The Police at Giants Stadium

The Police


Giants Stadium, August 5, 2007:


       Kathy, Jessica, Sylvia and I meet at Giants Stadium for The Police concert. A gorgeous summer day has become a wonderful evening for this momentous outdoor concert event.  At 8:36 P.M., the stadium is finally full.

       The entire crowd comes to their feet as the inspirational reggae song, “Get Up, Stand Up,” plays just before The Police start their set. The Police take the stage at 8:45 P.M. They begin with, “Message In A Bottle.” The musical sound is immediately intense, exacting, precise and powerful. The drums are popping and the bass is penetrating. On “Synchronicity II,” the instrumentation is brilliant. The ensemble execution is determined. Sting’s vocals resonate powerfully throughout the stadium. The repeating vocal refrain, “many miles away” carries loud and clear into the summer evening sky.


The Police


Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro. All rights reserved.

       On “Walking On The Moon,” the enthusiastic audience joins in the lyrical refrain. There is flawless ensemble execution, as the trio is on fire. Stuart Copeland is just fabulous! What succinct and experienced polyrhythmic sensation. His cymbal work is incredibly inventive and intriguing. Sting confidently displays his commanding vocal capabilities. The Police are in top form. They have stood the test of time and have not remotely diminished in their musical performance capabilities.

       For “Voices Inside My Head,” everyone’s hands are high in the air. This makes quite an impressive visual effect, with such a large audience. The band segues into, “When The World Is Running Down, You Make The Best Of What’s Still Around.” Andy Summers performs an impressive lead guitar solo on his fire-engine-red Stratocaster. The musical sound is loud and crystal clear. The arrangement is memorable and the rhythm section is smokin’.

       The Police display sensitive dynamic control and succinct rhythmic dexterity on “Don’t Stand So Close To Me.” From slow and exacting reggae, to bright and brawny rock rhythms, the band flawlessly transitions through with skill and ease. There is an interesting key change and melodic variation. The trio displays excellent musical camaraderie and a warm personal connection. “Driven To Tears” is more smokin’ hot instrumentation. Andy Summers plays brilliant lead guitar. The drums are funky and succinct. The rhythm section is locked-on as the guitar solo towers high above. Stings’ vocals are soulful and rich.


The Police


Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro. All rights reserved.

       The next tune, “The Bed’s Too Big Without You,” is off their 1979 album Reggatta de Blanc. The band plays with phenomenal dynamic control. The entire audience claps their hands for “The Truth Hits Everybody.” The reggae tempo is succinct, with sharp and clear accents. The music causes everyone to be swinging and swaying. The audience clearly loves this composition. Many couples dance and cuddle together. There is very concise instrumentation that is loud, but clear. Andy Summers tops this cohesive sound with exciting rhythm guitar. The music is hypnotic, loving and emotionally sensitive, with soaring vocals and precise accents.

       The drums and guitar are featured together as the band cleverly goes into “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.” This rendition is remarkable. This is one of my personal favorites. For the next composition, Stuart Copeland leads us through a percussive paradise, as the song begins. The musical mood is slow, sultry, sexy, sensuous and hypnotic. This music is soon becomes familiar as “Wrapped Around Your Finger.” The arrangement is dynamically impressive. Stuart switches from percussion to his drum set, seamlessly. Later, he switches back to percussion with the same confidence and poise. There is excellent execution and control, especially the percussion and drums.

       The next song is, “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da.” The finesse of the band stands out here. The warm flow of the sound illustrates the precise control and assurance of the musician’s creative mindset. A minor 2nd change is invoked to rouse an emotional lift. “Invisible Sun” is surreal and majestic. The musical blend is quite wonderful. The band’s unique signature sound resounds throughout the arena. Andy Summer’s creative lead guitar cuts through the drone effect of the sublime chord structure.


The Police


Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro. All rights reserved.

       Mysterious and ethereal flute and percussion lead us into “Walking In Your Footsteps.” The musical sound is hypnotic and sinuous. Stuart Copeland surrounds us with creative percussion, which features booming backbeats. Sting’s powerful lead vocals dance above the cohesive melody and rhythm of the trio. The music builds and builds into a strong crescendo. Everyone claps along with muted guitar and bass notes, that lead us into “Can’t Stand Losing You.” The audience, which had previously begun to sit from exhaustion, is all standing up again. The music builds to a climax in an overwhelming frenzied finale. Emotions are running wild! The Police leave the stage and the audience erupts.

       “Roxanne” is the encore. The musical performance is exacting, succinct and loud but very clear. Everyone sings along. The entire ampitheatre is chanting the words in unison. The crowd goes berserk. The encore continues with, “King Of Pain.” Stings annunciates the lyrics clearly and with obvious pleasure, “There’s a little black spot on the sun today.” The band is jellin’. Andy Summers’ red Stratocaster sounds remarkable. It resounds clearly over the tight rhythm section. The dynamic control is amazing: from quiet and succinct, to loud and precisely powerful.

       “So Lonely” is a distinctly reggae style that transitions to bold and brash rock and roll. What marvelous musical chemistry and superb blend! There is an interesting melodic change leading to an outstanding guitar solo. Andy Summers has succinct tones and captivating overtones and clever picking. “Every Breath You Take” makes the audience swoon. The music is dynamically subdued, romantic and controlled. This excellent melody and lyrics are illustrated once again, as the crowd sings along. What totally inspiring and spontaneous live excitement. The Police again exit the stage. We all thought it was over, but wait…

       The second encore is, “Next To You.” This is a powerful and exciting rock composition. The vocal refrain, “All I want is to be next to you,” resounds over the stadium. The band goes faster and faster and faster and even much faster, to a fever pitch, as the crowd is quite involved. The show ends as everyone is standing, cheering, yelling, and going wild!

       The Police put on an amazing show tonight. They lived up to all the hype, with absolutely no reservations. They played inspired collectively, were on fire emotionally, and obviously in top form together. This performance proves The Police to be one of the greatest groups in the long and illustrious history of the Rock era.


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A.J. Alfaro