Wednesday, May 28, 2008 - The Police live at the Hollywood Bowl
Went to see The Police in concert in their present reunion tour last night. The first night myself and Elina have had out by ourselves in months.
We planned to leave home at 6PM to get to the Hollywood Bowl venue in time for the 7:30 start as Elvis Costello was the opening act. But of course the best laid plans of mice and men.........
At 4:30 my boss decided to hold a conference call to announce to everyone that a colleague from our team was terminated. This put a dampner on the evenings proceedings just over an hour before we were due to leave as it's never nice to hear someone has been 'let go'. It's been on the cards for a while and of course you consider if you will be one of the next on the list given the present economy. As I said not exactly the kick-off I was looking forward to for a fun night out.
Then the babysitter issue. We arranged for our neighbors to look after our kids for the evening. We rarely go out together but rather as a family or seperate activities for myself and Elina to the gym, pub, movie etc. So we felt the young couple next door would be a good choice. He works in a restaurant and is a musician, she works in a resturant but has had few shifts so we thought it would be nice to give her some extra money. We had arrnged it 4 weeks ago and just discussed it within the last day or two. Our planned departure time of 6PM came and she was a no show. We had no choice but to leave the 2 boys with him only. He's 30 but kind of like a big brother figure as he's an easy going California musician hippy type and our kids like him. I was a bit annoyed that she had flaked as I felt I was doing her a favor, paying her $12 an hour and had discussed it only 24 hours previously after planning it well in advance. She showed up about 1/2 an hour after we left and just seemed to have flaked as she was not even working that day?? But now we know for any future dates she is not reliable. She did take the money when we came back, despite her partner doing the bulk of looking after the boys..................... anyway.
It took us 2 hours to get to the Hollywood Bowl which should be about a 45 minute drive in standard LA busy-ish traffic. This and our delay in departing due to our flakey babysitter meant we missed seeing the opening act Elvis Costello. We made it to our seats during the intermission just before The Police came on. The crowd was a weird mixture of young 20 something Hollywood rock and rollers drinking beer and smoking weed to upper middle-aged ladies eating pasta from a homemade picnic they had brought, as you would when attending a classical concert at the Bowl.
The Police were pretty impressive, seemingly accomplished musicians in their own right but the main thing that struck me was the amount of high-tech lighting and lasers that accompanied every song. This was not just a rock-and-roll concert but a highly choreographed spectacle of a show. The amount of technology involved was pretty amazing. One example was that the stage turned a bright neon schoolgirl pink during the song 'Don't stand so close to me'. A large flashing warning beacon was emitted from Sting's projected image on the enormous backdrop TV display during the chorus, as if to rebuff any unwanted teenage advances. Every song was choregraphed in a specific mood, color and speed in quite a breathtaking production. Stewart Copeland, the drummer had a few high tech solos and an intimate verticle percussion session on one particular track using cymbals, horns and other items hung on a wire while using various different drumsticks, finishing the track on a xylophone. Although I have to admit Andy Summers was not zoomed in on as much, he being the older member of the band complete with numerous double chins which amused Elina and I at times.
All in all a pretty entertaining concert, not just 3 guys playing guitar and drums but more of a Las Vegas type Cirque du Soleil music show with complex musical numbers, lights and lasers............................... it also helped that I was as high as a kite.