Friday, July 06, 2007

No Jazz!

On Saturday June 23rd, my ex-girlfriend and I went to see The Police at Dodger Stadium. We paid $50 a pop to sit in the nose-bleed section, but we didn't care. The Police were the first contemporary band that I got into when I was growing up. I will always remember hearing Message in a Bottle for the first time on Top Ten radio in the winter of 1979. They were cool, and wrote great, catchy rock songs. I loved them, and I was more than happy to sit in one of the upper decks of this huge baseball stadium from what looked liked a mile away form the stage, just to catch a glimpse and hear them do all the classic tunes the people came to see them play! My Russian navy binoculars did help a little bit, though...

Anyway, the Foo Fighters opened up. I never was very impressed by them, but they were quite enjoyable live. Frankly, I've always been quite surprised that someone like Dave Grohl, with his talent, background and pedigree, and his impressive musical influences, couldn't come up with better material for his own band. Anyway, an entertaining set, which seemed to please the plastic, OC-type middle-aged wives and girlfriends who were dancing around us, their fake tits bouncing in their $90 tank tops. We briefly reminisced how we saw the Foo Fighters play in Boston back in '95 opening up for Mike Watt on his first solo tour. Dave played drums in Watt's backup band then, and I think Eddie Vedder was on guitar. Mike Watt is still touring the country in his Econoline, and the Foo Fighters, well....they are almost like classic rock at this point...funny.

The Police came out and did their thing, and they were great! Stewart was The Man, wearing a black headband and white gloves, and playing like the old days. Andy Summers' riffs were clean and angular, and faithfull to the original recordings. And Sting was....well....Sting, I guess! They played all the songs I wanted to hear, including my favorites (Walking on the Moon, Invisible Sun, Spirits in a Material World), and it was a great show. The only criticism I had was about this annoying habit that Sting has about changing the arrangements on some of the songs, or sing them in a different key, or do these improv meddleys that sometimes dragged on for way too long! I was reminded of a story that the aforementioned Mike Watt told about playing bass for the Stooges: he said that Iggy Pop was very keen on him playing the original, simple Dave Alexander bass lines, and not get all fancy, and that if he got carried away playing live, Iggy would turn to him and scream "no jazz!". Let's just say that I felt like Stewart or Andy should have turned to their singer a few times during the show, and yelled "Yo! NO JAZZ!"

1 comment:

Eve's Apple said...

Not only was Stewart rocking the headband and gloves, he also had a gong. A GONG! And it wasn't cheesy at all. In fact, it was purty darn cool!