Friday, June 01, 2007

Stewart Copeland on the Police's Disaster Gig

It's good to know that gigs like this happen to the best of them:
A philosophical Stewart Copeland unleashed his vitriol in a posting on his Web site on Thursday, a day after the band played its second show in Vancouver, the Canadian city where it began its first world tour in more than 20 years on Monday.

"This is unbelievably lame," Copeland wrote of Wednesday's show at the GM Place arena. "We are the mighty Police and we are totally at sea."

Copeland started the show off on the wrong foot, literally. He tripped as he took to the stage, and then banged his gong at the wrong time so that "the big pompous opening to the show is a damp squib." He did not hear Summers' opening riff to "Message In a Bottle," and Sting in turn misheard Copeland's drum intro -- "so we are half a bar out of sync with each other. Andy is in Idaho." They quickly recovered, but then Sting got his footwork wrong as he leapt into the air to signal the end to a shambolic version of their rat-race rant "Synchronicity II."

"The mighty Sting momentarily looks like a petulant pansy instead of the god of rock," Copeland reported. "And so it goes, for song after song," he wrote, with tunes such as "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" and "Don't Stand So Close To Me" reduced to ruin.

"It usually takes about four or five shows in a tour before you get to the disaster gig. But we're The Police so we are a little ahead of schedule," he said.

If you've ever been in a band, you know all too well what he's talking about. The worst one I experienced was when my band Spigot played what we called "The Astonishing 3-D Event." We had two slide projectors project the same image not quite on top of each other, and gave out 3-D glasses like in the old days, so the images looked like they were in 3-D (we used red and green acetate on the projectors and in the glasses). We also got an apple-scented fog machine for some reason. It was our first headlining show and the placed was packed. The first song went great, but that's when the strings started breaking. I broke I think four strings on three different guitars that night. Because I hadn't played live much, I didn't know to have backup guitars at the ready (I had to borrow guitars from the opening bands), so the whole thing ground to a halt again and again. Eventually there were no more guitars to play (though there was still plenty of apple-scented fog), and we just had to stop. I think I'm still depressed about it.

Anyway, I think Stewart will be fine.


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