Sting - No place to hide. The Police's unlikely reformation this past spring has resulted in the most anticipated tour in years. Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers are responsible for some of the most memorable songs from a generation ago, but during a 110-minute, 20-song set before a sold-out Quicken Loans Arena, the three disappointingly went through the motions. They played their most popular hits with the bravado expected, but littered the rest of the set with flubbed lyrics, lethargic instrumentation and an overall unenthusiastic approach.
With just the three of them on a well-illuminated, simple stage, there was nowhere for the Police to hide either. The concert featured just the band in its simplest form, no backing singers and no extra musicians. Entering to a hero's welcome, the band immediately ripped into 'Message in a Bottle', echoing the unforgettable chorus to the top rows of the arena. It was enough to make even the most casual fan's spine tingle as the previously unthinkable was actually unfolding. But soon after, even as Summers' lightning-quick guitar solo punctuated 'Voices Inside my Head', the band began down a derivative rock path. 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' was out of tune and sloppy, and 'Truth Hits Everybody' barely compelled the first 30 rows out of their seats.
It wasn't until the midpoint of the set, with 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', that the trio returned to the form exhibited during the opener. From then on, the Police unleashed hit after hit, with Copeland stepping onto a rising rafter to bang hand drums on 'Walking in Your Footsteps' while Sting led a glowing red arena through 'Roxanne'. But as the band valiantly proceeded through its four-song encore, highlighted by 'So Lonely' and 'Every Breath You Take', it became painfully apparent the group was still finding itself. If you were willing to overlook these flaws, or just enamored with the reunion itself, the Police at times still made for a memorable performance, but for all the hype surrounding it, it should have been so much more.
© Cleveland Free Times by Aaron Mendelsohn