3 Doors Down - The Police - Insult vs. Privilege

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On Saturday July 26th, 2008 I went to the 3 Doors Down concert with my wife Jill and another couple. The concert was at the Susquehanna Center in Camden, NJ. In short, it was well produced, the musicianship was good, the seats were real good but the concert itself was simply uneventful. No showmanship at all. Just kinda going through the motions. I thought for moment that I was in a time warp and I was actually watching the sound check. I’m not trying to bash 3DD but seriously, I’ve seen cover bands pull off 3 Doors Down better than 3 Doors Down. My buddy quipped that if he ran into the singer at a bar he’d have no idea who the guy was. That pretty much sums up most every band that’s popular today. Maybe I’m showing my age here but I’m thinking I shouldn’t have more style than the guy on stage! When I was growing up and going to concerts it was to see KISS, Van Halen, and U2! Talk about setting the bar for what Rock Stars should be. The apathy I saw flowing on stage at 3DD is merely a reflection of the the music business in 2008.

Now, by contrast, my wife, the same couple and I went to see The Police in Philadelphia three days later. The event was without question one of the top ten best experences of my life, period! The seats, the food, the sound, the company, and of course The Police Live in Concert made this evening unquestionably one of the top ten best experiences of my life! So lets unpack this for a bit. The 3DD experience was weak at best and The Police was one of the top ten of my life? For starters, we had Club Box tickets for The Police, (JP, you’re the goods, thank you, thank you and thank you!) and here we are at the Wachovia Center with a private bar, private restrooms, amazing food and an amazing sightline of the stage not to mention I’m going to be seeing the Police for most likely, the very last time. I’m fired up to say the least.

Yes, I’m way ahead even before they play their first note however great accommodations only go so far. For the record, attending the 3DD concert had me driving through Camden (always a pleasant experience) and upon our arrival at the gates, we got searched. (boy, that sure sets a nice tone for the evening,) after which, I proceed to walk through puke on the way to get my $32 draft beer, then waited in line (in puke again) to use the restroom, I think you get the picture. Needless to say when I finally got to my seat I wanted to, no I expected, to see a rock concert with bona-fide Rock Stars worthy of their mansions, cars, girls, etc. What I got instead was 3DD going through the motions, with a drunk knucklehead behind me spilling his beer down my back every five minutes. The four of us walked out after the 5th song or so. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve got some great songs but I’ve come to expect more for a $250 night out.

Alright, so back to The Police concert. They take the stage and what is the first thing that comes out of Stings mouth, I’M SORRY WE’RE LATE. I couldn’t believe my ears. Sting was showing respect for MY time? He’s earned his elder statesmen status, he’s a gentlemen and he’s a bona-fide Rock Star. Not to mention that his performance along with Copeland’s and Summers’ was flawless. The fact that my wife wanted to (ya know) when she was a teenager and still wants to thirty years later… now that’s a Rock Star!

So did Sting jump up and down and run around like a maniac? No. Did he tell stories and tales from the bands thirty year history? No. Was there pyrotechnics and props? Nope. It was just three guys on stage performing their music which has left an indelible mark on the world.

I couldn’t help but wonder aloud as we left the venue, why did I feel Insulted at the 3DD concert while feeling privileged to have experienced The Police. I guess thirty years of timeless hits, amazing and diverse body of solo work for each, induction to the R&R Hall of Fame, etc., etc. Oh yeah, that’s right, The Police ARE Rock Stars! Thank you for contributing so much positive energy to the world.

By Doug Taylor 07/30/2008 06:43 PM

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