Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Police Reunion Tour

At the crusty midlife age of 39, I felt like 16 again as I got to live out a concert-goer's dream: to see my favorite band in concert.

Most people know that The Police disbanded in 1984 after their blow-out Shea Stadium performance in support of Synchronicity, their last and most successful album. And yes, kids, that album was on vinyl.

Over the years, the band has reunited for a day here or a day there: In 1986 for Amnesty International; in 1992 when Sting married Trudie Styler; and in 2003 for the band's induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For many years, both Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland have made it publicly known that they supported a reunion, but it was Sting who held out. Finally, though, he reached a point where a reunion seemed feasible. And, as the reports go, contracts were signed in a matter of weeks.

But what a long 23 years it's been for diehard fans like me! Unable to see them in 1984, I'd resigned myself to never seeing them live--and consoling myself with the occasional reunion performance relegated to entertainment news. So it was almost unbelievable to walk into Madison Square Garden and see my three musical idols standing together on stage.

My best friend, Christine, went with me. She was the one who handed me notes in 10th grade English class that said "I love Phil," referring to her real-life boyfriend, and who received my replies, "Well, I love Sting" or "I love Stewart." I never did quite develop the knack for keeping my feet on the ground; and as Christine says, The Police were (and still are) my medicine. There could be no one else who understood what this reunion meant to me, because I wasn't the typical concert-goer, happy to get sloshed or stoned and barely remembering what happened.

The set list was full of 80s hits, from "Roxanne" to "Every Breath You Take," but there were also some old favorites, like "Reggatta de Blanc" and "The Bed's Too Big Without You" that rose the roof. And from my vantage point, the crowd ran the gamut from twentysomethings to gray hairs. And with sold-out performances across the country (but no new album), The Police proved once again why they're my favorite musicians, and why they're still good medicine to thousands like me.

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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