Final farewell tour of Police drives crowd to cheers...
May 17, 2008 

Dear Police (Messrs. Sting, Summers and Copeland), I would normally never request that you, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and iconoclastic sonic pioneers, ever emulate any other band or performer, because you're absolutely legendary and everybody ought to want to be you.

But we saw your breathtaking, memory-rattling, "Ee-oh"-making show at Cruzan Amphitheatre Saturday night, in what you swear is your last tour ever. And frankly, this makes us weep.

So we're going to ask that, just this once, you be like Cher. And we don't mean the leotard.

We mean we want you to extend this so-called farewell tour another, oh, four or five legs.

At least.

The band that brought a sold-out crowd to its feet at Cruzan looked a little different from the way it did last July at Dolphin Stadium.

For one, Sting's got this salt-and-pepper beard working that makes him look more like a tanned, Corona-swigging guitarist playing Police songs on the beach than the clean-shaven gent we saw last time.

And that's appropriate, because as good and tight as they were last year, the Police are that much more relaxed and comfortable now.

They played all the songs you'd expect, most of them tweaked slightly in the arrangements but not unrecognizably so.

'King of Pain's' ominous minor chords morphed into the steady reggae-tinged pleadings of 'So Lonely'.

'Driven to Tears' became a luscious jazz jam, and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' began with a lighter bounce and exploded into a joyous symphony of "Ee-ohs" timed to drummer Stewart Copeland's pounding beat.

It was all just delicious, building on the goodwill established by opener Elvis Costello and the Imposters.

There was a little bit of an unevenness in Costello's earlier songs, but once the mix was right, it was amazing.

By the first encore, which ended with 'Every Breath You Take', the crowd was delirious, and the only thing that could be a downer was the fact that this was supposed to be the end.

© Palm Beach Post by Leslie Gray Streeter

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