No need for an internal-affairs investigation: The Police seemed awfully harmonious as their reunion tour kicked off May 28 in Vancouver. In the band’s first official headlining gig since 1983, the formerly contentious threesome traded accolades, and during an encore of ”So Lonely,” Sting even dropped a bonus compliment on his guitarist: Instead of ”Welcome to this one-man show,” he sang ”Welcome to the Andy Summers Show!” A nice display of magnanimity…and also not a bad one-sentence concert review.
After two decades of performing nothing but jazz, Summers wasn’t about to play his ancient solos exactly the way you remember ’em. It was his fusion-y improv that went furthest toward making these two hours more than the rote run-through they might appear to be on paper. The set list was a give-the-people-what-they-want affair, with no new material and 20 of the 22 songs (from ”Can’t Stand Losing You” to ”King of Pain”) found on the group’s new hits collection. But Sting and hardest-working-stickman Stewart Copeland were no slouches either when it came to rousting overfamiliarity with harmonic variations and rhythmic derangement. Here’s to the return of the power trio — and we do mean the power trio. A-