Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Police - Stade de Geneve, September 16th 2007

The latest trend in music is reunion tours. Bands that broke up ages ago suddenly were touring together again, some for the love of it, others just purely for the money. One of these bands is The Police.

The trio was big in the 80s but fighting between the three band members led it to break up sometime in the 80s. They did play again together once in the 90s during Andy Summers' wedding (or was it Stewart's?), but they all shrugged it off as a drunken one-off. After that they all denied reunion speculation.

However, after they were inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame they met up and discussed the idea of touring together. I'm glad they did, because it's going to be a good tour.

I've seen Sting a couple of times and during his shows he always plays a couple of The Police songs, but the energy is just different. So having scored tickets the minute it came out I was looking forward to seeing Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland back on stage again together playing all their best hits.

The venue was Stade de Geneve, a new football stadium in Geneva. The first concert there was Johnny Hallyday and apparently the acoustics were awful. I don't think there has been another concert there ever since, but I did saw a couple of football games there. Fortunately, this time around they have fixed the acoustics problem and the sound was way better than I have imagined it to be.

Opening the show was Fiction Plane, a three-piece band fronted by a singing bassist by the name of Joe Sumner. In case you didn't know, Joe is Gordon Sumner's - aka Sting - son. They played a bit of rock music but you can't help notice the similarities between them and The Police. Not just Joe's vocals that resembles his old man, but the whole thing just sounds like The Police junior. I wouldn't be surprised if it was Andy's son on guitars and Stewart's son on drums. "We are not The Police, they will come on after us" was the comment the guitarist made and I'm sure a couple of people in the audience were indeed fooled.

Then it was turn for The Police. Sting being Sting, holding his battered Fender '58 Jazz Bass and fronting the mike as usual. Stewart Copeland all dressed up as if he was going to the gym - complete with headband and gloves. And Andy Summers looking as if he just dropped his kid for football practice and passed by before going to Starbucks to pick up some coffee. But when they played Message In A Bottle all those differences just disappeared and I saw one entity, The Police.

The chemistry between them is amazing and the energy they give out is just out there. You can feel the bond between the three and I did wonder how the hell they could fight each other (literally - at one gig Sting played with a broken rib after a fight with Stewart back stage). But it seems that they've buried the hatches and were up for it.

I guess the fighting came on because Stewart started the band but Sting soon took over. Sting then acknowledges this subtly when he sang So Lonely and change the line "Welcome to this one-man show" to "Welcome to the Stewart Copeland show". And Stewart does make a show with his unbelievable drumming.

They played all their hit songs and I was jumping up and down, screaming all the songs with the 40,000 people in the stadium. The beer helped as well. And to my amazement, I saw teenagers and kids in the show as well, people who normally aren't old enough to remember who The Police was. They probably know The Police after listening to that Puff Daddy song about B.I.G.

After the concert I was in such a high and the songs are still playing in my head. They should do this more often.

ps. I don't have pictures or videoclips. If you want to see some pictures and clips (and a setlist) click here for a review of their concert in the UK by my mate.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Home owner

As of yesterday evening, me and my girlfriend are officially home-owners. Well, the appartment still needs to be built but we are in debt already and we have signed the deed to our future appartment already.

I felt as if I've signed my life away. It's a great feeling!

So around Christmas 2008 we'll be moving in to our newly built appartment, in a small village that has a population of 1,600. Yes, a thousand-and-six-hundred people.

I was born in a city of 800,000 then moved and grew up in a metropolis of 15 million people (which inflates to 20 million during daytime), then went over to a "city" of 300,000. Next stop, a village of 1,600.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Guns 'N Roses

After reading Mick Wall's W. Axl Rose I have to admit that I found out some facts about Guns N Roses that I didn't know before - even though at one point in my life I considered myself a GNR fan. I still listen to Appetite for Destruction regularly and Rocket Queen is among the songs with the highest play count on my iPod.

Well here are some facts about GNR that I didn't know until I've read the book:
  • Axl is a big fan of ELO and Queen, studied music and played the piano in high school
  • Duff, the punk from Seattle, is a Prince fanatic
  • Duff is a multi-instrumentalist who before joining GNR was a drummer in a band in Seattle with Andrew Wood (if you know your Seattle grunge history you will know Andrew Wood)
  • In November Rain, the "string" sounds weren't actually played by an orchestra but comes from Dizzy's keyboard. In the videoclip however, there was an orchestra, hence the mistake
  • None of them are from Hollywood (I always thought Steven was)
And here are some facts about me concerning GNR that you might not know before:
  • I used to have a GNR poster on my wall (but then again, who didn't back in 1990?)
  • I must have had several copies (at least 6) of the Appetite for Destruction album in various formats, but never owned two at the same time.
  • Sweet Child O'Mine was the first song I ever performed with a band on stage. I was 14 at the time. Several years later while in university we played this song again and only then did I realise how wrong I was playing this song the first time.
  • Rocket Queen is my favorite GNR song
  • I will buy Chinese Democracy when it comes out - even if it's in 2019.
Funny how you find about these things, innit?

Monday, September 03, 2007


On Sunday I went to see a Polo match with my friends. The day was beautiful (the last "last day of summer?") and the setting couldn't be more Polo-like.

As you expect from this sport, the setting was very posh. People wearing jackets and all other snobbish clothes, people drinking champagne, people arriving in their Aston Martins, people eating caviar in the VIP section, posh sponsors, etc.

I've never seen a polo match before so it was quite interesting to watch. The ball is very small and the horses go very fast so it's a bit difficult to watch. And when you watch the ball you tend to forget about the rider until you suddenly see him on the ground waving his stick at another rider. It's quite enjoyable actually and it's a good outing on a nice sunny Sunday.

Of course after the game me and my mate were dying to throw a frisbee around the polo field but the car was parked too far away.