The Police - Concert information

[Updated: March 2, 2004]

10-01-1981 / New York City, NY / Madison Square Garden / USA
Setlist same as: 03-11-1980, but The Yellow Rose Of Texas was added after De Do Do Do De Da Da Da.
Support act: Tom Robinson, Sector 27, Jools Holland.
Attendance: 19,000; sellout.
In "Modern Drummer" (April 1990 - p. 52) Stewart told: "...Madison Square Garden, it's the Police's first time headlining in a big arena. We had made a big jump from playing colleges and so on, and there we were at our first arena date. We had a lot of worries: Could we sell out the Garden? We sold out in a few hours. Would we be able to communicate with the audience from that big stage like the real big bands? Who knows? Now, this was a while ago, but these were some of the unknowns that we were concerned about. So at that gig, during the performance, my bass drum skin broke! Not a tomtom that you can just lift off or turn over or a snare drum that you have a back-up for, but the bass-drum! They had to basically take the kit apart to get to the head and change it. I also had all kinds of electronics attached to it; that's probably the worst showstopper of them all. Well, the roadies dove on that drum like bees. Meanwhile, Sting told a few jokes, Andy and I did a little dance on the front of the stage, we did a running commentary on how the skin was being replaced. We kept the audience focused on us, so that when it was all over and we kicked in the next song, the place went berserk. So that catastrophe ended up helping us. And that was a good lesson, because it taught us that we could overcome anything live, even in a big arena. The attitude to have is, "Hey, my drumhead broke, so what? So shoot me." If you handle it with confidence, nothing bad can happen to you there."
Sting sang The Yellow Rose Of Texas during the time Stewart's drum was being repaired. "A real supergroup would go off at this point. But we're just assholes, so I guess we'll stay".

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Rogier van der Gugten, Utrecht, 2002