Got back from Dublin today after going to “The Police” at Croke Park. Being a teenager during the whole pre/post “punk” “new wave” age of late 70’s early 80’s The Police was the band I always wished I could go an see. The Police headlined Leixlip Castle at the “Dublin Festival 1980”, which was their first (and became their only) show in Ireland. I remember dreaming of going to that show but was too young at the time. So here I was 27 years on and finally getting to see the band.
Support band on the night were “Fiction Plane” with lead singer, Joe Sumner, son of Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting – “Keep it in the family”
I have to admit that I didn’t feel keen on hearing the support band as a few of us preferred having a few scoops at the bar and just to note I did stand patiently in a queue with around 100 people ahead but the bar flew through us at €5 a scoop. Around 8:00pm The Police were on stage.
Kicking off with “Message In A Bottle” a classic and on to a good mix of old and new “Driven To Tears” was a stand out for me with drive and melody as was “Wrapped Around Your Finger” with Stewart Copeland playing bells, chimes, gongs and other percussion. I noticed the crowd looked a fair bit bored at the less popular songs but things swung into spirts again with “De DoDoDo De DaDaDa“.
Things got a little messy around us about a half hour into the gig with 2 fights breaking out to the right and left, we were sitting on the Hogan Stand, Upper Tier – 1 guy totally acting the dickhead and escorted away by The Police sorry the Gardai (pardon the pun) and another guy fuelled up on booze to the point that he wanted to take on the stadium… there was shouting and abuse but it sorted itself out eventually. tg!
Then there was Sting’s dragging out the songs with singing “Roxanne OH!” for a more than a bareable few minutes + crowd reaction. Sting was’nt going for the high notes on any of the setlist tonight and there was a drop in key for many of their hit songs. Well I am musician aswell – ” Oh sorry a drummer really” 🙂 does that count!??? Enevitably “Every Breath You Take” was the big crowd pleaser of the night.
I suppose thinking about it now it was nice being there with some “living legend” musicians and I’ve gotta give thumbs up to Stewart Copeland for the inspiration in rhythm, but the whole Croke Park thing (82,000 approx) was just too much for comfort. I would have preferred to see them at the Point.
The stage design was a bit bland but the side video screens helped in capturing the atmosphere of just 3 guys on stage. This was a no-nonsense, no fireworks, no bells or whistles – straight on gig. I was glad to have gone but wouldnt return or “been there, done that, but would’nt buy the T-shirt”.
Heres the setlist below. It’s about 90% accurate …
After the gig we headed to “Barrys Hotel” bar for a drink and one of the lads mentioned that a pint of Guiness was only €3.40! and that was in Dublin. The bar was old and the toilets were stinking but we chatted away regardless about the gig. After an hour or so we parted and headed for the dreaded “Waiting on O’ Connell Street for a Taxi syndrome” this was a nightmare!
We waited for over an hour and a half for a taxi to come along with a huge crowd and witnessed fighting, verbal abuse and racist remarks and that was just coming from the taxi queue. We all agreed that Dublin must be a shithole to live in and we’d never complain about waiting for a local taxi ever again.
Well thats me done with Dublin and stadium rock for a while…!