The Police/Elvis Costello: Every little thing they do is magic...
Near the reviewers' seats during the Police concert at Superpages.com Center on Wednesday were several young people dancing giddily throughout the show, including one guy who seemed to have learned all his moves from the 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' video, which he replicated with abandon.
It was a little distracting, but why complain? After all, isn't this supposed to be part of what concerts are all about - losing yourself to the music, letting it possess you a little? And it's hard not to get caught up when Stewart Copeland hits that drumbeat that signals the big tempo change in 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' or Andy Summers launches a screaming guitar-solo blitz during 'When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around' or Sting exhorts you to sing along with his ''yeahs'' and ''ee-yos'' or when the whole band punches into overdrive on 'Can't Stand Losing You'.
Given the receptive crowd, Sting probably could have sung the ingredients on a candy-bar wrapper and had complete audience control, but he and his bandmates weren't about to coast. Seeming relaxed and loose, they took a (mostly) straightforward approach to big hits like 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' and 'Every Breath You Take' (although 'Roxanne' got a nice stretched-out treatment), saving the change-ups for deeper cuts such as 'Demolition Man' and 'World is Running Down'.
As always, Copeland was a combination of power and finesse, while Summers let loose several machine-gun solos. Sting's voice was, if anything, richer than it was when these songs were in the prime more than 25 years ago. It's a neat trick to take a reunion tour on its second stop through Dallas and not make it feel like a nostalgia act.
Speaking of rich voices, Elvis Costello's was in fine form for his nearly hour-long opening set with the Imposters, which was highlighted by Sting coming out to help Costello sing 'Alison', a surprisingly good meshing of disparate voices.
Costello and his band - the ever-versatile keyboardist Steve Nieve, muscular drummer Pete Thomas and reliable vocalist/bassist Davey Faragher - followed their usual recipe of combining new stuff (unfailingly picking the best cuts from the brand-new 'Momofuku') with Costello war horses ('Alison', 'Watching the Detectives') and the occasional surprise (the 1983 hit 'Every Day I Write the Book'; 'Clubland', the lead track from 1981's 'Trust').
But it must be a little frustrating for Costello, who has headlined North Texas shows many times, to be an opener, even if it does get his songs in front of a larger crowd than he usually plays to. By the end of his set, as he did extended versions of 'Watching the Detectives' and '(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding', you got the feeling that he didn't want to leave. Wonder if he went and jammed somewhere after the show?
(c) The Star-Telegram by Robert Philpot