The Time I Cried At A The Police Show

by - January 13, 2022

Photo courtesy of Dana Gorab

Dreams really do come true.

This story begins in 1985, when 9-year-old me was blasting the newest album (on cassette) called Synchronicity by the biggest band in the world and my all-time fave, The Police. Being the youngest of five kids in my family, I relied heavily on my big brothers for new music I could steal – I mean, borrow from them. Little did I know that months later while sitting at #1 on the charts for a goddamn year (no exaggeration), this massive group would do the unexpected and… break up?!

Along with millions of other fans, I was absolutely devastated. It was the first time I ever felt so empty, almost like what it would feel like if my parents got divorced. I wasn't born when The Beatles broke up but now I could understand the massive impact that must have had on the world and my father, Efren Pereira Sr., who was a super fan. It was he who sparked my love for music with a vinyl collection that included The Fab Four, Motown, Sly and the Family Stone, the Bee Gees, Elton John and basically nothing but the greats. I would spend the rest of my adolescent years dreaming of the day when my band would reunite, because all bands do that eventually right? Wrong.

Fast forward to 1995.

I was inspired to start my own power trio we called Wide Mouth Mason, which featured yours truly on bass and vocals like my idol, Sting. We played our first sold-out show at our legendary campus bar Louis' Pub on the University of Saskatchewan campus (go Huskies!), where every huge Canadian act at the time had also played on their come up. It was no surprise the biggest hit of the night was none other than our cover of The Police's lesser-known 1978 soft single, “So Lonely”. It felt so satisfying to live vicariously through my heroes, but nothing was ever going to fill my nostalgic appetite more than them getting back together.

A few years later, I got click-baited into purchasing a copy of Rolling Stone magazine with the lads on the cover and titled, 'The Police Reunion'. Could it be true? Well unfortunately, that was a hard NOPE. They merely reunited for an interview which ended up feeling like a couples therapy session. Sting apologized to Stewart, who apologized to Andy, all due to a big miscommunication and years of living on the road in close quarters with your brothers. I believe, however, that this played a key factor in what was to happen in 10 more years.

Super fast forward to 2007.

At the prestigious Grammy Awards, a mystery band was to be kicking off the show, and low and behold when the lights came on it was like they had never left. The crowd and millions of people watching around the world went berserk, including myself obviously. And just like that, with no warning the unthinkable happened - they were BACK!

I had all but given up hope of a reunion until this historically shocking moment. I mean, it had been 22 years after all. And to the pure happiness of every fan, they announced a worldwide reunion tour that would be starting in wait what... CANADA?!

I wasted no time in joining the online fan clubs to give me the best shot at buying tickets to a concert. I snagged a pair to the Montreal show for two reasons:

1. It was taking place towards the end of their Canadian tour so they will have shaken off any rust by then.

2. Montreal had been a place where they had spent a lot of time making records and forming close friendships, so I knew they would be treating it like a hometown show.

I was right!

So here we go.

In the scorching heat of July in 2007 at a packed Molson Centre (now known as the Bell Centre), home of the famous Les Habitants hockey team, my partner at the time and I were sitting 15 rows up on the bass player’s side of the stage with nothing but their iconic gear laid out in a perfect triangle. There was a buzz unlike anything I had ever felt before, and I realized my dream was about to become a reality.

Through the darkness, you could see three figures appearing from backstage. As the crowd roared into a frenzy, there came the blistering intro guitar riff of their classic smash hit, “Message In A Bottle”. And there they were – Stewart Copeland's lanky frame smashing his drums with surgical precision, Andy Summers hammering those add nine chords, and of course, their fearless frontman Gordon Sumner aka Sting, smacking his gorgeous 1959 Fender Jazz with most of the paint having worn down to the wood from the thousands of shows he had performed with it. And there was me, a grown man bawling his eyes out, completely overwhelmed with an emotion and joy I didn't think was possible to experience. Suffice to say, it was the best concert I have ever seen and probably will ever see in my lifetime. At one point I snuck my way within a few rows, and as they did the real version of “So Lonely” as their encore, I swear to god Sting looked over as I belted out the harmonies to his verse lyrics.

What.. A... Night!

The next morning, the power in our hotel room serendipitously went down so my fiance and I strolled over to my fave breakfast place called Eggspectations. By the time I sat down to order, I kid you not, in walks drummer Stewart Copeland with a stylish lady. I waited until they ordered and then we approached them. I got to tell him how much of an influence he has been on my music career. He then offered to sign the concert swag we didn't realize we were still wearing. A legendary moment with a legendary performer.

Dreams really do come true.

- Earl Pereira, frontman of The Steadies

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