Inasmuch as I am now the same age my father was when the Police released their last studio album, what better time, then, to see the Police in concert, with Elvis Costello opening?
I went with my brother to the second show at Red Rocks. Elvis Costello played a good, short set with “the Imposters” as backers. Highlights included “Alison” with Sting on vocals, and an excellent rendition of “(What’s so Funny ’bout) Peace, Love and Understanding” for the closing number.
The Police played a great couple of sets, featuring just the three of them on stage. They played terrifically well.
Unless I’m mistaken (I didn’t take notes) the first set focused on the solid middle three albums, opening with “Message in a Bottle,” while the second set consisted entirely of songs from Outlandos d’Amour and Synchronicity. They were so evidently having an excellent time (especially Stewart Copeland, who grinned hugely after pretty much every song) that the brooding stuff (“King of Pain,” say) came off pretty insincerely. The brisker material went extremely well: “Every Little Thing She Does,” “De Do-Do-Do,” and especially “So Lonely,” “Can’t Stand Losing You” (with “Reggatta de Blanc” in the middle), “Demolition Man,” and the closer, “Next to You.” They did everything at a high tempo—and volume, with Copeland’s signature cracks being palpable.
In all, a rare example of people who not only had their heyday during the Reagan administration and are still flogging the same material, but who sound even better now.