Thursday, May 15, 2008

Mother's Day rock concert--the Police tour

During my freshman year of college, one CD spun on perpetual “play” in my tiny dorm room. It was a CD of greatest hits from the Police. As I recall, it did not even belong to my roommate or me; it belonged to a girl across the hall, but had somehow migrated into our room where it was held captive for the better part of a year. If I had to choose a soundtrack for that year of my life, it would probably be that Police CD. Reading, studying, chatting, or just relaxing before bedtime—my roommate and I did it all along to the strains of “Invisible Sun,” “Message in a Bottle,” and, yes, “Roxanne.”

(And just to date myself here: it was the nineties, era of grunge and flannel; the Police had long ago broken up, and Sting was well ensconced in his solo career. But that CD was, incredibly, my first real exposure to Sting.)

Fast forward seventeen years. A month ago, one of my husband’s friends from his old lab learned that the Police Reunion Tour would be making a stop in our new home city. The friend and his wife decided to make a Police pilgrimage across the state (and visit us while they were at it). Husband and I bought tickets, too. We hired a babysitter to care for the bean-girls, and for the two children our friends would be bringing. Last Sunday afternoon they all showed up—our friends, and their four-year old twin boys. Bean-girl sat on the couch watching cartoons and basically ignored the boys as they fell on her toys and books with glee. Baby Legume crawled around and tried to snatch toys away. We hung out, ordered in pizza, then the sitter arrived. And then we were off.

“Follow the people that look our age,” my husband said as we walked toward the stadium. We had pulled into a parking garage full of minivans. Streaming toward the stadium were rivers of baby boomers—hardly a face under thirty.

Elvis Costello and his band were the warm-up act. They played with vigor, but something was wrong with the sound system—I couldn’t understand a word that Costello sang. I blamed the acoustics of the stadium. But clearly someone had not done a proper sound check… for when Sting entered for his set, every word was crystal clear.

At the first sight of the Police, I was taken aback. The screen behind the stage displayed the band members in video close-ups, with merciless clarity. The lines of age, the sag of a jaw, the grizzled hair and paunch—all there, 20 feet high. Almost a shame to see it like this, I thought. But the music started, and oh, that Voice. The Voice was just the same. The music was just as I’d remembered.

I was surprised to find that I still remembered most of the lyrics, and was singing along. They even got me to bop a bit in what my husband calls my bunny-hop dance. These guys are in their fifties and even sixties (Andy Summers, I believe, is sixty-five). And yet they sounded just like the band that once played together over twenty years ago. Their energy left me in the dust. And for nearly two hours, I didn’t think of my children at all.

It was a great Mother’s Day gift—to feel free for an evening, to be out with my spouse and friends. To hear a terrific show, and forget all about motherhood—for just a little while.

And Sting? Forgive me for that moment of doubt, of weakness. You’re as sexy as ever.


ScienceGirl said...

I love this part: "We had pulled into a parking garage full of minivans." What a contrast!

Glad to hear you had a great time :)

CAE said...

What a great Mother's Day present! I'm jealous, I couldn't get tickets for the Vancouver show and didn't fancy funding the scalpers. I'd have loved to see them.

BTW there was a really really terrible CD playing at the gym this morning - cheesy techno pop covers of good songs, including every breath you take. And 50 ways to leave your lover by Paul Simon. It was painful.

rana said...

haha! i can't wait to gizoogle this post.

btw, the carribean vacation pics are fun. bean girl is growing up to be an extremely beautiful girl... while legume is still workin that fat!

ScientistMother said...

Oh a concert, I envy you! After my guilt post I have to laugh that a perfect mothers day is a concert without the kids :) I am currently trying to get tickets to Madonna so perhaps I will be able to have the same experience. BTW thanks for putting me on the blogroll

The bean-mom said...

Sciencegirl: yup, lots of minivans. Definitely an 80s music crowd!

Cae--actually, there were a LOT of unsold tickets for the concert. The stadium was only 2/3 filled. Even the local paper ran a story about all the tickets available. Tickets were kinda pricey, so maybe it's a sign of our tanking regional economy? Btw, that cheesy CD you describe really does sound painful...

Nana--Baby Legume "workin' that fat"--oh, yes!

Scientistmother--good luck on getting those Madonna tickets!