The music photography magazine gallery of

The Police in concert

`The Police` are British Rock band. Here they are photographed & captured in Analog from the stage & 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.

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The Police concert pictures ~ 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.

Great lighting

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

Photographer`s favourite shot

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Chasing The Light Art 

The concert and music photography magazine

Concert and festival photographer

Bill O'Leary

Based in Colorado / America

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