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The Police in concert
`The Police`were a Rock band from Great Britain formed in 1977. Here they are photographed and captured in Analog from the stage and pit area during a concert in America in 1981. For more information and to follow the band on social media use the following external links.
Photography of The Police ~ Bill O’Leary
A word from the photographer
On This Night: The Police
At the beginning of the 1980’s in America, there began a shift in musical style from Hard Arena Rock to New Wave Music. Bands like The Knack, XTC and B-52’s started to really get popular.I remember liking a band from England, THE POLICE right away because of the aggressive punk like speed in their music. Even one of my favorite bands from the 70’s, Rush were influenced by this new sound, especially the music of The Police.
Madison Sq. Garden
The Police already had two albums out, and were touring and promoting a third album, Zenyatta Mondatta by the time I got a chance to photograph them at the world famous Madison Sq. Garden in New York City. They were the headliner after breaking in America with songs like “Message In A Bottle” and “So Lonely”. The openers were fellow Brits Jools Holland And His Millionaires and Tom Robinson’s Sector 27.
A fan of The Police
The Police show was on 10 January, 1981. It was a cold winter night outside but things soon heated up inside Madison Sq. Garden, where I had photographed many shows in the past. I was amazed at the energy The Police had, especially as a three piece band. It’s always exciting photographing a band that you are not too familiar with, and coming away afterwards a “true” fan. I was dead center in front of the stage, getting what I thought were amazing images, and really enjoying the crowd’s vibe, very happy and energetic.
I remember the lighting that night being very colorful and bright, perfect for a “non-flash” photographer as I hoped to always be. In the future that would change slightly as many magazines and photo editors “required” very highly exposed images that would transfer to print better in their publications. I always disliked flash photography, or crime scene photography as I called it, it was so unnatural looking. I also found it to be “obnoxious” in a concert setting. I preferred nice “follow spotlight lighting” that was typically used in arena settings.
Most important shows in their career
One highlight I will never forget in the middle of the show was during the song, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”, one of their biggest hits, I was concentrating on my composition thru the viewfinder and I felt the entire floor of the arena moving up and down as if I was on a trampoline. All of this unnerving movement was do to the crowd dancing and jumping in unison up and down to the music. I had never felt that in the past at this venue, amazing. Recently in a documentary by drummer Stewart Copeland, he pointed out that this was one of the most important shows in the career of the band. I’m proud to have captured that on film.
Location and date of these concert captures
Madison Sq. Garden / New York / America / 10.01.1981
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Photographer`s favourite shot
After you have enjoyed the live concert photography and review of `The Police` performing in America from Bill O’Leary then make sure to visit his GALLERY. You will find more of his relevant work and links to his social media / websites and other published and non published portfolios. You can also view this photographer`s full A to Z of ALL the bands and artists they have photographed for Chasing The Light Art.The links below are where you will find more great Rock n Roll and America concert images and reviews from this photographer.
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