Witness Reports - The Police at the Whisky...
LOCATION:Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles
TIME OF INCIDENT: 11am Pacific Time
WITNESSES: Fan Club contest winners
Still on Cloud Nine!!
First of all, I would like to thank Tina, Wendy, and Dave for their hard work getting 20 tickets for the Sting.com members for the big announcement at the Whiskey a Go Go. (They do a wonderful job maintaining the website as well!) When I found out I was one of the lucky Golden Ticket winners, I was so overjoyed! I never win anything - except free small fries at McDonald's. I couldn't be any happier.
I really enjoy meeting fellow Sting.com members at the Backstage CafÃ© and watching the Grammy's. Everyone's enthusiasm was infectious! It was great to hear about either own personal stories. I met Maggie, Kathy, Kevin, and Kirsten for the first time, and saw Michelle again since our meeting at Tiger Jam last year. It was great to see their laughter and enjoyment.
Standing across the street from the Whiskey at 7 a.m. the next morning, the level of excitement was still very strong. I met Nicole and another Stewart Copeland website winner, as well as a radio station winner, Ted. They were equally happy to finally get to see The Police!! Kevin summed it up in a funny way. When he drove up to the line, he shouted out of his car, ''Good Morning Fellow Stalkers!!''
Seeing Stewart, then Andy, and then Sting arriving made the excitement grow!! I couldn't believe it. I made it to L.A. from Oregon without any problems, and I get to see the band that I thought that I was never able to get to see.
When we were able to get in line in front of the Whiskey, I saw everything coming together such as the media interviewing fans, some famous people arriving, and everyone's ID checked thoroughly. The best part of waiting in line was listening to The Police sound check through the building. Some in line were just trying to guess which song they were playing, and others were putting their ear on the building to get the entire experience of the vibrations. (Including me!)
I went in and got my place right in front of Andy's microphone. I couldn't believe I was so close. They played an audio clip of Sting saying that he would be certified insane for a Police Tour. Seeing Stewart's smile while bounding down the stairs made me start to appalled, then Andy entered waving, and Sting entered and suggested if anyone wearing white coats to let them in.
The music was great!! I watched them played my favourite song, 'Message in a Bottle'. It was so good to see them together. Sting and Andy complimented each other musically. It was like a good conversation, both speaking with instruments. I watched their hands at work. It was as if the notes were effortless. Stewart's drumming was wonderful! I have even more admiration for him. He truly enjoys the moment. I stood there in awe the entire time!! I had eye contact with Andy and Stewart, and I had to look away out of embarrassment. I thought I had goofy, school girl look on my face. - Karen, Oregon
I am now a part of history!
Congratulations! You are one of the first twenty entrants to have your name drawn as one of the winners to attend ''The Police Rehearsals'' at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles on Monday, February 12.
It's 4:00 am on Friday, February 9th and I'm staring at the above introduction of the email I received from Tina, Dave & Wendy of Sting.com. The only words I utter are 'Oh My God' over and over and over. I can barely compose myself to hit the reply button to say YES I can definitely be there. I honestly had never seriously considered that I would win. I don't win things. I always get in the long line at the bank and get stuck in slow traffic. I accept these things, as they are a part of my life. Winning something so huge as this is unfathomable, a dream come true.
My weekend was laced with Police overtones and memories of all the times I have seen Sting. I discovered the Police as a teen in 1982. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to see them play together before they broke up. I did watch Mtv daily and they played 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' constantly! This song became my anthem and subsequently the nickname ELTSDIM given to me by a former boyfriend. The nickname stayed with me throughout the remainder of high school and my adult life.
Monday morning came so fast. As I approached the corner of Sunset and San Vicente I noticed a small group of people at the corner awaiting the go ahead to start the line-up. I am quite shy, so initial contact with any of them was out of the question. Stewart arrived and everyone shouted and clapped. We were motioned over a few minutes after 9:00 am and the excitement from the other winners settled my anxiousness and prompted me to engage in conversation with a few of them. I am so glad I did. The fans were great. Standing next to me, was Julie from Agoura Hills and a radio contest winner with her mother. The radio contest winner's mother told us many entertaining stories during our wait. A few minutes after we filed in line we noticed a black sedan and Andy appeared from it. Sting arrived last. He acknowledged us with a big smile and a wave. Personally I thought that was very cool of him. The next forty five minutes or so was spent watching the KROQ van circle numerous times and the correspondent from FOX news interviewing several fans. We were now getting restless and anxious for the doors to open.
Finally, they motioned us forward and we all rushed in to find a spot inside. It was already pretty full, so the fans that were nearest Me in line ended up on the corner next to Andy. This was no consolation prize, this was still a primo spot. Not much time elapsed from our entry until we heard the recording of Sting saying they would have to certify him insane if he ever rejoined the Police. I tried as hard as I could to remember ever detail, every second of my experience. However, still being in shock from the whole event, much of it is a blur. The music was amazing. The excitement amongst the guys was obvious. As said by many others, the banter was great and showed their willingness to come together as a team, a much wiser and accomplished group of musicians.
For me the most exciting part was the question and answer portion with the media. When I heard the correspondent from Mtv state his name, the thoughts in my head were 'Oh my God, Mtv is here', then CNN announced their question, and I thought 'Oh my God, CNN is here', then the BBC announced their question and AGAIN I thought 'Oh my God, the BBC is here'. It was all so surreal. I felt like a little kid! I still smile so hard when I think about it all. It was over so fast. A few of the winners were able to acquire Sting's autograph. I envy them, but also applaud them. What an incredible part of history to be connected to. I am seriously still so excited as if I just got the news a few minutes ago.
There is no word to express the gratitude I have for being given this once in a lifetime opportunity! Thank you Tina, Dave, Wendy, Sting, Andy, and Stewart! (and Shirley, my boss for allowing me the time off!) I'll see you in VEGAS! - Dannaj, California
I'm finally home from my spur-of-the-moment vacation to L.A.! I had a wonderful time, and of course THE highlight of the trip was to see the Police at the Whisky. I'll start with receiving my congratulations e-mail from Sting.com. I was at my parents' house, and they have horribly slow dial-up internet. I opened my e-mail program, and there was an email from Sting.com with the subject of CONGRATULATIONS! I clicked on it, and during the minute or two it took to load, (darn those slow connections!!), my stomach dropped and almost fell out my feet, I got very shaky, my heart was going a million miles an hour, and a million and one things went through my mind. It started with ''Did I really win???'' and then to ''surely not, it's got to be something else.'' ''but what?? That would be a horrible mean trick to play on someone.'' ''they wouldn't do that, that means it's real!'' Finally it loaded, and there, lo and behold, was the email telling me the wonderful news. I hollered at my parents that I had won, and immediately wrote back that I would be there. Whatever it took, dangit, I was going to be there!! The Police?? Really!?!?! Me?? I emailed everyone I knew that I thought would care (or even not). I was so excited. My heart was still going pitter-pat, and I could barely type. It took a long time to write such a short email to everyone. I will admit, I did cry a bit from the excitement. To explain my perspective a little more, let me back up. I have been a Police fan for ages. I fell in love with Every Breath You Take after borrowing my dad's Gold & Platinum cassette tape when I was maybe 10 years old. I had just barely started to listen to music and appreciate it. I bought my first Police tape, and the rest was history. The Police were already over, and Sting had put out his first solo album. I liked the Sting album, but absolutely loved everything Police.
Since I came along after the Police were already over, I had little, or really, NO, hopes of ever seeing them perform live. It was just a dream that could never happen. This seemed especially justified with all of Sting's constant comments of it never happening; it just seemed impossible. I was torn: I agreed with Sting in the fact that I didn't want to see them get back together and possibly not be all they used to be, just an old rock band still trying to relive their youth. I didn't really think this would be the case, but hey, it was possible. They've all changed immensely, therefore the music and atmosphere of everything would be changed as well. They were done, they'd had their Police days, now they were on to different things. But on the other hand, I wanted to see the Police myself, not just a dvd they I've watched over and over. (I have a few of those!) I've seen Sting in concert 5 times, and he's of course done a few Police songs, but it's just different. My dream (however impossible it is) is to be at the big Shea Stadium concert and the Police in all their glory. Ah if only I had a time machine...
When I received my congratulations email, it was such a flood of emotions it was overwhelming. I was going to live my dream of seeing the Police perform! How unreal. The ''special announcement'' could only be one thing, even though it was hard to believe after all of Sting's comments against such a happening. And I was going to be there in person to witness it! Mom said she would go with me to L.A., she could get the time off from work on short notice and we'd make a fun week of it while we were there. I bought our plane tickets, reserved a motel and a car. And Sunday night before the Rehearsals, we were off. I missed the Grammy performance that night, I was on a plane while the Grammy's were on.
The morning of the rehearsals, I was up early. I'm not a morning person, but I couldn't sleep very well that night and couldn't sleep at all much after 5. We weren't supposed to be outside the Whisky until after 9, but what could I do until then? There's only so long you can pace around a motel room before going insane, so we headed down to the Whisky. Might as well pace the streets there instead! I choked down half a bagel on the way there, I needed the nourishment but don't eat well when I'm stressed. I was stressed! The prospect of what I was about to witness was monumental, and the thought of possibly meeting the guys and getting autographs was almost too much to handle. When we got down by the Whisky, it was about 8:30. Mom and I walked down the road past the Whisky a little ways, surveying the scene. There was media everywhere, vans and cars and cameras and news crews swarmed the area. Across the street was a small group of people that looked as impatient and anxious as I felt, so I wandered over to them and mom headed back to the motel. They were also winners from Sting.com, and I had a good time meeting several of them and chatting about our wonderful fortune. Soon we were let across the street to start lining up next to the Whisky. We stood in line waiting to go in for two hours, but it felt like an eternity. Shortly after we were in line, the guys arrived. First Stewart, then a few minutes later Andy, then a few minutes later Sting. Sting gave a quick wave to us all before he ducked inside. Later as we were all standing there, we could hear them warming up and doing the sound check. Ah the torture to hear them so very close, just on the other side of the wall, but not to be admitted yet!!
Several celebrities were milling about waiting to go in, I personally saw the group Ok-Go, and I believe I saw both Kevin Eubanks (from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno) and Tore Belleci (from Mythbusters) walk by a couple times. I'm not positive it was them, but if not they were very good look-alikes! I heard from the front of the line a few other names, such as Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters. Around 11:00, we heard that the media were going in, and that they were a very long line indeed. All of the celebrities were also being admitted now. Where would that leave us? Finally we were about to find out, and we were let in. As soon as I got inside the door someone directed us toward the stage, saying ''contest winners get right up front.'' The wonderful magic words!! Directly in front of the stage was already occupied, so we went to the right hand side, right in front of where Andy always stands. No one was in front of us, so we expected a perfect unobstructed view. We were later disappointed by a camera man who kept bopping back in forth in front of us, but we did have pretty darn good spots nonetheless. I was 5 feet from Andy, maybe 10-15 feet from both Sting and Stewart. I was ecstatic. The Whisky is a very small venue, there were only about 200 people there I believe, and we were quite packed in. It made for a very personal feel, just wonderful.
The moment the Police took the stage was unreal. After all, it was the Police! They didn't exist any more, did they? Was I actually there witnessing this?? They started into Message In A Bottle first, and it was amazing. They were different than 25 years ago, but it definitely hadn't hurt anything. As Sting said later, ''There's no reason why we shouldn't be 25 years better than we were then, and we were good then.'' The press conference was wonderful just to hear the three of them joking and arguing together just like old times, albeit with a bit less tension and anger involved. Andy looked directly at me at one point, and we made eye contact. Wonderful! The 45 minute press conference and five songs flew by far too quickly, and the guys were off the stage again. Everyone stood there for a few minutes, disbelieving it was over already. I heard one person ask ''can we encore them?'' and a reply of ''I don't know, for a rehearsal??'' Soon security guards started herding us towards the door, and I managed to gra b a couple copies of the press release folder. Back outside everyone was still milling about, sad that it was over but happy at the prospect of the return of the Police and the upcoming tour, and the memory we had all just shared. It was wonderful to meet all of the other fans that were just as excited and overwhelmed about this experience as myself.
It was slightly disappointing to not have gotten to meet Sting Andy and Stewart, or to get an autograph. It was a thought in the back of all of our minds, and definitely a hope. It didn't happen, but it did not take away from the wonderful atmosphere of everything. It was definitely a once in a lifetime experience, and I wouldn't have traded it for anything. This was my lottery winning!!! I don't care what other people may say about the Beatles, the Police are the greatest rock and roll band that ever happened, and I feel so amazingly lucky to have been there for such a momentous occasion. Thank you so much to Sting.com and the wonderful people there for making this dream a reality. I look forward to seeing the Police in concert; I bought my tickets for Denver yesterday morning. THE POLICE ARE BACK BABY!!!!! - Sheila, Colorado
''In a word? ''UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE !!!!!!'' Okay that may be three words. Without having to get into the details as other Police fans just covered in their brilliant ways, (and as you can watch on sting.com and thepolicetour.com.) I have to say that I was having a very, very roll-a-coaster kind of week. As soon as I found out that I was going I had my wife read me the e-mail twice, cause I was going nuts and had lost it. Every problem I was having just vanished. First of all, thank you Sting.com for picking me. Which I have to mention that, once entering the dark and fog filled Whiskey. There was a woman guiding the ''Fans'' to the front. I still had to snake my way up to the actual stage. But, I really did appreciate the fact that they respected the fans and gave them the best spots in the house. As we arrived the 2nd floor was already full of media, friends and family of the band. So, thanks to the staff as well for seeing the importance of what role we played in such an historical event.
All of the years of being a fan, I had never experienced The Police as I did at the Whiskey. Being a mere 3 feet from them was unreal. Guys like me aren't supposed to be here. Actually touching the stage! As I arrived I saw other Sting.com winners. They were all super excited. I arrived shortly after 9 and there were perhaps 10 to 15 people already in line. Although they started at 11:00, I didn't really care how long they made us wait. I knew I was in regardless. Once they began to hand out the bracelets, which I kept on all day long, I still couldn't believe that I was at this historical event about to take place. I also felt that I needed to represent all of those true Police and Sting fans who also have dreamt of this sort of thing. Like my high school friends Bryan and Lisa. True Police fans. I owed it to those loyal fans who have bought every single record and CD. Every video, every t-shirt, every pin (I have over 200+ pins). For those real, true fans who at times couldn't get tickets. For those real fans who only get the nose bleeds, but yet have the best time ever as if in the first row. I had to go and experience this for those fans. I've been a ''nose bleed'' fan for a very long time. Yes I've been very lucky to see Sting up close. But The Police? NEVER. The energy inside the Whiskey was awesome. To see all of the other winners around me having a blast was contagious. I have to say, everyone who won really deserved to be there. They truly were excited and very appreciative in being there and experiencing what was about to happen. We were all living in the moment. I was really happy for all of us. We all represented all of you, the real fans. And not one winning ticket was wasted.
It hit me how lucky I was when all three took the stage. To see them together again is a dream come true. I'm reliving the 70's and 80's all over again. Logging on to their website just doesn't seem real. What? They're back? I've been such a devoted Sting fan for so long (just ask my family and friends). This just can't be happening, I kept saying to myself. I really got emotional several times. Thanking God for this opportunity. Thanking those three guys on stage for giving me a sound track to my life. I would be someone else if I didn't have the Police music in my life. Each of them are so talented. As Sting mentioned, they're even better now. Stewart had to point out how tight they were playing together, and they hadn't even practiced prior to that day. I was just going crazy. I couldn't really talk after the press conference. My voice was shot. My hands were so numb from clapping so hard. I almost lost my car keys from jumping so much. The only thing that upset me was that I obeyed the camera rule. Everyone had a camera. I didn't get a single picture. Can anyone share theirs... please??? I was so happy to hear them play together again. It was incredible. I never thought that I would be one of the very few in the world to see such a legendary band reunite and play together once again for the first time. This is a BIG FREAKIN DEAL PEOPLE!!! Many can't see the importance of this reunion. Many have taken Sting and The Police for granted. But watching The Police play together once again is just unreal. They have been so influential. I'm telling you now, buy your tickets. You will never forget this experience. They truly have some incredible work. I was happy that Sting mentioned that they would be sticking to just Police material. Keeping it simple with just the three of them. I think that respects the history much more. Going back to their roots, and playing because they love it and being true to themselves even after 21 years. It also shows the critics who have been unforgiving about their disagreements. It's always been about the music. As Stewart and Sting talked about. They all like and respect each other. I am happiest for Stewart. This is his band. As he said, ''I'm just happy to be able to play my drums man...'' He's willing to take Sting's lead. He too realizes what Sting means to the industry, and how influential they all have been. Something the industry has never really given them credit for. But the fans truly know what its about.
The biggest impression of that great day is that they were human at the Whiskey. That small little room wasn't too small for giants like The Police. They weren't taking them selves so seriously. They knew that this was and is a big deal for the music world. But, they were relaxed and just being themselves. They truly are humble, music loving folk. I keep telling people that this really isn't your typical Rock band getting back together because they need the money. What, Sting need more success? Boy, oh boy. That man has succeeded in everything he touches. The Police just have some unfinished business to take care of. I am SOOOO Freak'n happy about this reunion. I AM THE HAPPIEST POLICE FAN IN THE WORLD!!!! YO!!'' - Jerry, Pasadena
''I just entered on a whim, never dreaming there'd be a chance to see my
favourite band of all time once again. The Synchronicity tour in Cleveland in '83 was a very fond, but distant, memory. The Police made great music, and their music was always SO much fun!! I saw the congratulatory e-mail early Fri. morning. Ten minutes of complete euphoria was suddenly replaced by 'How in the hell am I gonna do this!!??' Well, I found a way, and it was the most amazing event I've ever attended!!!! I left Cleveland very early Sunday morning and at 4 degrees, with a strange urge to tip the plane de-icer man. We were off and on time with Delta!!!! After sipping some free water(!), I met the guy sitting across the empty middle seat to my right and soon learned that he was heading to L.A. for the Grammies! He was a music prof. at Syracuse who was nominated for....Best New Chamber music!!!!! Um...I was sound asleep in 10 minutes and landed in L.A. well-rested and ready to rock! (seriously, he was a good guy and I hope he won but never checked.)
The blindfolded dart throw of Priceline landed me at the Hollywood Hyatt on the Strip, right next to the Comedy Store, and about a half mile from the
Whisky. Knowing there was a winners' get-together at Ian's bar in Beverly Hills to watch the Grammies, I was fortunate to have the phone number of another winner. She was staying with or near a few more winners and soon we were all sharing a cab to the Backstage Cafe. I think about 8 or so from Sting.com and a few from Stewart's site were there. What a great group of people to meet,and in such a great atmosphere! Truly deserving winners they were, and the enthusiasm pegging the meter. After watching the greatest band ever open the Grammies, we stayed and drank a bit while some kind of comedy(okaaaay?) show was happening across the bar. Even bad comedy couldn't dampen our excitement! At one point, the emcee of the show goaded us into some kind of pep-rally, show-your-spirit type of screaming contest with the Police fans versus a group of 25 or 30 au pairs from East Bum. He called it about even, but there were only 7 or 8 of us left, so pound-for-pound, we shredded them.
Jet-lag came in very handy on Monday morning, as I was already showered and slamming coffee when my wake-up call came. After a quick breakfast at Mel's Diner (that Flo is still a hoot!), I drove up to the Whisky and was 13th to arrive, evidenced by the jersey sized number etched in permanent marker on my hand. I met a few more very friendly winners inline and was even lucky enough to have a 10 second or so sound byte of my interview with Fox broadcast on the Fox News Channel. My kids saw it and called me, so now I'm like the coolest Dad ever! As for the show, if you are reading this you probably saw it and/or heard about it through the very well written accounts of the winners who can type! Good job everyone in painting a true picture of how it all happened. Kathy, you can really write!!! Outstanding! The highlight for me had to be ''Cant Stand Losing You'', my all time co-favourite w/''So Lonely''. It was mentioned on the Broken Music Tour DVD that Sting never liked the song, but what song it is. I got the chills when I heard it begin, and they did a great job with it, except when some of the lyrics were read like a 5th grade book report for a line or two. That was quickly forgiven though and the event was electric! The fifty or so minutes flew by and soon, after the exit of the greatest band ever, we were quickly herded toward the exit by a persistent security staff, drunk with authority. At the door, 3 of us took a quick right toward the bar which was empty, but serving. Two beers and a Whisky A Go-Go T-shirt later, they finally pried us out of there.
Some of us met back at the Backstage Cafe again for lunch, drinks, and to gush about the event. I really want to thank the other fans I met, for it would have been much less of a trip without them. Kathy, Michelle, Maggie, Bob, Nicole, Kirsten, Julie, Lee, Shiela, Jean, Karen, Conroy (who came from D.C. without a ticket, but hoped to get in. Sorry man, you deserved one) and all others who made the trip more interesting: THANKS!!!! And thank you to Mother Nature, who extended my trip in L.A. an extra day by
cancelling my snowbound Wednesday flight. I hope none of you got caught up in that mess!!! So, Thursday night I arrived home to very excited 7 and 10 year old daughters, who wanted to sleep in their new Zenyatta Mondatta T-shirts I found on Melrose. After all, this was not a California trip. It was a POLICE trip, and I'll never forget it. Thank you, Sting.com!!!!!!! - Kevin, Cleveland
The early morning light peeks through a crack in the faded curtains. It's enough to draw me out from my bed. I stumble about bewildered in my hotel room, which is located directly between the tourist and seedy parts of Hollywood. In hindsight I really should have stayed somewhere else, but there simply wasn't much time to plan. As the light changes from grey to warm yellow I start to think about the bitter cold I left behind in Chicago. They are predicting zero temperatures and heavy snow there later today. I'm happy to be away from that mess, even if it is only for a few more hours. Although I've just told my boss that I'm not feeling well, truth be told, today is a great day. Today I feel fantastic.
I quickly stuff my belongings back into my suitcase. Down the stairs and out the door, soon I'm driving towards the famous Sunset Strip. I'm hours ahead of schedule but I don't want to take any chances. My mind races thought the infinite possibilities of relatively minor events that in any combination would certainly delay my arrival. I've waited too long and come to far to blow this at the last moment.The strip is unassuming in the daylight. It feels more like a financial district than a legendary rock capitol. The clubs are all painted with a flat black paint covering up decade's grime and lifetimes of stories. As I approach the 'Whiskey A Go Go' I start to see the first signs of activity. Something big is happening. This is why I've come, but I am not alone.
As one of the chosen 20, I assume my place at number 11. Texas, Michigan, Ohio, Washington, New York, etc. We all share the same story. At a moments notice we've all dropped everything in our lives just to be here. Without any assurances of what that might actually be. All riding on a hunch, and clinging to a dream. Hours pass by and soon we are inside... and that dream becomes real. STING, ANDY, STEWART: THE POLICE!
To some, all this excitement might seem incidental. After all Sting has kept this music alive, repeatedly dipping into the catalogue of Police hits on each successive tour. However successful those experiments were, I've always regretted not seeing the originators, who disbanded when I was just 13. Building upon Stings brilliant song writing, the trio created a signature sound that still resonates 30 years later. The unique backhanded drumming style of Stewart Copeland; which is just as much about sticks and rims, as it is skins and cymbals. Andy Summers' reggae inspired riffs or long harmonic chords that defy the 3-chord rock standard. And Sting's sparse syncopated bass filling in the low end while his voice soars high above. There was a raw energy to that sound that drifted indiscriminately somewhere between punk and jazz and rock and reggae. Today before my eyes, ears, and soul, it has returned. One unforgettable hour and 5 songs later. Just as they had done 23 years before, they disappear and as they say, ''leave them wanting more''. - Lee, Chicago
''I've been giddy as a school girl since first hearing the rumours of a possible Police reunion and tour on New Year's Eve and was thrilled and honoured to be chosen to attend the Police Rehearsals and tour announcement in Los Angeles on February 12, 2007. Michelle and I arranged our travel plans together shortly after learning we were both among the lucky winners. We met at the airport Sunday afternoon and shared a rental car and hotel room. We and a group of Police fans decided Sunday night after watching the Grammy's at the Backstage Caf and raising a toast to the memory of Ian Copeland that arriving early for the big event would be the best way to secure a great view of the performance. Although our invitations advised us not to arrive before 9 a.m., we were all much too excited and anxious to wait that long.
Michelle and I arrived at the Whisky a Go Go shortly before 7 a.m. at approximately the same time as two other fans. Security and news trucks were already out in force, and we arranged our own waiting line and began marking hands with a permanent marker to secure our status as the first fans to arrive. I was lucky number 4. Several more excited and nervous fans arrived soon after until we numbered around a dozen, and then we began the long wait. After 9 a.m. other contest winners began to show up, and our waiting line was moved to the side of the Whisky. There was so much nervous energy and excitement in the air along with a great sense of camaraderie as we waited together. Media people converged from every direction and soon there wasn't anywhere to turn without being in the eye of someone's camera. The media were looking desperately for fans to interview, and I obliged and talked with Fox News, Live Nation and CBS briefly.
All three band members arrived separately in black vehicles with tinted windows and were escorted immediately into a side entrance of the Whisky. Stewart was first at 9:05 a.m., followed by Andy at 9:10 a.m. Sting arrived last at 9:15 a.m. and waved quickly to the crowd. Rehearsal for the Police Rehearsals started shortly after this, and all the fans waiting in line were thrilled to hear Stewart's bass drum clearly and had fun guessing what songs were being played. We put our hands on the outside wall of the Whisky to feel the vibrations of the music and contemplate what we were about to witness. During this time the media began forming their own waiting line directly in front of the Whisky. By 10:15 a.m. the music stopped and all the VIPs started arriving. They were immediately allowed into the front of the building. Many celebrities and family members were spotted, and I felt like we were watching the red carpet arrivals at the Grammy's. I waved to Chris Botti as he arrived, and I'm pretty sure we saw Sting's daughters Kate, Mickey and Coco. We witnessed a number of women who were circling the joint and also entering as VIPs; we jokingly classified these women based on their attire as groupers, a deadly combination of groupie and hooker. It became obvious that the media and VIP guests far outnumbered the contest winners still waiting to be admitted, and we started to get nervous about where we would end up once we were allowed to enter.
Finally around 10:45 a.m. we were let in and immediately it was obvious that the Whisky was incredibly small. Fog filled the air and the lights were low. This created an eerie and disorienting sensation and made it impossible to recognize the people crowding the upstairs balcony. The venue was standing room only, and the floor was already crowded with media and VIPs. I would estimate approximately 200 people total were there. These people were not packed to the front, but casually standing about. We were allowed to pass through this group with no objections, and I quickly found my way to the front. A nice reporter gladly made room for me, and I ended up dead
centre in the front row facing directly towards Stewart's bass drum. Sting and Andy's beat up old instruments were waiting on the stage, and cameramen and crew were making last minute preparations. The media already had their press kits, and I was able to start reading the tour dates from the press kit of the reporter next to me while we waited. I immediately and joyfully saw that St. Louis was on the list of cities as I had hoped. The anticipation in the room was incredibly intense and continued to build by the moment.
The event started promptly at 11 a.m. and was available for all to see via a live webcast. I was stunned to find myself directly between Sting and Andy and no more than 5 feet away from either of them. While the majority of the media and VIPs watched with an air of indifference, the Police fans in attendance immediately began dancing, clapping and singing in celebration of the long awaited reunion of the Police. I forgot the media and VIPs while the Police performed and enjoyed the music as if I had been transported back to the early 80's. Sting, Stewart and Andy seemed to be enjoying themselves. The general atmosphere seemed casual and playful with all the joking and banter between the reunited band mates. I found it odd that Sting sat and chewed on his fingernails during the questions from the press when he was not speaking. Andy's guitar at times seemed incredibly loud to me, and he nearly tripped over a cameraman who failed to stay out of his way at one point. I was aware of cameras from every angle. The reporter next to me was kind enough to snap a photo of some of us in the front. From my viewpoint and with the fog it was impossible to turn around and see which reporters were asking questions. The stage looked so small with all the equipment and cameramen moving about once the Police hit the stage. When Sting playfully splashed Stewart's hair with water, I was so close that I actually felt a few drops myself.
It was over much too quickly and all the fans were forced to awake from the dream and requested by security to leave the venue almost immediately. Danny was on stage starting to clear Sting's equipment, and brought me Stewart's setlist after I called to him and asked if I could have it. We didn't want to leave, so instead went to get water from the bar, located and took a few of the remaining press kits, and then visited the ladies restroom. This restroom just happened to be strategically located by the stairs leading to the balcony, and we naturally took the opportunity to go upstairs with no objections from anyone. Some of the media remained upstairs and were finishing up an interview with Sting, who was standing at an entrance to a backstage door. We watched this from a close distance. Sting then disappeared and it was Andy's turn at the door. After Andy finished, Stewart walked out into the balcony area and began shaking hands and hugging people. He seemed genuinely overjoyed and appeared to be the happiest of the three by a long shot. It was a thrill to see him so happy, and I was flooded by a feeling of warmth and happiness myself just watching him. I never had the opportunity to deliver my letter from the Mayor of Springfield to Sting; this is an insignificant detail based on the events of the day. We decided it was time to go at that point and headed outside to see the last of the three black vehicles leaving. We hung around for a while longer and discussed the event with all the delighted fans.
All of the Police fans expressed similar sentiments about the occasion and reunion tour announcement before and afterwards: it is a dream come true, we never thought this could happen, we have been fortunate to experience music history in the making, we will never forget this day, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, we are so glad we took a chance and entered the contest, we are psyched for the Police Tour 2007! Thanks so much to Sting and everyone at the fan club for making it possible for me to be a part of this momentous day. It will always remain as one of the most exciting days of my life. I couldn't possibly reduce my experience at the Police Rehearsals to a mere 250 words, so I will therefore apologize for the length of this review. I love sharing my passion for the music of Sting and the Police with other big fans, so this account would not be complete without mentioning some of the interesting and devoted fans I met on this adventure. I enjoyed every moment with the fans and am so grateful to make their acquaintance.''!!!''- Kathy, Illinois
''Finally, Central Texas, checking in. Had to put out several fires and jump right into mom mode when I arrived home Tuesday night, but at least I wrote my thoughts down on the flight home. 13 pages worth. I haven't seen the webcasts or reviews (didn't want to be influenced by other perceptions of the event), so I'm dying to hit send on this in order to check it all out. I tried editing it down in between the ticket sale panic and orthodontic appointments, but it's still lengthy, sorry. So here goes...
The only acceptable option for me (next to attending the Grammy's) was to experience the show in a place that brought me great solace back when I sensed my own memories of the Police slipping away. Had to be the Backstage Cafe surrounded by Police history and die hard Police fans. A great gathering, and the extra round (thanks, Kevin!) certainly helped me fall into at least a few hours of much needed sleep. Think we were all in the same boat. Sleep was restless, and anticipation had us arriving at the Whisky bright and early Monday am. The flurry of activity around the venue had me counting the minutes until we walked through those doors! Media trucks, camera crews, interviews, then the limos. Stewart... Andy..... Sting. Finally realizing that this IS going down, I try to conserve my mental and physical state by closing my eyes and propping my body against the outside of the Whisky. All of a sudden, that familiar drumming starts penetrating my body right to the core. Stewart's drum kit must be right there on the other side of the wall! Ever seen grown women grope a wall? I have photos and am taking bribes... The mind starts to wander. I'm thinking maybe we should bring back those old vibrating hotel beds with that give this same sensation we're getting from the wall. Sting's not the only one with a ''certifiably insane'' moment!
Shortly after, we start hearing Andy's guitar, Sting's muffled voice. This IS happening, I AM here. The out of body experience begins. In we go. Securing a spot dead
centre, and a person back (darn media!) had me whimpering ''Oh My God'' for at least 5 minutes. On any other day, I would have been intimidated being surrounded by the press and celebs. Elvis could have been standing next to me, but at this moment, all I wanted to do was take it all in and etch it in my brain. The banners, the guitars, Sting's throat spray, the drums... Aaaagggghhhhhhh!!!! Yes, the absence of my camera was killing me! Lightheadedness sets in. I'm wondering if Fall Out Boy standing behind me will just use me as a step stool when I go down or try to revive me. Finally, I employ those never used Lamaze techniques and regain control just in time. They came out, and you'd think I was back there in 1982 at my first Police concert.
I was most taken by Stewart's expression of unadulterated joy being back with Sting and Andy. From there, thoughts of Ian Copeland then ran through my head. Can't help but think that he posthumously urged Sting to make that historic phone call. Only one person knows that answer, and I don't care what made him pick up the phone. I'm just beside myself that he did!!! Loved the banter between the boys, calling out the chords, Andy getting riled up due to the camera man in his way, Stewart's attentiveness to Sting's lead. Presume it was taking every ounce of restraint on his part to temper that energy and not race off. As Sting said, maybe Stewart has changed! Hope not too much though. Slipping into ''google mode'' for some of you ladies - They all look great this close up and jeesh, I think Andy has the bluest eyes I've ever seen! Thank goodness they didn't follow the Keith Richards guide to living like a rock star. They looked and sounded amazing!
So... wish #1 has been granted, they're back together. Wish #2 granted. Voices was my top choice for a ''non die hard'' worthy addition to the set list. Never thought I'd here it here, but was holding out for the tour. Hearing that intro had me quaking in my shoes. Wish #3 granted! Fiction Plane is opening. I have now reached nirvana. Why isn't this event on my wish list? Never thought something like this would be open to ''us'', and would have never imagined I'd be one of the lucky ones drawn to attend. I generally don't wish for the impossible, and should have taken a reunion off the master wish list years ago. Glad I was proven wrong!
One thing I've reflected on since this is that my passion for this band has been what's kept me young (at heart, anyway), allowed me to broaden my horizons, and has helped me evolve into who I am. I think we all need a passion for something, whether it's a band, hobby or cause. I've always felt a bit childish and silly holding on to this passion awakened when I was 15, but hot damn, I'm glad it never died. A new passion born from this experience - I love LA!!! My band is back, and I was there. I hate to be repetitive, but OMG!!! My deepest gratitude to the powers that be for including some of us to share in this historic event. I know there were so many of us equally as deserving of this honor, so I truly feel like the luckiest lady in the world. The last message my sister frantically left me enroute to Munich: ''Whatever you do, don't cry.'' When The Police (again - OMG !!!!) hit the stage, a quick glance around, men included, confirmed her suggestion was impossible for me to follow. I certainly wasn't the only one Driven To Tears. THEY ARE BACK!!!''- Michelle, Texas
''Congratulations, you are one of the first twenty entrants to have your name drawn as one of the winners to attend ''The Police Rehearsals'' at the Whisky A Go Go in Los Angeles on Monday, February 12''. This was the email that started my day last Friday, and set into motion the events of the weekend: completely spontaneous, last minute plans that always turn out for best, somehow. Were the Police really going to reunite for a tour? They were opening the Grammy's Sunday, so a rehearsal on the following Monday? Were the
Saturday night we picked a friend up at LAX, and, of course, headed straight to Hollywood to check out the venue. The legendary Whiskey a Go Go, didn't Sting mention it being the first club they played in America? A glance inside the door revealed a stage and small floor, this was place was small. How many people could fit inside, maybe 100? The press would outnumber the lucky few fans that got the tickets from sting.com by far. Sunday, the Grammy's: let's try to get in somehow. Karen knows about being a seat filler, so why not try? The security is incredible, guards asking for credentials, quickly sending you away when you ask about signing up as a seat filler. Try again at another entry point: ''I'm here to report as a seat filler'' with confidence, that's the ticket. ''Right down there, you check in at the side door.'' After an afternoon of waiting outside, we are quickly lined up and escorted inside. Here we are, lined up in the hallway, when we hear the opening chords of ''Roxanne.'' Everyone takes off running, open the side curtains, start down the aisles. It's the Police, onstage! And they're quickly ushering us out, ''get out, go back, it's a fire hazard! You will be asked to leave.'' People like me, who do as they're told and follow orders, miss the rest of the Police song as we're ushered into a curtained room and told to wait. Other fans, Paul and Shelley, make it into another entrance, and end up on the main floor! They see the Police performance! But we do, eventually, get into the rest of the Grammy show.
Monday: the Big Day, we arrive at the Whiskey about 9:15, there are about 20 - 25 people there ahead of us. The press are all out, camera crews everywhere, interviewing whoever they can find, which at this point is mostly the die hard fans standing in line. ''Why are you here today? What do you like about the Police? Are you excited about the tour?'' These are the questions being asked as we wait, impatiently and with great anticipation, to be let inside the Whiskey. We can even hear some bars of music, pre-rehearsal warm up, sound checks, why can't we go in? ID's are examined, lists are checked, wristbands handed out, and still we wait. Finally, a mad rush, bags are checked, and we make it in, as close to the stage as we can, I'm about 4 people back from the stage, directly in front of Sting's microphone. There are cameras and lights everywhere; the energy is high, breathless, and palpable. This is it!
The Police rehearsal / press conference starts out with a recording of Sting in a radio interview. He tells the person he would be ''certifiably insane'' to even consider reuniting with the Police! They play the clip repeatedly as the band enters from above, stage right. Everyone laughs when Sting, with a rueful grin, says, ''that's right, I'm certifiably insane! When the men in the white coats get here, let them through.'' They start us off with ''Message In A Bottle'' at a fast tempo, not the ballad style of solo Sting, but the hard driving Police sound. A few more questions, comments, jokes from Stewart, and then it's a medley of ''Voices inside my head / When the World is running down.'' One of my personal
favourites, as there is a line ''James Brown, the Tammi show...'' (And I loved the Kenny Kirkland keyboard solos from back in the day.) There is more banter; Stewart loves the attention when someone yells repeatedly ''STEWART!'' ''Who keeps saying that?'' he asks, standing up and scanning the tightly packed crowd. The repartee amongst the band members is lighthearted, but also serious. Questions about past conflicts are explained as ''tensions because we were all passionate about the music...and hairstyles.'' The mood is joyous, especially Stewart, he seems almost giddy. Andy makes a joke about Sting being ''our dear leader...on a good day.'' Years have passed, by the music is still there, the talent hasn't diminished, and Sting's voice sounds better than ever. (Also, what kind of anti-aging product does he use? Is it just the yoga? Because honestly, he looks better than ever. Seriously.)
While the reporters are coming up with their serious questions, a voice calls out ''Are you going to write any new staff?'' Sting shrugs, then pantomimes writing in the air, and mouths the words ''I'll try.'' Jerry Moss, from A&M Records, is here. (I recognized him from the Kentucky Derby win of his long-shot colt, Giacomo.) Speeches from various peoples, about the technical details of the tour, then it's back to the music. They do ''Can't stand losing you'' which Sting says, ''I'm not sure how this song ends, and I don't know what happens in the middle either.'' By now, the serious press people are also singing along with the fans. They just can't help it! The band ends with their Grammy tune, ''Roxanne'', ''The long version'' Sting calls back to the other band members. We sing, call and response, ''Roxanne - O'' and they take their bows. The press begins to collect their gear, and the fans are beside themselves with joy. We exit the Whiskey to a flood of bright lights, cameras, and anchors with microphones, pointing at us ''How was the show? What do you think?'' Most of us are speechless with excitement. A Reuter's cameraman interview 4 of us female fans, and I have no idea what I said. The media frenzy increases as Sting exits a side door, paparazzi swarm the car, it's like something out of a movie, they can't drive away, security are shouting ''Step back from the vehicle!''
Stewart's exit is a little more low key, he chats and signs autographs, Andy slipped away in his car with the window down. The Sting fan club ticket winners are left on the sidewalk, dazed and thrilled. Sting.com has done it again, thank you for our precious 20 tickets, and for allowing us to be part of music history in Hollywood. Now, it's on to the Police tour! - Tammi, California
''It was 1986, and I clearly remember watching on TV The Police close the Amnesty International shows with 'Message In A Bottle', 'King Of Pain', 'Driven To Tears', 'Every Breath You Take', 'Roxanne', and 'Invisible Sun'. Stewart Copeland had his trademark t-shirt, black Tama Imperialstar kit, and a new set of Green Paiste Colorsound cymbals. I was in my early teens and really only 4 years a fan of the group at that point. I had not seem them live and it looked bleak in being able to do so...ever. That left my only hope of seeing them in concert was in the hands of them making another studio album. Until 6 days ago, I never thought that moment would ever come about. Let alone being able to experience it in the light that I had with the Whiskey a go-go press gig. I've seen seven Sting concerts and covered several Police & Sting songs in bands over the years. Those elements consistently reminded of their talent and the impact they had on my generation of musicians as did the Beatles (among others) did for their generation. The build up to that left a level anxiety at times while I was waiting outside the club to get in. Only then was I beginning to realize the potential of failure modes that could happen (e.g. - my name was dropped from the list, they decided not to let fanclub members in, one of them was sick, etc, etc). My anxiety, however, disappeared as soon as I received my wrist band to get in and we were let into the club. The band came out a few minutes later. After a few small quips between Sting, Stewart and Andy, they launched into 'Message' and then 'Voices'/'When The World'. I can't get in words how happy I was to see them play together 10 feet in front of me after 20+ years of waiting. The press questions and ongoing jovial banter between the 3 of them was the icing on the cake. They finished with 'Can't Stand Losing You', then 'Roxanne', and they were out the door. It was difficult not to be a little disappointed that they didn't stay long enough for autographs, but I quickly figured that I was picking my battles regardless and remembered how lucky I was to even be there. After they left, the next phase was loitering around at the bar to have a few beers with a few of the other Fan Club winners to watch the tear down, then go to Ian Copeland's bar in Beverly Hills to sit and talk with the 2 guys I was in line with the whole time (Lee-Chicago, Kevin-Cleveland). We had lunch, a few more beers, and talked for a few hours about the show and pieced together 20 years of history, magazine articles,
rumours, and stories with each other that we would normally (speaking for myself anyways) keep to ourselves because the people closest to us don't follow the group as much and don't have as much patience for the discussion content. It was a great way to end the day with other fans and have a shared experience finally seeing The Police, a group of musicians who have given one of the greatest contributions to contemporary music over the past 30 years. Thank you for the new memories.'' - Bob, Michigan
''It hasn't been easy being a Police fan the last 20 years. Every year brought another ''reunion'' rumour but ended off the same with more waiting and wanting. With the new rumours turning out to be true I was afforded the opportunity to attend the rehearsal / news conference on Monday at the famed Whiskey a Go-Go in Los Angeles. I tried not to get excited during my 4 hr plane ride from Calgary, or while walking the iconic ''Sunset Strip'' Even standing in line to get into the Whiskey I kept check on my excitement, every second of which seemed to drag on like the past 20 years. When the Police walked onstage and lit into 'Message in a Bottle' that entire 20 plus years of anticipation seemed like a test that I somehow passed. Here I was, five feet from a dream. Five feet from my musician heroes and idols. I was five feet from the Police. The Police Live banners had already announced the tour before Sting had the chance but it was no less an explosive comment as he announced ''We're gonna go on tour''. The cheers from the fans, other gathered musicians and the media were the most joyous outpouring of affection I can ever recall hearing. Even more joyous than my own when the band next launched into one of my favourites, 'Voices inside my Head' which segued into 'When the World Keeps Running Down...' Keeping with Police tradition the band keeps updating songs and changing things around so the songs took on new flavour that was an unexpected treat. I was appreciative that the songs were still loose and being worked on. I felt privileged to see some behind scenes secrets. I tell you though, I've seen bands play the same songs, myself included, but when Stewart, Andy and Sting kicked in, rough or not, it was immediately apparent that no musician in this band can be duplicated. The band mentioned being older, wiser and more relaxed but make no mistake this is still the Police and they're back!
The question period was no less exciting as it gave me the chance to see the band sitting around being ''normal'' musicians waiting while a speech is being made. The famous interplay between the guys was still evident with inside jokes filling the stage. Tempos and tempers were both addressed with the band repeating their respect for each other and most importantly for the music. After some questions from the media the band launched into 'Can't Stand Losing You' which went into 'Regatta de Blanc' Sting's forgetting the words only added to the sense of this being a rehearsal. Seeing the band human is one of the most cherished memories I will take away. 'Roxanne' was a great way to end off their set as it was as the launch point of a great career. As he was leaving Sting said ''We'll see you again in 3 months'' After surviving through 20 plus years of gossip and heresy. It will be easy to wait until May when the tour kicks off in Canada. This time it is different. From the mouths of Andy, Sting and Stewart I have heard the real story. On May 28th the Police WILL be there in Vancouver and all of us will be waiting no more.'' - Matt, Calgary
''We took off from the hotel to head up to the Whisky around 7:00 am. When they finally lined us up on the wall of the Whiskey just after 9am we could actually hear and feel the band during the sound check. There will never quite be another moment like standing there with your hand pressed against the wall of the Whisky feeling the beat of Sting's bass and Stewart's drums pounding out the rhythm to 'Message In A Bottle'. Then they let us in telling us to get as close to the front as possible. Here I was dead center one person back between Sting and Andy. The Whisky is very small and we were maybe 5 feet from Sting and Andy and 10 feet from Stewart. All of us including the two reporters in front of me were just trying to remember to breathe. The light at the top of the stairs haloed Stewart and you could palpably feel his joy and excitement. He came leaping down the stairs to what can only be described as thunderous applause. Andy followed directly behind Stewart looking so happy and content. Then the halo went into effect again and there he was. I was not really aware that the actual visual of Sting and my knees giving way were intimately tied together. Over the sound system they were playing Sting's statement over and over about being insane to want to have a Police reunion. He stepped to the microphone and in that oh so urbane voice of his, remarked that ''well, I must be insane, mustn't I, we are going to tour.'' There was a bit of banter the tour was formally announced and then they moved into 'Message In A Bottle'. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling in the Whisky. My whole body could feel the bass and the drums just pounding through it. We were all singing along with Sting and periodically he would stop and just let the crowd take it. The band then broke into a super version of 'Voices in My Head'/'World Running Down'. It was during this number that Sting bumped up his bass to the point where my heart was actually beating in time to his bass line. Then we were treated to the long version of 'Roxanne', still gives me chills thinking about it. Prior to today 'Can't Stand Losing You' was not one of my
favourites. I have changed my mind. It was just such an inspiring day, to be part of the history of my lifetime. I have incredible memories of today. Getting to see all the guys leave the Whisky, including Sting literally sticking his head out the window of his car to sign an autograph (no, not mine). Most of us who were there were interviewed. I was asked if I thought Sting was good looking. I must have given the reporter a look like he had three heads and responded with, Of COURSE!!! I love the fact that I will now be known as the librarian who thinks Sting is hot. After the time at the Whisky a few of us went to check out his star on the walk of fame and grab something to eat. It has been oh such a ride and I hope that all of you have been able to share at least a little of it with me. As Sting would say... We're the Police and We're Back! - Kirstin, Washington State
''One set of twenty-four hours can be an interminably long time and another can seem to fly by in the wink of an eye. Yesterday was definitely a case of the latter. I got to the Whisky a Go Go at around nine forty-five and there was already a line outside. There goes my chance to be up front, I thought. And then, I thought: No matter. I'm here, right? Everything happens for a reason. Turns out I was standing beside a boarded-up window and could hear perfectly as the Police inside were sounding checking 'Message In A Bottle'. Oh yeah! I've died and gone to heaven. Finally, I got in. Still
don't know how I managed it, but all I said was Excuse me, short person coming through. I smiled and a space cleared until I found myself right up front. I mean, touching the stage up front. I mean so close that I could see the whole stage, barely two feet away from Sting, in fact. The concert gods were smiling down on me yesterday. The boys took the stage to thunderous cheers and a recorded interview of someone asking Sting what would it take to get Sting back to touring with the Police. I'd have to be certifiable. If Sting went certifiable, I am one very grateful woman. 'Message In A Bottle' was FANTASTIC! The crowd was roaring with Andy's first notes. Stewart did his magic drumming with the biggest grin on his face, and Sting sang like he'd never left. The air was absolutely electric. The audience was pulsing as one living, breathing, and very ecstatic organism. At one point, a woman next to me said 'Oh my God, I'm having an out-of-body experience'. The woman beside her (ChattyKathy, I believe?) said 'Aren't we all, honey!' If you get a chance to see the tour, you're going to blown away. EVERYONE in that audience was. Prepare for your own out-of-body experience.'' - Mili, New York
''I wished it so hard that my wish came true. I had won and would be able to see the Police at the Whisky. I arrived around 9:30 am. Met Fan club member and winner Camille who flew all the way from Glens Falls, NY and also Illustrator Omaha who won through Stewart's site. We entered the Whisky and right away I was sorry that I took the no cameras rule to heart because everyone had a camera but me. The energy inside was electrifying and I cried when Sting belted out 'Message In A Bottle'. I can't believe how close I was. I've always been very good at squirming my way through large crowds and today was no exception. I was in front of Sting's amp with Andy to my right. The gig was really not a rehearsal at all. I felt like it was a little mini show for a select few that included myself. Although I cant wait to see them again when they return to Los Angeles, I feel like it just can't get any better than this and I am fulfilled.'' - Tina, California
''So, here it is, a review of the Whisky rehearsal and press conference. Since I hope many of you saw the live broadcast or have seen it replayed since then, I won't belabour the basics. You saw what they were wearing and heard what they sang and said. Instead, I'll try to give you an idea of what it felt like to be there. Media and VIPs were let in first. Boy, there were a lot of both. Despite the fact that the venue folks had told us that we in the Contest Winners line would be right up front, when we were let in I had a moment of panic. I was first in the door, and there literally was NO WHERE to stand and certainly no place up front. VIPs and others filled the floor! After the momentary panic, I realized that the floor wasn't tightly packed and that there was some room to navigate. So I, and others from the Winners line, did the excuse me, excuse me move toward the front. People were good about letting us move forward. When the ticket prices were being announced and the top was $225, I said aloud 'That's reasonable.' (I was expecting $300). Sting looked at me like he couldn't believe what I was saying. Perhaps he thinks they are high. Yes, I know I was jumping and dancing in the front like an idiot. But I could see a camera man on the stairs above Stings head and he was only filming when the crowd was animated, so, I figured, give him what he's looking for. Who wants this to look like a lute show?? One thing that must be mentioned is how NICE it was to be with a group of people - Sting.com winners, StewartCopeland.net winners and others, who were all excited, actually, beyond excited, to be there. I don't know about you, but I get really tired of friends and co-workers rolling their eyes when I talk about Sting or the Police. Or calling me a groupie. Or saying, You're going to go to (fill in the blank: Las Vegas, San Francisco, Paris, etc.) to see a concert? with a look on their face like I just told them I was going to climb Mt. Everest in a bikini. It was amazing.'' - Maggie, California