Get Off Your Asses and Dance, People!

The Police, from section 419.In my mind, there are four groups that are the seminal bands of the 1980s: U2, R.E.M., Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, and the Police. I had seen all of these bands live at one time or another, except for the Police, who broke up when I was around 15 — too young to go to concerts (as far as my parents were concerned, anyway). Unlike many bands, the Police also seemed extraordinarily committed to never playing together again, so I thought I would never have the opportunity to see them. Much to my surprise, however, earlier this year they announced a reunion tour, and last night, I was among the 18,000 people at the Verizon Center who coughed up a hundred bucks to see them play.

I am happy to report, it was completely worth both the wait and the cash. I’ve seen Sting live before and found him to be a fairly dull performer, and find his post-Police music to be hit-or-miss at best. It appears that playing with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland requires that he bring his A game to the stage, and he obliged. Musically, I could not have asked for more — they did a fantastic job of re-imagining their hits, so that everything had that same-but-different sound that characterizes a great live show. (I hate it when a band comes out and everything sounds exactly the same as it does on the albums. If I want to hear the songs as-recorded, I’ll stay home and listen to them.) The only thing that felt like it was missing was a sense of camaraderie amongst the band members. Maybe I am spoiled by having seen the E Street Band too many times, but they gave all appearance of being three guys who have no relationship whatsoever.

My only complaint about the show, actually, was the audience, at least in the area where I sat. Yes, sat… There seemed to be no understanding that seeing a band live meant actually dancing and having fun. Most people seemed content to just sit and listen, and didn’t seem like they’d take two tall girls standing up to dance very well, so Megan and I ended up dancing in the doorway of our section for quite a while, until we were sent back to our seats with a curt jerk of the head by the usher stationed there. I think it’s a weird DC thing — it’s the only place I’ve ever gone to a huge stadium-type concert where everyone just sits around and bops their head. At least this time, we found a way around it, for a while, anyway. But c’mon people… Dance! It’s fun!

Oh, and Sting? Still hot, hot, hot. As is his son, who performed in the opening act. I found this profoundly disturbing, until a look at Wikipedia informed me that Son-of-Sting is over 30. It’s still weird to find the dad and the son hot, but not as bad as if the son were 17 or something.

11 thoughts on “Get Off Your Asses and Dance, People!

  1. Jo November 6, 2007 / 10:35 am

    Ha! I had the same complaint! NO ONE in my section danced!

  2. randomduck November 6, 2007 / 10:56 am

    How can you gaze at your shoes while dancing in an arena with steep concourses? I mean, didn’t you read the DC/MD/VA concert attendee handbook? It clearly states that concert attendees shouldn’t stand, and if they do, they should sway lightly while staring at their shoes.

    Our section didn’t have many folks standing and dancing, either – and I was one of the sitting folk, for what it was worth, though I did rock out the whole time.

    And I actually saw quite a bit of camaraderie amongst Sting, Andy and Stewart. It’s not over-the-top like with the E Street Band (and trust me: they’re the exception to the norm, where you feel like somebody has to give Little Steven a tranquilizer to calm him down), but there were a lot of knowing winks, nods and smiles between the three of them. They always knew where they were in the songs, and were able to stray a bit from the “accepted” arrangement of things as a result.

    But man: Stewart is a kick-ass drummer! I’ve always thought of him as one of the best drummers alive, and his performance last night totally validated that belief.

  3. sprite November 6, 2007 / 11:06 am

    I tend to be one of those people who sit at concerts, even when everyone else is standing. 😉

  4. Sweetpea November 6, 2007 / 11:09 am

    Guess you had better seats than I did, Rudi (sigh) — we were at such an angle as to be able to see only one of the screens, and the band themselves were tiny little ants, as noted in the photo above. Maybe I’d have gotten a better sense of the energy between Sting, Andy, and Stewart from elsewhere in the arena. I’m glad to know someone saw it, at least. And really, it didn’t damage my enjoyment of the show; it’s not as if it had that phoned-in kind of vibe or anything.

    And I think the whole standing/dancing thing is hard to manage if no one else is doing it, because people can be kinda mean about it. I’d have (sadly) kept to my seat if the usher hadn’t taken a long enough break to allow some dancing time.

  5. Sweetpea November 6, 2007 / 11:14 am

    But sprite, I’m guessing you’re not mean to people and yell at them to sit down, though, either. Having actually never seen you be mean — or yell — I’m guessing not. 😉 I didn’t see that last night, but I have in the past, and that’s what bums me out. Well, that and the peer pressure to remain sitting when I don’t really want to.

  6. Shannon November 6, 2007 / 3:13 pm

    That happened at the Dixie Chicks/Eagles concert a few years ago (yes, Sarah, the infamous Pentagon Metro Stop Incident).

    How could people NOT get up and dance to the Chicks?? Sheesh. I expect to sit at a classical music concert but not a rock concert.

    And wow I am I jealous that you got to see the Police. I’ll bet that concert was incredible.

  7. Joanne November 6, 2007 / 6:10 pm

    I get SO ANNOYED when people don’t get up and dance. Dammit, I didn’t pay scads of money to sit on my ass!

    I am going to dance my butt off at the Bon Jovi show, so the people in our section better be prepared!

  8. randomduck November 6, 2007 / 10:35 pm

    Joanne and Sweetpea: just for the two of you, I’m getting up and dancing right now….

    a n d i t ‘ s t

    o u
    g h to
    t yp 3 wh e n y ou ‘r e
    u
    p

    a nd
    d a nc i n g

  9. Joanne November 7, 2007 / 6:10 pm

    Hee hee!

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