It’s 1983. The Police, at the height of their popularity, are touring their
Synchronicity album. At the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia, one show is preserved for
posterity. For future generations to look back at the band on the DVD format and
remark how great a band the Police really were and how goddamned stuffy Sting is
without them, having only gotten stuffier as the years have gone by. Oh yeah,
the video is also produced by 10cc’s Godley and Crème, so you know it’s going to
have all the latest sort of high tech special effects in the production, since
the two veered off into video when they realized no one wanted to buy their
crummy art rock albums after splitting with their original band, only to see
Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart reap even bigger fortunes without them.
So the Police came and they played the majority of their new album (save for
that irritating “Mother” that really should have been done live) as well as some
other favorites, like “Message in a Bottle” and “Walking on the Moon.” Sting is
dressed in that one jacket that is made of multi-colored strips of fabric. His
hair is perfectly done up. His jacket is open and no shirt is underneath. He was
Tantric before he bragged about it, just check that out. By this point in their
career one could sense that it really was turning out to be all about Sting and
not Andy or Stewart as well.
He just couldn’t be confined, you know. Yeah, well we all know how that turned
out, seeing how the guy bothers to release the “best of” his solo stuff with
that of the Police’s anymore. Sorry, but it’s just not the same. We know this
now. We didn’t know it was going to be that way at the time, though. Anyway,
there they are, playing their little hearts out, looking good, and the colors
look really bright and the picture is really sharp. But then Godley and Crème
have to monkey around.
That’s right. They decide to do these crazy stutter-shot edits of this totally
‘80s looking guy in the crowd singing along over and over. Then they take some
completely gnarly looking ‘80s gal in the crowd also singing along, and suddenly
the rest of the crowd disappears behind her in a screen of black while her body
is outlined in white. What the hell? Don’t let those guys mess with this. Oh
wait, now they’re going to do some slow-mo of more kids in the crowd who look
like rejects from "Fame." Did we really wear all that crap back then with those
haircuts? What a nightmare.
The performance is fine. There are some backup singers dressed in high school
marching band attire. It’s too cut and dried, though. There’s nothing especially
exciting to get from the performance, and looking at it completely, the whole
damn thing works better as an ‘80s fashion time capsule than a concert video.
Things were different then. Calmer. Now kids are “angry” and look like they
haven’t washed in two weeks and listen to crummy bands with stupid names playing
a form of hard rock that sounds like it was twisted from the bowels of Uriah
Heep. Or something like that.
There are also pointless multi-angle tracks, an even more pointless trailer for
the concert, and an interview with the band in Melbourne, Australia from 1984.
It’s all so dated. These extras hold no weight nor attention span. They didn’t
think this thing would be reissued years later. This was disposable. But for the
fan who must have it all, here it is. The Police were a damn fine band, indeed,
and are missed to be sure. But there’s more enjoyment to be had from the actual
albums and not having to watch Godley and Crème’s goofy effects. Just stare at
the album jacket like you used to and imagine the songs with mental imagery that
is far cooler than what is offered here. The ‘80s are dead. Let’s hear it for
old man time.