Thursday, June 28, 2007

Arrested in L.A.: The Police at Dodger Stadium

When the Police took the stage at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night (June 23, 2007), it admittedly took me a bit to realize it really was Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers playing.

It has been so long since I had seen the band (I caught them at Hollywood Park in the early 1980s during the trio's "Synchronicity" tour), it kind of floored me for a minute. Then I decided to squash the rock critic inside me and just enjoy the two-hour ride.

Indeed, I had read reviews online over the past month or so noting how many of the band's great songs had been revamped and boasted new arrangements now. That was definitely true, with songs such as "Don't Stand So Close to Me" and an especially beautiful version of "Wrapped Around Your Finger" boasting different tempos and the hit "Roxanne" getting extended. But the power of the songs, and the unique sound and chemistry of the band was quickly apparent.

Highlights included the aforementioned "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and "Roxanne," as well as a stunning "King of Pain," rocking "Synchronicity II" and straight-forward "Message in a Bottle." All three musicians played with confidence and precision throughout the night, and the set list featured the majority of the Police's best-known songs ("So Lonely," "Every Breath You Take," the night-ending "Next to You"). It really was an amazing night and my hope is the performance makes it to DVD. And soon.

I have such great memories of the Police set, but I admit to being very disappointed at the Foo Fighters. Although Dave Grohl & company have released a number of strong singles, in concert Grohl ruined just about every song with needless screaming. He is a fine singer, but for whatever reason (maybe to compete with the '00s metalcore bands) he would yell over and over. Even "Learn to Fly" and "Everlong" were bludgeoned to death. Ouch!

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