And so the comeback has gone. On Thursday night in New York, 19,000 ecstatic fans witnessed The Police finally say farewell with a raucous, two-hour concert in the city where the band first played in the US thirty years ago.
At least, they promised this is a final farewell but rockers have a way of being persuaded back to the stage if enough people clap and the cheering among this middle-aged crowd was loud from the moment Sting appeared and barely diminished through the final bow.
It is easy to understand the adulation. The fans were mostly teenagers when The Police exploded onto the music scene in 1978. Seeing the band live gave them a chance to leap up and down to hits like 'Roxanne', 'Message in a Bottle' and 'Walking on the Moon' like the kids they were.
And even though Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland have lost the high-wired vibrancy of their heyday, the three are such accomplished musicians they succeeded in making each song seem authentically alive.
Summers may have the jowly slowness of a secondary school dinner lady, but the man is a magician with his guitar. Copeland plays the drums with the energy of an eight-year-old and Sting, for all the annoyances of these last two lute-filled decades, has a voice quite unlike any other which has held up gorgeously well.
© Daily Telegraph by Tim Geary