June 14, 2007

So this guy named Gordon* kept me up too late last night

…along with his friends Andy and Stewart.

The Police played at the Oakland Coliseum last night for the first time in twenty-four years. I was there, twenty-four years ago, which means I am old. Because only an old person would go to a show on The Police reunion tour and ask for ear plugs at the first aid station. And only someone old (or someone getting over the stomach flu) would not drink one drop of alcohol at said reunion concert, even though new favorite beer by Kona Brewing Company was on tap. Damn flu.

But let me explain. The speakers were loud. Like, eardrum-exploding loud. Why so loud? Because the Oakland Coliseum is a gargantuan venue, and the sound needed to spread to each and every one of the eleventy billion people making themselves comfortable in the home of the Oakland A’s. But because Matte and I were sitting so close to the stage, our ears were reaching the bleeding point. OK. I use the term close lightly here. Our seats were about a thousand feet away. (I’m not good with guessing distances, it could have been 500. OK, Matte just told me it was more like 100 or so.)

When we first heard that field seats were selling for as much as our rent a crazy expensive fee (plus service charge, of course!), we didn’t care. We were high on the fumes of spending thousands here and thousands there for our wedding, and what’s a couple hundred bucks for tickets to The Police reunion tour?

Well, let me tell you. I loved the show. I loved being at the show. I didn’t care if they messed with the original arrangements of some of my favorite songs (they ruined Don’t Stand So Close to Me long ago), or if Sting had to drop it an octave here or there. From my overpriced seat, I could see so clearly! Oooh, the backs of heads, and broad shoulders of thousands of people in front of me. And sometimes, when the masses would part perfectly, I could see Sting’s tiny, spiky-haired melon for sometimes ONE WHOLE NOTE. It was awesome I tell you. (Note to Ticketmaster: when will you start selling seats to people in height order?)

At least there were video screens. HD video screens. And Sting. In HD. Close up. Meow. He’s so pretty. Meow.

Oh yeah, and the band sounded great too.

They’re still The Police. Every song was familiar, even if it was a bit altered from its original hit version. Sting’s voice was sublime (even if he can’t the highest of notes anymore). Stewart seemed to be in a great mood, grinning almost nonstop like he was laughing at a private joke (the private joke being “those people on the field paid out of their asses for those plastic seats. I could bang on an empty Hi-C can with a pencil right now, and they’d scream for me. Suckers!”) Andy seemed a little more mellow than Stewart, perhaps not so into it after the two-and-a-half-decade break. He just didn’t sound like he was playing up to speed with the other boys. But that could also be because I had fluorescent bits of foam shoved in my ear holes. Or it could be that he’s sixty-four gotdamn years old, playing guitar every night onstage in front of thousands of screaming reformed teeny boppers.

Seriously though, I’m glad we went. I don’t regret spending the money, and not being able to see shit. I went to The Police Reunion Concert of 2007, gotdammit! AND! Just like in 1983, I bought a concert t-shirt, with the Synchronicity logo on it. My first Synchronicity shirt cost me around $15 and was a muscle-T. Sadly Thankfully, there was not a muscle-T to be found last night, but my new girly-T cost me a glorious forty bucks.

In case you don’t have tickets for The Police show in your area, and want to experience what I did, I’m including the playlist from last night’s show. But, before you start your iPod, find a picture of Sting and cut it out. Now go stick it on a tree down the street from your house. Put a bunch of stuff in front of your face, while still trying to see the picture on the tree while you listen to these tunes:

Message in a Bottle
Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Voices In My Head
When the World Is Running Down
Spirits in the Material World
Driven to Tears
Walking on the Moon
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does…
Wrapped Around Your Finger
The Bed’s Too Big Without You
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking in Your Footsteps
Can’t Stand Losing You

Encore 1:
King of Pain
So Lonely

Encore 2:
Every Breath You Take
Encore 3:
Next to You

*Gordon Sumner

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