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Even the Biggest Rock Stars Make Mistakes and Why Pop Culture Always Blows Things Out of Proportion
If you've been keeping an eye on the concert scene recently, I'm sure you're well aware that the much hyped Police reunion tour has gotten underway. I normally steer clear of concert reviews as often times the reviewers just because I can typically always find something good in any concert, even the 1 or 2 I've actually walked out on. Still, when a review comes from one of the band members themselves, you kind of take a little more notice, just to see what the people involved thought of the gig.
If you've been following some of the recently music news as well, you might have already read that Stewart Copeland, the Police drummer, has posted a great post looking at his own band on his blog for messing up a show in Vancouver repeatedly.
The review is not nearly as scathing as some sources have made it out to be and some other sources appear to have completely misinterpreted his words to sound more harsh and make for more drama. When I read the actual blog post, I thought it was a pretty funny, humorous, honest and open look at what makes music live, not the complete shattering of a band by one of it's members that some major publications headlines hinted at. Instead, it's probably about as real as I've seen a major rock star be in a while. It's a band like the Police, having to a bad gig; a great reminder that they really are regular people making music and prone to mistakes just like us. This almost increases their legend by showing how difficult it was to get their sound and performances honed to such a high caliber as they were at back in the day... And the fact that the band seems more than willing to admit that they weren't/aren't exactly at the top of their game yet, earns some respect from me.
I'd recommend if you're interested and haven't already, reading the entire post in its original context here: http://www.stewartcopeland.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2809
As for the bad performance, music is supposed to be live and evolve on stage so we shouldn't expect exact note for note reproductions of the album versions, especially from a band like the Police. Spontaneity in music is a big part of what separates a live show from just a reproduction shows that actually played by people, not machines. With some bands, their loose and often "less than perfect" style on stage is exactly what I love about them and their concerts. I can definitely see the Police as being a band like that and so although this gig does sound like one of the worse off ones, I'd probably think that the tour would be more of a disappointment to the true fans if they had just played complete rehashes of their singles, practiced to unchanging perfection.
Then again, if they're getting to the point where they aren't "listenable" and aren't improving... then I think it is time to reign it in and say ask if the band was really prepared for this, why they're doing it and is it fair to the fans.
In the end, I think Stewart Copeland has the right idea... "...It's only music", but the way the media jumped on his words, you'd think he'd just revealed that Sting is an impostor and the real Sting died back in the lat 80s.
Just another example of how the mainstream media seems to continually take something and blow it completely out of proportion... for shock value, headlines or dramatic affect.