Review: The Police; July 5, 2007 at Wrigley Field; Chicago

Although I can’t say that I care much for The Police‘s brand of pseudo-white-reggae, I have to say that they can put on one Hell of a show.

Wrigley Field is historically a place for great disappointment; it’s home to the Chicago Cubs. This year, however, not only is the team playing remarkably well, but Wrigley also hosted a collective mind-gasm for 40,000 or so screaming, dancing baby-boomers.

The show opened with a band which wins the award for Worst Name I’ve Ever Heard: Fictionplane. That’s right, a plane that doesn’t exist. Or something. Apparently, the front-man is Sting’s son, which should explain a lot. The three members pounded away with their brand of unoriginal, uninspired rock for about forty minutes, during which my friend and I swore that every song was a cover—until about a minute in, when they got really, really bad.

Fictionplane closed with an excruciatingly long “epic,” in which the singer blamed a “post-coital” cigarette for his lover’s infidelity. You don’t want to know. The drummer at least made up in part for his band’s terrible-ness by wearing a Cubs jersey throughout their performance.

When The Police finally took the stage, it was not without the aid of a large light display. They kicked it off with “Message in a Bottle,” to which my response was “Wait a minute, this piece of shit song is by The Police!? Oh, no…” After a few songs, though, I warmed up and managed to have a good time despite the lizard scum dancing all around me.

Sting controlled the crowd well, and attendees chanted along to every seemingly non-English phrase that he sung. They even repeated said phrases hundreds of times (as is apparently common for a Police song). The guitarist, Andy Summers, was quite good, if a little reserved. I can’t blame him, though, as he had to compete with yoga-maniac Sting for Most Energetic, clearly not an easy task. Sting’s son has already mentioned to the press that the tour might end prematurely after Sting kills Summers, or vice versa.

The drummer, Stewart Copeland, was particularly entertaining to watch. Copeland’s confident drum-work and usage of unique elements like chimes was interesting, and he clearly knew exactly what he was doing. Of course, I have a little bias towards drummers since it’s my favorite instrument, but I think he put on an excellent show.

If you don’t believe that the crowd was really into the show, try and catch a glimpse of the grass in Wrigley’s outfield next time you see a game. Despite the fact that field management put down a plastic screen to keep people off the field, there was apparently enough sweat generated by the attendees to kill a good deal of the grass: the dead spots are clearly visible during the televised baseball games.

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