The Police – Croke Park – October 2007

The Police were one of the first of the legendary groups to announce their reunion this year, ahead of Led Zeppelin and The Sex Pistols and have already played several dates across America and Europe before arriving in Dublin this weekend.
I am not a fan of the Police, I should point that out before saying a word about last nights show. I just never understood what is so good about them, and last nights show didn’t help change my view.
The weather was warm and welcoming in the Big Smoke yesterday, there was a general nice, but strangely quiet atmosphere in the air. Myself and my girlfriend set off for Croke Park quiet early and the streets leading to Irelands most impressive stadium were practically deserted. The only people around were Stewart’s, Guards and a handful of fans.
This trend did not change once inside the venue either. For a show that was to attract over 80,000 people, there was only 500/1000 inside an hour before show time. It became very clear that food a drink were not allowed near the interior of the stadium, not even water, which was down to trying to keep the surface laid over the pitch dry, instead of turning it into an icing rink, but enough of that, the basic line was the facilities inside the grounds were very basic and bare, however the toilet facilities were up to MCD’s recent standards and goes to show that finally portaloos can be maintained at gigs.
The support group ‘Fiction Plane’ or ‘Infant Police’ played a 40-45 minute set which the crowd welcomed them for (they were a nice break from the ‘Water Aid’ adverts and faces of starving children being shown). Joe Sunmer, Stings own ‘Off-Sting’, managed to imitate almost everything from his father including songs, cloths, playing Bass, and style. Not a bad band, but nothing new or inspiring here.
The Police finally took the stage about 8.20pm and both band and crowd relaxed into ‘Message in a Bottle’. The tone of the evening remained similar for the entire night with no major changes from the first to last song. Classics such as ‘Walking on the Moon’, ‘Cant Stand Losing you’, ‘Every little Thing She Does is Magic’ and ‘De Do Do Do De Da Da Da’ were all slipped into the set, along the way, but blended in a little too much due to Stings new decision to fuse all the songs together in a long drawn out reggae jams which any Vegie, Wanky Shitheads in the crowd probably loved. Although I was quiet close to the barrier of the Gold Circle, There didn’t seem to be much singing from the crowd, even during some of their biggest hits. Everyone seemed relaxed and applauded politely but never seemed to feel the special spark you get when you see a great band live. Sting was the only band member who talked, with Stuart and Andrew just following his lead, however he was quiet polite to the crowd and even managed to blurt out his “only word of Gaigle, Slainte” before sipping his tea. All in all the show was quit predictable and passive. Roxanne, Every Breath you take and Cant’ Stand Losing you’ were among the closers.
However I should mention the stage itself, a complex which nearly rivalled (but at the same time doesn’t come Close) the Rolling Stones setup from Slane, takes 42 trucks to move across the world and has taken almost a week to set up showing The Police are not just relying on their music to entertain and are a group who have learned that customers like value for money.
As shows have gone this summer, this was in no way the best, don’t get me wrong, the band sound fantastic, they played a truly great set, the crowd were lovely and the organization and Croke Park itself was fantastic, but something was missing from this show, something that makes a great gig memorable. Maybe Police Fans have a different story, and I hope they do, because after 30 years, The Police couldn’t pull it off in my eyes.

SET LIST:

Message in a Bottle
Synchronicity II
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don’t Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
Truth Hits Everybody
Hole In My Life
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Invisible Sun
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can’t Stand Losing You
Roxanne
King Of Pain
So Lonely
Every Breath You Take
Next To Youdsc00662.jpg

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