On Monday, Warren and I were thrilled to lend our support to the David Suzuki Foundation, as we attended “Up Close and Personal with The Police.” An event co-chaired by Garner Bornstein, Stephen Bronfman, and Andy Nulman, the evening was a whirlwind of music, fun, and most importantly, environmental awareness and fundraising for a great cause.
While the whole night was amazing, the first part was the highlight for me as you’ll see in a second. After getting to the Bell Centre, the 100 or so attendees were ushered through the backstage area to sit in the front rows to watch the sound check. That was exciting enough, but things were about to get better. Sting says he’s got a bit of a cold, so he asks for volunteers to go up on stage and sing! That led to yours truly running like a madman, and here’s the evidence:
I know it’s pretty small, but that’s me third from left clapping. What a thrill! It got even better, as I went back up again for the last song, my personal Police favourite So Lonely. This time, I hogged the mic and belted out lead vocals as best I could. The highlight for me was when Sting gave me a disappointed look when I missed a line! He seemed to be expecting better from me as I had done well up to that point. So cool.
Before I got off the stage after the song was over, I made a point to shake the hands of Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland. As a (bad) guitarist, I was thrilled to meet Andy. And I was quick enough to ask him for a guitar pick, and he handed me the one he had just been playing with! Here it is:
The next part of the evening was a cocktail at Queue de Cheval. This was also a highlight, as Warren and I had the chance to chat with Mr. Suzuki, who was so intelligent and friendly. When he spoke to the whole room during the evening, his passion and eloquence were literally mesmerizing. Both Warren and I were so impressed with him and his message. It’s a message everyone needs to take to heart. Please go to his foundation’s website and find out what you can do. The cocktail also included an auction, where several bass guitars signed by the band and other Police memorabilia helped raise tens of thousands more dollars for the foundation.
Finally, the concert. It was almost a letdown after the evening so far! But really, we had a great time, rocking to an amazing greatest hits-laden set. Thirty years after they started, all The Police sounded fantastic. Warren and I were both blown away at the musicianship, and Sting’s voice, even hindered by his cold, didn’t disappoint.
All in all, an evening we will remember for the rest of our lives.