A ‘Sting’ Operation: The Police last concert EVER

by Momar Visaya/AJPress
NEW YORK—The Police saved the best for last.
The successful ’80s band staged its final concert ever at the Madison Square Garden on Thursday, August 7 and they were joined by a sold-out crowd of 19,000 screaming and adoring fans.

The concert tour, which was stretched to 14 months, came to an end with gig No. 150. The band played for over three million fans and earned more than $350 million. This evening’s final show was also a fitting benefit for two New York public television stations.

“It’s been a huge honor to get back together,” Sting said as he thanked his band mates – guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland for their “musicianship, companionship, friendship, understanding and patience.”

“The real triumph of this tour is that we haven’t strangled each other,” Sting announced. “Not to say it hasn’t crossed my mind—or Andy’s or Stewart’s.” This statement was met with a rapturous applause, as fans of the band know how the trio disbanded in 1984 at the peak of their career after some serious misunderstandings.

The band performed some of their greatest hits and some of their B-sides or their less-famous  ones.

Among the most-applauded was when they brought in almost two dozen members of the NYPD marching band to accompany their Message in a Bottle performance. Watching Sting don a New York’s Finest cap was a sight to behold.

The Police classics such as Roxanne, Can’t Stand Losing You, Don’t Stand So Close to Me and Every Breath You Take were big hits to the audience. Did anybody say nostalgia?

Wrapped Around Your Finger showcased Copeland’s prowess as he used chimes, kettles and various percussion instruments. Summers complemented Sting in almost every single number.

There were poignant moments, especially when photographs of children from around the world were shown on the screens while they were singing. Three of Sting’s daughters dancing while he sang Every Little Thing She Does is Magic was one light-hearted moment to watch.

Watching The Police was indeed a treat, and realizing that Sting is pushing 57 (and his band mates are not exactly young) but they still had that kind of exuberance seen in younger bands just made it better.

They were also quite irreverent.

While the audience waited for the band’s encore numbers, the garden turned dark. Then the projection screens showed the scruffy and full-bearded Sting being shaved, yes, shaved, by two buxom ladies. The camera zoomed out and revealed that Sting was also having a manicure and pedicure.

The ending was also classic and yes, quite fitting.

Remember the cliche “It’s not over till the fat lady sings?” Well, there was someone, dressed as a fat opera singer, lipsynching an aria. Then the famous Looney Tunes ending, with an audio clip of Porky Pig saying “That’s all folks.” They could have projected on the giant screens the words “The End” just to drive home the point.

“It is a celebration. I think it is important that things have an ending. I think Americans call it closure. Things don’t last forever. We all have our interests and our needs and we will carry on making music. This was never meant to be forever, nothing is,” Sting said in a video promoting this final show.

According to the Associated Press, the New York tour finale was intentional because the band wanted to call it quits in the same city of their first US gig 30 years ago, in the far smaller—though no less famous—CBGB’s nightclub, which is now closed.

After a 23-year hiatus, The Police went back on tour, hitting major venues across the United States including Boston, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Phoenix and Los Angeles. The tour also traveled to Europe, Latin America, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

The B-52s opened the show at exactly 8 pm and performed their greatest hits for about an hour.

It was a treat watching them do new wave songs I used to listen to the radio, including such ’80s classics as Rock Lobster, Love Shack, Private Idaho and one of my personal favorites Roam. Kill me now, I didn’t even know that the group was behind this song which I unabashedly call one of my favorites.

The highly charged final show ended with a bang, earning more than $3 million for the two public television stations in the city. It was also a fitting finale to a comeback concert tour that brought together The Police, one last time. (www.asianjournal.com)

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