This video captures The Police during one of their best performances. At the time (1982) The Police were on a high with many fans across the world, but they hadn't quite hit the peak of their superstardom - that was at least another album away. They performed in Sting's home town of Newcastle in the summer of '82 at Gateshead International Stadium as the local City Hall would no longer fit the bill. The day was a typical north east summers day 'cold and with grey skies' but nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd! The music press would later report that the crowd was only 12,500 (crowd limit was 25,000) and were saying things like 'big disappointment' but TV reports claimed the crowd was between 15-18,000. Anyway the organisers at Gateshead Stadium were not disappointed with size of the crowd and neither was Sting. Perhaps the crowd not being uncomfortably squashed made for a better show - I don't really know, but what I do remember from that day is that everyone was friendly and we were all having great fun! You had a choice of sitting in the seats on one side of the stadium or on the grassy bank on the opposite side (which doesn't exist anymore as it has now been filled up with seating). If neither of those options took your fancy you could always rough it on the field and track area and fight your way to the front of the stage, my choice! Another thing I remember from that day is that the other bands also had their own followers at the concert and as their band finished they came away from the stage area letting the next lot of fans in. I started off at the back of the crowd but by the time The Police made it onto the stage I was quite near the front, stage left so I had a great view of Sting!
The line up of bands on stage that day were:
Lords Of The New Church - I was just walking into the stadium as they were finishing their set. I don't think I missed much!!
Gang Of Four - I'll be polite... I didn't like them!
The Beat - Great! The right band in the right place, it was cold, the crowd needed warming up. They sang, we sang! They danced, we danced!
U2 - I had only discovered this band from Ireland a few months before and was really looking forward to seeing them perform live. Incredible is the best way to describe their performance (which was Bono's favourite word to describe the crowd that day)! Bono had recently started climbing the PA system at shows (which was soon to become a habit), this guy knew how to work a crowd... and still does...
Next was what we all had been waiting for.... The Police. They did a great set with Sting in good spirits especially as he was back in his home town. He was interviewed for local TV before the show and said "I'm very nervous. I think you need to be nervous to do a good show, but I'm particularly nervous. My Mum's here, my Granny's here!" Both Sting's Mum and Granny agreed on being 'Very proud' of Sting that day!
An interesting feature of this video is that none of the on stage banter (notably Sting's swearing) and chat between the songs had been edited. If you own the 'Outlandos To Synchronicities' video check out the 'Demolition Man' track from Gateshead, notice Sting does not swear. Some pretty nifty editing has been done there as he swears like a trooper throughout this song. This concert was also recorded by channel 4's TV show The Tube, the highlights of the concert with interviews were broadcast on C4 at a later date.
By Wendy & Dave