The Police to Become a Jamband?

There’s some interesting news floating around about The Police reunion tour and how Stewart Copeland has some “ideas” for the tour that don’t necessarily jive with his bandmates and the whole concept of a reunion tour (at its core).

Over at Billboard, they’ve got a writeup stating that good ‘ol Stew wants to mix up the setlist melting pot when playing at Bonnaroo (among other events). He might want to bring some guests out on stage for their headlining gig there, which is quite logical considering such a captive audience and no other performances during the mainstage headlining slots. What’s the issue, then?

Copeland is trying to help Sting and Summers understand that the hardcore Police fans will be coming to more than one show on the reunion tour, and, as such, will be expecting the set list to change regularly.

This is all clearly stemming from his experience with Oysterhead, the power trio featuring Copeland, Les Claypool, and Trey Anastasio. They even reference that in the article…

“We’ve got a fairly rehearsed set,” he said. “[But] those people who bought most of the tickets for most of the shows are not normal people. They’re like the people who bought all the Oysterhead tickets because of Trey [Anastasio]. Those type of people, I think, buy more than one show. I’m trying to get that through to my buddies so that we change it up a little bit.”

The ‘Police-to-become-a-jamband’ jokes aside, these days any touring band should know that the strength of their live show can come from a solid combination of rehearsal and spontaneity. Reunion shows, however, are put on to please the easiest-to-please fans, and it’s clear that Sting and Summers don’t really come from a musical environment where experimentation is encouraged. Come on, Stewart — you can do it! Bring in some variety. Mix it up. Jazz-fusion the hell out of that “Roxanne.” You know you want to!

But let’s just remember how hard it was for them to mend the fences to get the reunion tour going in the first place.