After I've gone on about these concerts for weeks, we've finally done it. We saw the Police in both Dallas and Houston last week. The rest of the family is glad it's over and hoping we'll stop singing old Police songs every chance we get. Morgan and I definitely got a bit obsessive about the idea of getting to attend two concerts in the same week, but I think we're now bigger fans than ever. The concert in Houston on Friday was fantastic. We loved the Dallas concert Tuesday, but there were some pretty big problems. Most of the things we noted had been cleaned up on Friday, and we saw the band perform as they should. These are three gifted and experienced musicians who should be held to a very high standard. Friday, they began to approach that level of quality.
Here are a few of our observations.
Stewart Copeland is an amazing percussionist. We never really got it before we saw him live. This guy is so focused and dedicated, the perfect rock and roll drummer. He never overwhelmed the trio, as I thought he might and showed a mastery of timing and precision in the Houston concert that is unrivaled in my experience.
Andy Summers is a fine guitarist, but some of the problems we heard in the Dallas concert were, we think, a result of his rushing the beat and taking off on his own. He had some rather fine solos in which he performed magnificently in both concerts. , and his Houston performance was much tighter. I think, in part, this was because Stewart stayed very focused no matter what might be going on with the guitar, so Andy couldn't take them off. Andy had some amusing interactions with Sting and Stewart in both concerts.
Sting was energetic and in good voice at both concerts. However, we both thought he was much better in Houston. After seeing him so many times, we've concluded he is always better if he's been off the night before. When he's performing night after night, he falls into an kind of economy of working that is no doubt necessary. Having a chance to rest, he will inevitably come back with more strength the next night.
He danced and interacted with the other two band members on Friday in a way that gave them more of a feel of a band than just three guys playing together. We sat close enough to see a few interesting things on Friday as well. Sting broke a string toward the end of the evening. Morgan was quite impressed in how he adjusted and continued to play. We both winced too, knowing how much it hurts to get hit by a guitar string. When they came back for the first encore, Sting had put on a jacket. We thought he may have been hurt. Cuts from a string hurt like hell. Then Andy went to the final song on the first encore early and again we wondered if it might be because of an injury, but they came back strong for Next to You, the final song. On the way off the stage, Sting thumbed his nose at Andy. I don't know if it was because of the confusion at the end of the first encore or something else entirely. I've never seen Sting work so hard. In fact, it's the first time I've seen the effort really show on him physically. By the end of each concert, I thought the three of them had gone as far as they could go. The last song was one of the best, but the strain on their faces was clear.
I've read some reviews which complained of the ticket cost. It wasn't cheap, but it wasn't more than we are accustomed to spending on an important concert. We might very easily pay the same price to see the Houston Grand Opera or the Ballet. I guess the value question is really up to the individual. Tonight, all four of us are going down to Galveston to see the tribute band, Killer Queen. These tickets are only $15 and we can just go home if it's not any good. They are supposed to be one of the best, but I'm not sure how easy it will be to watch someone else look and sound like Freddie for any of us. Over the years, I've sort of trained myself to forget that he's gone when I listen to their music. Morgan was put out over the Queen with Paul Rogers tour for much the same reason. So, we'll see.