Monday, February 12, 2007

"Ladies and gentleman, we're The Police, and we are back!"

Since I expressed my excitement over The Police's reunion at the Grammy Awards (and used the occasion to indulge some nostalgia), I suppose it's only natural to follow up on that with a reaction to last night's performance.

On some level, of course, I was going to be happy with it, no matter what. A band I loved as a kid reunited on stage, and I loved seeing them playing together again.

But Adult Ian tries to brush aside whimsy and look at things more objectively. First and foremost, they weren't going to sound at their best playing "Roxanne" because it's not their best song. I'm not even sure it's the most familiar one, but "Every Breath You Take" wasn't going to rock the house.

I also winced when they started to go soft and jazzy after the first verse and was afraid we'd get a quick medley of The Police's greatest hits. (I hate medleys; they just reek of Vegas lounge act to me.) Once it became clear that they were still doing "Roxanne," however, any thought I may have had of overdrafting my checking account for triple-digit ticket prices were probably killed for good. Because if that's what they're going to do, I'm not interested. (Even if I understand that they need to keep a song they've played thousands of times interesting to themselves.) I'll never get to see The Police in 1983, and should probably just accept that.

I would've liked them to rock out a little bit more. If they had come out and just pounded through something like "So Lonely," I would've been thrilled. And I'd probably be pestering Ticketmaster for tour dates right now.

I also wish Sting had seemed less pompous on stage, of course. I'm not talking about the tai-chi looking vest that took the ladies to the gun show. No, I mean that "You think I'm #@$%ing great, so here I am - with the bloody bass guitar I never thought I'd pick up ever again" aura he gives off.

But after they left the stage, I found myself wanting much more, even yearning for the medley I'd dreaded just minutes earlier. It wasn't enough. So if that means Sting has stuck his dreaded tantric fangs into me, then so be it. I'm okay with that. All things considered, I thought they sounded pretty damn good. And that's really all I wanted.