The Police in the Twin Cities

“Poor FrictionPlane,” Susannah said at the end of the concert. “Big shoes to fill.”

“You mean FictionPlane,” I replied. Her slip spoke volumes about our opinions of the opening band.

The Police were in Saint Paul last night, and it was a great concert. Their opening band was FictionPlane, who are still a little rough around the edges, sounding like a cross between ColdPlay and The Police. Not surprising, given that the front man for FictionPlane is Joe Sumner, Sting’s son. There was no mention of that whatsoever, though. The crowd seemed to really like them. I didn’t think they were bad, just that they could have stopped jumping from the stacks on to stage after the second leap… It would also help if they got the city they are in right. Saint Paul doesn’t like to be called Minneapolis any more than Madison likes to be called Milwaukee.

The main event, though, was very well prepared. There wasn’t much banter, unfortunately. I go to concerts to hear the artists tell some stories, play their music a little differently, and serve up some surprises that show why they are the best in the business. Not much of that happened last night. It was fairly straightforward, scripted, planned. Nevertheless, I finally got to see the guys that made some of the music I grew up with.

And they rock! It was, in the end, an awesome show. The finale was truly a rock concert, with great sound and multicolor lights everywhere. Sensory overload, for sure.

Some observations:

  • Andy was wearing a “Oh my God you killed Kenny!” guitar strap. Unlike FictionPlane he only jumped from the stacks twice. Good choice.
  • Stewart was wearing clothing circa 1982. He also had a massive Paiste gong, a set of timpani, a glockenspiel, and a really determined look while he was drumming. Maybe that’s normal. He sometimes sticks his tongue out like I do when I’m concentrating.
  • Sting appears to be in excellent shape. He also has the world’s scuzziest bass. It looks like it was broken and repaired, and it definitely could use some refinishing. Probably has sentimental value, if not proving that you can make excellent music with things that aren’t always bright and shiny.
  • The radio stations in the Twin Cities, specifically KQRS and KCTZ, are bastard jerks from hell. They handed out set lists outside before the show. I was intending to record the set list anyhow, so it made my life a little easier, but it ruined all the suspense. I hoped it was completely wrong just to screw with them, but it wasn’t.
  • Merchandise was pretty expensive. $35 for a t-shirt, $30 for a hat. Nothing really appealed to me, so I didn’t get anything. I thought about getting a $10 poster but ended up not doing it.
  • Being a lighting designer as well as a tech dork I counted the lighting instruments and types. Today, as I was looking up the different types, I discovered that Martin has a white paper on the whole rig. Their photo doesn’t show the two trusses over the floor, each with eight instruments, but they illuminated the crowd nicely. There were also three huge beam projectors upstage, and three big video screens & a big LED tube display above the stage which don’t appear in their writeup.
  • “Next to You” had a neat video display of all sorts of old photos of them, from childhood to them as The Police.
  • I think the reason “Roxanne” was its own encore was that they were having technical difficulties or something. Sting was acting funny, maybe his monitor was dying or something. “Roxanne” had all red light on stage for most of the song, and they lowered the on-stage trusses so it looked like a spaceship landed on stage. Very cool.

The set list was:

  1. Message in a Bottle
  2. Synchronicity II
  3. Walking on the Moon
  4. Voices Inside My Head
  5. When the World is Running Down
  6. Don’t Stand So Close to Me
  7. Driven to Tears
  8. Truth Hits Everybody
  9. Bed’s Too Big Without You
  10. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
  11. Wrapped Around Your Finger
  12. De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
  13. Invisible Sun
  14. Walking in Your Footsteps
  15. Can’t Stand Losing You (which they began with the theme from “Bonanza”)
  16. Roxanne (Encore 1)
  17. King of Pain (Encore 2)
  18. So Lonely (Encore 2)
  19. Every Breath You Take (Encore 2)
  20. Next to You (Encore 3)

Overall, awesome! Thanks Sting, Andy, and Stewart for a great show!

3 thoughts on “The Police in the Twin Cities”

  1. “bastard jerks from hell” – I like that and am stealing it from you.

    They did Roxanne as its own encore here, too. Sounds just like our setlist with a bit of shuffling. Our Can’t Stand Losing You started with the Bonanza theme song, too.

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