we almost like decided not to attend this historic gig. i blamed the nasi lemak and the gloomy (albeit humid) weather.

okay, it wasn’t that historic as yesterday was one of the many dates the police would be playing in the UK. and they have done one leg of their tour in north america. as this was their first UK date since 1984, i guess this would be kinda historic. what changed our minds at the eleventh hour was a decision to go on to youtube.com and see what the fuss was all about. yes, we did spend 90 squids per seat (in addition, i spent 55 to come down to londres) and you’d think that would be enough to make us get off our arses to twickenham. but i can tell you, abang awie’s nasi lemak at the malaysia hall cafe is stronger than any dark jedi mind trick.

ths was also a first for me, in a sense, as this would be my first ever stadium gig. as we only left waterloo at 7.15, we missed the openers (jimbo was ever so ‘devastated’ that he missed maxïmo park). when we got to our seats, it was only like 5 minutes later when the lights came down and sting et al. came onstage kicking off their first UK set with message in a bottle. if evolution would be the one song i look forward to at a pearl jam gig, i was just as thrilled to see that they played synchronicity II as the second track of their set. i just admire power trios. like rush, it was just amazing to see how three people onstage sounded so bloomin’ big.

the set was as expected, pretty much their entire best of… selections, with a few choice tracks for the police connoisseur (ie tracks that made the average joe like myself go eh?). i have to admit, prior to saturday night, listening to the forecasted setlist was ever so uninspiring. i should’ve known, being a regular gig-goer, that listening to a band live is a totally different and uplifting experience. listening andy summers playing those psycho overstretched chords and stewart copeland playing three splashes in half a second was just great. see how sting could get the 55000-strong twickenham crowd wailing iyooooo iyooo yo yooo to much aplomb for walking on the moon? actually, i thought it was for pretty much half of their set that there were a few more opportune moments for such singalongs.

my fear of being overcome by white man-styled reggae was unfounded as we were also treated with great rockers like truth hits everybody from their debut, outlandos d’amour. it was obvious which song they were gonna play when sting rambled a wee bit about him being a teacher before singing in the band. for someone who grew up with the synchronicity album, my interest that evening pretty much piqued with tracks like invisible sun and king of pain. wrapped around your finger saw copeland providing rhythms from an array of cymbals, smaller drums and a gong, which reminded me of his quirky rhythms on his solo material (the only one i’ve listened to was the opening theme to the droids cartoon that was on telly in the 80s!).

they ended their main set with roxanne, and the encore included every breath you take. yes, the track that all children of the 80′s thought was originally sung by p. diddy. tolong la woi. jangan memalukan diri anda. i thought that was the end of it, but they topped the evening off with another old rocker, next to you.

i’ve been to three reunions (sabbath, cream and this). if this gig was as exclusive as what i experienced with cream at the albert hall, i’d pay more. but 90 squids for a middle-tier stadium seat? probably sting’s villa in tuscany needs a new roof. it was great. but it didn’t really blow me away. if pink floyd becomes the next reunion gig i’m getting tickets for, then i’ll dedicate a whole page of 無秩序の胃 for its review.

twickenham stadium, london 08.09.2007 set: message in a bottle / synchronicity II / walking on the moon / voices inside my head / when the world is running down / don’t stand so close to me / driven to tears / truth hits everybody / hole in my life / every little thing she does is magic / wrapped around your finger / de do do do, de da da da / invisible sun / walking in your footsteps / can’t stand losing you / roxanne / second set: king of pain / so lonely / every breath you take / next to you