Jan
22
2008

Brisbane, QLD, AU (Suncorp Stadium)

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With Fiction Plane, Fergie

SHOW REVIEW

The Police Extravaganza Visits Brisbane...

It's been nearly 24 years since Australian audiences have witnessed the live music of legendary band The Police - all the more reason why 30,000 eager fans crowded into Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane for their first Australian show.

Fans that took to their seats early, witnessed the talents of support band Fiction Plane, fronted by Sting's son Joe Sumner; they played a mix of songs from their two albums 'Left Side Of The Brain' and 'Everything Will Never Be Okay'.

A song and dance extravaganza from US pop songstress Fergie caught the audience's attention as she bounced about the stage accompanied by her well choreographed dancers; she thanked Sting and his band for inviting her to perform and included hits 'Big Girls Don't Cry' and 'London Bridge'. Fergie gave an energetic nod back to the Aussie fans that have shown her so much support - she is soaking up the highs of her extraordinary singing career and also her contentment at being engaged to actor Josh Duhamel.

By the time The Police opened their set the audience were ready to embark on a memorable wander down the bands five-album long career; now sporting a grey beard and a few more wrinkles, Sting prompted the crowd to sing along to opener 'Walking On The Moon'. A special sound echoed throughout the stadium, along with the high-level of musicianship displayed by Sting on bass, Andy Summers on guitar and Stewart Copeland on drums. Sting made the whole job look easy as the band breezed through a collection of their hits: 'Message In A Bottle', 'Roxanne', 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' - the rock 'n' reggae sound proved highly infectious with the fans singing along to every ya-ya-ya and de-da-dah-dah.

Apart from one or two lengthy instrumentals, the performance proved smooth and professional; the audience joined in once again with the encore of hits 'King Of Pain', 'So Lonely', 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Next To You' - an unforgettable ending to a long-awaited show!

(c) Special Days Pty Ltd



Police arrest Brisbane crowd...

The last time The Police performed in Brisbane, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen and Malcolm Fraser were in power, IBM was poised to release its first PC and the cricket world was reeling from a Trevor Chappell underarm delivery.

But 56-year-old bassist-lead vocalist Sting, 65-year-old guitarist Andy Summers, and 55-year-old drummer Stewart Copeland appear just as enthusiastic but much greyer than they were in February 1981.

The trio - who split in 1984 but have re-formed for one of the biggest rock tours in recent history - opened the Australian leg of their tour at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium tonight.

The concert opened with 'Message In A Bottle' from 1979's 'Reggatta de Blanc' album and spanned the band's seven-year history, blending punk, rock and reggae.

The set list also included the hits 'Don't Stand So Close to Me', 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' and 'Roxanne'.

The Police are supported by Fiction Plane - fronted by Sting's 31-year-old son Joe Sumner - and global chart-topping singer Fergie, who has had a stunning solo career since her group the Black Eyed Peas took a break.

An all white clad Fergie demonstrated her versatility, first launching into the hip-hop beats and eroticism of her solo work and a medley of Black Eyed Peas material.

After a brief explosion of break dancing by her energetic troupe to a sax-laden jazz jam, she came on in black leather for a rock medley including tracks by Led Zeppelin and the Rolling stones followed by a searing update of Heart's 'Barracuda'.

A third costume change saw her dressed in gold to perform more of her solo pop material.

(c) The Brisbane Times by Paul Osborne



Police still pack a sting...

The Police were an unusual mix: brilliant musicians who also knew how to construct concise, timeless pop-rock tunes, pumped up with some punk-inspired energy and danceable reggae rhythms.

Just how timeless those songs were was apparent at last night's Suncorp Stadium show, the opening night of the Australian leg of their globe-girdling reunion tour.

It was their first Brisbane appearance since they played Festival Hall almost 27 years ago, when at the height of their success.

Things have certainly changed since then. It certainly didn't cost $99 to get in, the cheapest ticket last night, and there were no huge video screens. This reviewer was at the 1981 show, and what sticks clearly in the mind is what a massive sound they created with just three guys.

That is still a major part of the attraction, with guitarist Andy Summers, now 65, and drummer Stewart Copeland, 55, creating the complex rhythms which colour the infectious melodies delivered by Sting, 56. No added players, back up singers or the like - just three men creating a mountain of sound.

How would the crowd of about 30,000, now older and wiser, react? Straight to their feet with the opening notes of 'Message In A Bottle', and there they remained for the rest of the show.

The set featured a balance of the mega hits from 'Walking On The Moon', to 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'Roxanne', while album tracks like 'Synchronicity II', which gives the chance for them to spread their musical wings.

If ever a band was primed for a return to the stage it's The Police, looking fit and lean and with Sting sporting a new beard. He says he grew it to fit in while on holiday in Byron.

His vocal power and range is as strong as ever while Copeland is a show in himself, pushing the band forward with a jaw-dropping display of virtuosity, energy and athleticism.

Sure there's a lot of reunion shows about, but this was certainly one that rocked as hard and was as much fun as the first time around.

(c) The Courier Mail by Noel Mengel



The Police still have the magic...

''Are you ready to sing,'' Sting said, launching into The Police's 'Walking On The Moon'.

And sing is what many of the 30,000 or so fans did in Brisbane last night as the band played its first Australian show in almost 24 years at Suncorp Stadium.

Some of that audience may have remembered singing that same song all those years ago.

Grey beards and wrinkles aside, not a lot has changed since The Police ended their first phase in 1985.

The parade of hits is much the same: 'Walking On The Moon', 'Message In A Bottle', 'Roxanne', 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'. The list goes on and on.

If there is a difference, it's that the level of musicianship in the three individuals - bassist and vocalist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland - has improved. Six months on the road hasn't done their cohesion any harm either.

Good-looking, talented songwriter Sting makes it all look so easy while his two colleagues labour slightly more. His singing is faultless. However, Copeland excels with his crossed rock and reggae rhythms, while Summers is mostly tasteful in colouring and underpinning Sting's melodies.

If there is a fault, it's in the extended instrumental interludes, one or two of which overstay their welcome. Other than that, this is a polished performance by one of the most original and innovative rock bands of the 1980s.

The encores - 'King of Pain', 'So Lonely', 'Every Step You Take' and 'All I Want Is To Be Next To You' - served only to underline the strength and depth of a catalogue that stands the test of time. New album, anyone?

Earlier, US pop superstar Fergie thanked The Police for inviting her along, but she must have felt a little odd being the warm-up act last night. The biggest-selling artist in Australia last year was brought on The Police reunion tour of the country to bolster ticket sales.

This may at least have placated some reluctant teenagers brought along by parents rediscovering their youth. Fergie's highly choreographed performance, with more dancers than musicians and including hits 'London Bridge' and 'Big Girls Don't Cry', was a surprisingly effective teaser for the main event.

Opening the program was Sting's son Joe Sumner and his band Fiction Plane. Playing material from their two albums 'Left Side of the Brain' and 'Everything Will Never Be Okay', they sounded like a cross between Sumner senior's band and U2.

The Police tour continues in Sydney tomorrow before travelling to Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth.

(c) The Australian by Iain Shedden

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