince's guitar solo on the all-star performance of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a few years ago is absolutely astonishing.