Police Surveillance - Check out what the critics are saying about the Police tour...
Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic.com
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ
"Surrounded by a stunning stage show that included five huge video screens, six pillars with stage lights that rose and fell all night, conjuring images of the moon and ocean floor, Sting, a former school teacher who looks like he hasn't aged a day in three decades, strutted, leaped and rocked his way around stage all night. His voice seemed as crisp as it was the day millions first heard him sing about a prostitute named Roxanne."
- Poughkeepsie Journal
"The Police closed the night with a phenomenal 100-minute set that demonstrated why their reunion tour has been met with such rapturous response. The jam that Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland engaged in during 'When the World is Running Down' would have blown away bands three times their size. Just one reason why they're legends."
- Richmond Times-Dispatch
NEW YORK, NY
"Sting's high, keening voice was an enduring miracle in itself. He still sings many of them in his own shows, often in different, more careful form. But at the Garden, he played the songs with Copeland and Summers the way the three invented them together - with arresting force."
- Rolling Stone
"Sting was in superb voice as a singer, and in fine form as a bassist - he guides the band from both extremes of register - and he appeared almost suspiciously well preserved. So did his songs, which of course are the engine behind the Police's success, now as then. Because even the mega-hits hew to a fundamental sound, there was little differentiation in the show between what were once singles and B-sides."
- The New York Times
"There are other rock reunions this summer - Genesis, Squeeze, Crowded House. But this one is by far the most notable. It's not just that The Police were hugely popular and influential from the late 1970s until they broke up in the mid-'80s. But there was a chemistry to the trio that is impossible to reproduce with other musicians. Everyone played a vital role, like The Beatles, or The Who in their Townshend/Daltrey/Moon/Entwistle prime."
- Newark Star Ledger
"The Police retained all the lean sinew and pop flair that made them the world's biggest band back when they last hit town in August 1983 at Shea Stadium. Certainly, they didn't stint on the hits. They stuck almost entirely to their best-known material in a nearly two-hour show that started with a full-throttle take on 'Message in a Bottle'."
- New York Daily News
"The gig was outstanding, start to finish... One of the reasons this band commanded such respect with stars and regular fans alike was they've remained true to their original melodies, but playful with the arrangements."
- New York Post
"The band was set up as a trio, sounding raw and virile. It was simple guitar, bass and drums, save for the looped backing vocal that mysteriously appeared on several occasions. Sting introduced both Summers and Copeland as "legends" as the ensemble loped through 'Walking on the Moon', 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' and 'When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around'."
- The Republican
"The lighting and screen projections also gave the performance a nice feel. For example, the dinosaur bones walking on the large stage television screens had a nice complementary effect during 'Walking In Your Footsteps'. The lighting was also strong during 'Synchronicity II' and 'Can't Stand Losing You'. Perhaps the best projection moment was during the final song of the evening, 'Next To You'. During the performance, a collage of the band was played that showed the three guys during their old touring days."
- The Journal Inquirer
"After running through the repertoire of hits, including 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'Invisible Sun', the band closed the set with 'Roxanne', the crowd singing along the infamous, infectious lines. In the end, it was just three guys on stage playing their hearts out - no extras, no frill - showing that what made them famous 30 years ago is what will keep them popular for another 30."
- New Haven Register
"The show was brisk and professional, and the band has been on the road long enough this summer to regain the incredible musical chemistry that was such an important part of the Police in its first incarnation. The songs, starting with opener 'Message in a Bottle' and continuing all the way through the final encore, 'Next to You,' sounded tight but relaxed, and with room for variations."
- Hartford Courant
"To the band's credit, the Police's current tour isn't about sounding just like they did 25 years ago, or sounding just like the records. Rather, it's about recapturing their mojo as an improvisational rock trio who can rearrange songs on the fly."
- Boston Phoenix
"The Police know their hits, they know the fans want to hear the hits, and the hits are what they play."
"Among the night's themes were frequent tempo changes, long guitar interludes and masterful percussion work from drummer Stewart Copeland. Guitarist Andy Summers played the sturdy and occasionally inspired counterpart to front man Sting, whose bass lines, vocals and considerable charisma helped carry the show"
- Boston Herald
"The still-great Police aspire to something even greater. Last night at Fenway Park the band aimed for - and often found - that elusive sweet spot between nostalgic singalongs and contemporary relevance. The show opened with a bang: 'Message in a Bottle' and 'Synchronicity II', both crisp and jittery, fog machine cranked to 10. Sting stalked the stage in tight black jeans tucked into combat boots, and a carefully torn white T-shirt, while Andy Summers spun out subtly-textured shards of guitar and drummer Stewart Copeland played everything but the beat."
- Boston Globe
"Sting played the suave, concerned rock god, with his keening voice and fleet-fingered reggae-influences bass playing in fine shape. The extensions and improvisations the group was always famous for kept the material fresh."
- Providence Journal
"This was the Bell Centre as it's rarely seen for concerts - packed to the rafters, with electricity in the air... And the hits flowed freely - 'Wrapped Around Your Finger', 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da', 'Can't Stand Losing You', a climactic rendition of 'Roxanne', and the soothing release of 'Every Breath You Take'."
- The Montreal Gazette
"...this was a bravura performance - the ever-charismatic Sting brought out every emotional nuance in his lyrics, and the crowd - many of whom were relishing their first chance to see a band whom they loved in their youth - were ecstatic."
- The National Post
"...last night's masterful, arena-tweaking extended version of 'So Lonely' was an entire curtain call in itself, the preceding, jubilant kick at 'King of Pain' notwithstanding - but they contributed to the most consistently interesting and least tawdry or phoned-in-feeling reunion gig to pass through Toronto at this level in years."
- The Toronto Star
"Beginning with 'Message In a Bottle', the trio of musicians seemed primed from the opening note on their stripped-down, in-the-round stage which boasted massive lights, speakers, overhead video screens but little else in the way of distractions. The point is really that this tour is supposed to be about the music and frankly when the music is this good - the strong opening continued with 'Synchronicity II', 'Walking On the Moon', the latter inspiring a crowd singalong on the chorus with Sting and Summers doing a walkabout on their massive circular catwalk, and 'Voices Inside My Head'/'When the World is Running Down You Make the Best of What's Still Around' - that's probably not a bad call."
- The Toronto Sun
"The Police weren't content to just be a nostalgia act, showing their musical excellence throughout on songs like the slower 'Walking On the Moon'..."
- Lancaster New Era
"What never tarnishes about this band is its lyrics - among the most clever in all of popular music, unique in their complexity and just plain enjoyable to hear over and over again."
- Intelligencer Journal
"What has always made the Police a distinctive pop band is their predilection for turning crisp, catchy pop songs inside out. Sting's cocksure, rubbery bass lines came to the fore, Summers' shimmery and spiky guitar parts attacked from odd angles, Copeland's punchy polyrhythms provided musical shading. And at the Bank, in a top-notch, nearly two-hour, greatest-hits show chock-full of musicianly bubblegum, those strengths were in full effect."
- The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Police reunion rocks the Palace... they're still playing at the top of their game, both recreating and refreshing one of the most potent and creatively challenging catalogs in pop music."
- The Oakland Press
"Songs like 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da', 'Roxanne', and 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' have lost none of their shine and energy. With a catalogue of songs that is the envy of any band, The Police could play for hour after hour without repeats. As it was, they packed everything into a concise, well-tuned couple of hours, including encores."
- The Windsor Star
"They are a band again, but a band that's learning to grow in front of our very eyes. It's kind of exciting to think that a group that appeared long dead could actually come out of creative hibernation and make durable music again."
- The Flint Journal
"...the individuals' mutual respect for one another was apparent and undeniable. When Sting and Summers stood side by side while Summers burned through a fiery solo, the moment lived up to the tour's huge billing."
- The Detroit News
"The Police perform in perfect synchronicity... It felt as if they never had called it quits as the comeback trail led through Cleveland for these resurgent Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, with 'Message in a Bottle' kick-starting a two-hour hit parade... More than 20,000 fans provided backing vocals on 'Roxanne' and several other tunes, including an effervescent 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'..."
- The Plain Dealer
"Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland came out roaring with 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Synchronicity II'. The songs were quick reminders of why the band made such an impact in 1978: its mix of pop, rock and reggae remains distinctive enough that no other band has successfully mimicked it."
- Louisville Courier-Journal
"This was essentially music designed, executed and brought back to life in a trio format. Perhaps that explained the refreshing stylistic breadth of the program...Such rich, involving sound came not from some revue-style rock orchestra. It was provided by three guys with a learned drive that gave The Police a purpose."
- Lexington Herald-Leader
"...the group didn't seem to miss a beat. Sting sounded as sharp as ever as the band played hit after hit."
- The Cincinnati Enquirer
"Oh my, do the Police have some killer songs, more than 20 of which they rocketed out boom-boom-boom over the course of a two-hour show...they can still deliver the goods."
- The St.Petersburg Times
"Without fireworks or self-important videos about the group's history, the reunited band was able to approach its music without over-doing the nostalgia. For a reunion a long time coming, it was worth the wait."
- The Orlando Sentinel
"From the roar that greeted The Police on Wednesday night, it seemed as if the crowd of 21,077 had spent the 20-plus years since the trio last toured awaiting its return. The threesome, in the midst of a reunion tour few fans thought they'd ever see, delivered a hit-filled set to the sold-out St. Pete Times Forum crowd."
- The Tampa Tribune
"A crowd surpassing 45,000 people got just about everything it could have wanted from the occasion... Any band that wants to write punchy, memorable songs can still learn a lot from Roxanne's mix of melodrama and sharp musicality."
- Ft.Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
"Sting's elegant enunciation of every heart-wrenching word of 'Message In A Bottle,' followed by the hypnotic "E-oh-oh" chant of 'Synchronicity II,' the reggae bop of 'Walking On The Moon' and the band's combined powers on 'Voices Inside My Head/When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best of What's Around,' a showcase for Sting's deliciously tight bassline, Copeland's steady beat and Summers' guitar prowess...The Police might not ever tour again, but they proved Tuesday night that their collaboration's success was not a period flash-in-the-pan or fad - it was deserved, because they're just that good. Do believe the hype."
- Palm Beach Post
"Copeland's polyrhythmic, world-beat percussion on 'Walking in Your Footsteps' and Sting's plump bass playing turned what was once a minor album cut into a stadium natural...The reunited Police played with more precision than they did 25 years ago." - Miami Herald
"What made this reunion crackle was when all three players found the spark that put them together in the first place. It came during 'So Lonely', a song from their first album. The band turned to each other for inspiration, Sting resting his head on Summers' shoulder as the guitarist released strong solos that stretched across Copeland's continually tumbling rhythms."
- The Chiacgo Daily Herald
ST. PAUL, MN
"'Walking in Your Footsteps' started as an exotic funk and built into the night's first groove... The band was truly cooking on a hard-driving treatment of 'Can't Stand Losing You'... Sting was on target with 'King of Pain'. During 'So Lonely', he stalked the stage and ended up jamming with Summers, which was the kind of camaraderie and musicianship fans had hoped for..."
- The Star-Tribune
ST. LOUIS, MO
"...the rock-reggae band gets points for using this opportunity to stretch some of its biggest hits into new shapes and sizes... the band's adventuresome nature, and the fact they may never tour again, easily made it the one water cooler musical event that'll leave fans talking for a long time to come."
- The Post-Dispatch
NEW ORLEANS, LO
"...on a sleek, simple, open stage, they served up one hit after another with more precision and heft than in their heyday."
- The Times Picayune
"...three guys were all that was needed to bring this set home. No auxiliary guitarists, no touring keyboardists, no backing vocalists. So it was the Police. The Police as you remember them, certainly sonically."
- The Houston Chronicle
"The influential band, performing its first Dallas gig in 23 years and the first half of a two-night stand, launched into 'Message in a Bottle', drawing enthusiastic cheers and the assistance of 20,000 backup singers."
- The Star Telegram
"The Police aren't content to crank out their classics note for note. They want to reinvent them... 'Walking in Your Footsteps' sped into a brilliant ska-tempo rocker While 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' slowed to a stunning psychedelic dub. 'Roxanne' (still the best song ever written about a prostitute) slowly twisted and turned into an act of high drama."
- Dallas Morning News
LOS ANGELES, CA - DODGER STADIUM
"The Police have always been a band that thrived on energy, whether from within its fractious framework or from the sing-along call of hordes of fans. Here, they seemed to feed on both... It was a near-perfect way to end this once-unthinkable series of Police shows - soaring on high notes and human electricity."
- The Orange County Register
"This was no ordinary greatest-hits show. The trio kept themselves off the nostalgia bandwagon and exercised their might as musicians by tweaking some of the more familiar numbers, making them soar to newer and greater heights."
- LA Weekly
"At the Honda Center, from the first notes of opener 'Message in a Bottle', through the rattling timbre of 'Synchronicity II' and into the bubbling bounce of 'Walking on the Moon', frontman/bassist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer/percussionist Stewart Copeland were firing on all cylinders. The songs sounded fresh and the delivery was honest, two of the hardest things to attain on a reunion of this stature."
- Live Daily
LOS ANGELES, CA - STAPLES CENTER
"The program the Police are offering on their reunion tour could have just as easily been a show from 1986 or '87, a time when the band would have been at or near the height of its powers and a string of greatest hits dates would have filled stadiums. In going back to the drawing board, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland have chosen to ignore the last 20 years and where their music has taken them; this is a bona-fide return to the old days "
"The Police haven't played a major concert tour in 23 years, but that didn't stop the legendary trio from reaching far beyond tried-and-true versions of their '80s rock classics Monday at US Airways Center in Phoenix. At the best moments, the reunited bandmates added energy and complexity to their songs."
- The Arizona Republic
"Sting...looked and sounded like the young punk who co-founded The Police 30 years ago, singing in his trademark high tenor while thumping out his innovative bass lines. But while Sting is the showman, Summers' and Copeland's musical contributions were always just as essential to The Police's unique sound as Sting's voice. Both were in top form at the US Airways Center Monday with Summers' melodic chord phrasings and Copeland's dexterous stick work creating the reggae-meets-punk-meets-pop sound that separated the band from the rest of the post-punk pack in the late '70s."
- East Valley Tribune
BONNAROO FESTIVAL, TN
"The Police sounded vital, still fascinated by Sting's songs and ready to tear into them anew. Like other reunited bands, the Police could easily have copied the versions of their songs that everyone remembers. But as musicians, they'd rather jam a little."
- New York Times
"It's amazing just how much music these three musicians can create - and it's to their credit that they didn't bring additional musicians or backing tapes - but it's also remarkable how much more they put on their recordings."
- USA Today
LAS VEGAS, NV
"Performing in Las Vegas for the first time, the band's tunes were a mix of economy and extravagance, at once Spartan and sophisticated, defined largely by their symmetry. Playing to a sold-out MGM Grand Garden, the band was at its best when plumbing the crevices of their hit-filled catalog to uncover new shapes and forms hidden in the shadows."
- Las Vegas Review-Journal
"After all these years, Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland still sound great together. They clearly have benefited from their 23-odd year hiatus."
- The San Francisco Examiner
"Guess there's no time like the past when it comes to the Police. But it's certainly a history worth celebrating, a band that took reggae, pop and post-punk, blended it all together, and made the music bounce up and down like it was riding a pogo stick"
- The Sacramento Bee
"What mattered to fans in the packed arena was it was these guys, playing those songs... a lavish technological setup on an oval stage never took the focus off the three musicians in its center, looking intently into each other's eyes and recreating the chemistry that made them the biggest band in the world... Overall, certainly one of the more real and successful reunions in years."
- The Rocky Mountain News
"Drummer Stewart Copeland, guitarist Andy Summers and bassist-vocalist Sting laid down an impressively varied set on Saturday that proved the band's mighty muscle, from the sprawling reggae-kissed anthem 'I Can't Stand Losing You' to the blatant jazziness of 'Roxanne'."
- The Denver Post
"In Seattle, the good vibes and celebratory nature of the opening shows in Vancouver were still evident in the band's spirited performance, as well as fans' excited reaction to seeing their longtime heroes back on stage."
- The Seattle Post Intelligencer
"Competing with the memory of your own greatest performances is a daunting proposition. But the Police... managed to pull this feat off ...By the end of the show, pumping out those insistent punk/new wave beats, they had worked their magic. It felt like 1983 all over again."
- The Seattle Times
"The important thing for most of the 30,000 fans in Commonwealth Stadium was the spontaneity, passion and energy these British rockers managed to bring across. This was no ordinary reunion tour done for the money... For more than two hours they went at it, getting better with each song."
- The Edmonton Sun
"They start with 'Message In A Bottle', an instant thrill. They've been rehearsing for two months and it shows: Copeland is a powerhouse at the drum kit, while Sting and Summers ooze relaxed concentration, like sportsmen who are trying hard not to try too hard. Sting sings better than he ever did in 1978 and The Police's sound comes through undated, perhaps because it was so quirky in the first place."
- The Mail on Sunday
"Two decades after splitting up, The Police are back - and they're already displaying signs of greatness...More than 20,000 fans roared with unbridled joy - and shed a few tears of gratitude - as Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers then played 'Synchronicity II', 'Spirits in the Material World' and other hits from their five albums. Happiness was also written all over Sting's face as the trio ripped through furious renditions of 'Voices Inside My Head' and 'When the World Is Running Down'."
- The Edmonton Journal
"That old familiar Police magic was back in full force"
- The Globe & Mail
"With atmospheric guitarist Andy Summers, wildly percussive drummer Stewart Copeland and even Sting himself embarking on structural, rhythmic and melodic digressions from and excursions around the central themes of what, in essence, are incredibly succinct and classically structured songs... it is hypnotically mesmerising, sucking you into a sonic and harmonic jigsaw of musical interaction before delivering you back to the comfort zone of the chorus."
- The Daily Telegraph
"...The night felt more celebratory than nostalgic...These familiar but resurrected hits were delivered with the kind of conviction that originally made the Police the sincere rock band you could love without guilt."
- Rolling Stone