The Police reunion has been hailed as the musical event of the millennium. But an online missive from drummer Stewart Copeland, following the opening date of the band's North American tour, in Vancouver, warned all was not well. Mentions of miscues and onstage fumbles suggested that after an absence of some 22 years, this notoriously volatile trio had yet to restore order within the ranks. Still, revenues remained unaffected; even before they played their first notes, the bandmates had already netted more than eight million dollars in combined ticket sales, guaranteeing them one of the top money-making tours of 2007.
All of this hoopla benefits Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers more. Although they've plied their skills to some worthy artistic endeavors, their success has paled compared with Sting's steady trajectory. He has reached the heights of superstardom via easy-listening melodies and a jazz-centric style that's made him a fixture on adult-oriented radio. Nevertheless it's the Police songs that still stand out. "Roxanne," "Don't Stand So Close," "Every Breath You Take," "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," and "De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da" are among singles recently reprised in a greatest-hits package timed to coincide with the tour. Scaling the charts at the height of punk's reign, they helped put a focus on the turmoil and tenacity of that era via a taut, sinewy sound that fused reggae rhythms with atmospheric texture.
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The last time the Police played South Florida was December 8, 1980, a date that would ultimately be remembered most as the night John Lennon died. Still, 27 years later, it's safe to say this Police pursuit will result in one of the year's most auspicious events.