Erie Philharmonic Rocks to The Police Deranged with Stewart Copeland
Iconic drummer and composer brings together rock and orchestra in perfect 'synchronicity'
BEGINNING SATURDAY, OCT. 21
The Erie Philharmonic is bringing classic rock to the Warner Theatre with The Police Deranged for the first Pops Concert of the 2023-24 season. Featuring legendary drummer and composer Stewart Copeland, the new orchestral arrangements pay homage to The Police's beloved songs that have thrilled generations.
"From 'Roxanne' to 'Don't Stand So Close To Me,' and 'Message in a Bottle' to 'Every Breath You Take,' this performance reinterprets these timeless tracks through a symphonic lens, breathing new life into them," according to an Erie Philharmonic statement. "Four versatile singers, backed by the rich sounds of the full orchestra, will transform the hall into a sonic landscape brimming with the energy and spirit of The Police's most significant hits."
Steve Weiser, executive director for the Erie Philharmonic, was already on board when planning the show but was even more excited to find out Stewart Copeland would be performing: "To have Stewart Copeland play so many original Police songs on the drums while in front of the orchestra is something that I think anyone who grew up listening to this band will find incredible, to see those two things together."
The songs span from all five studio albums from The Police: Outlandos D'Amour, Regatta de Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta, Ghost in the Machine, and Synchronicity. "Each of the songs are rearranged. It's still going to sound like the original, but they're rearranged to include the full power of our orchestra mixed in with a band on stage, Stewart Copeland playing drums, and gospel singers will be singing instead of Sting," Weiser describes. "That's such a great way to re-hear these songs in a new light, with these singers tackling what Sting had sung."
Stewart Copeland's career after The Police put the focus on classical composition and arrangements for film and television, including Francis Ford Coppola's 1983 film Rumble Fish, Oliver Stone's 1987 film Wall Street, and the video game series Spyro the Dragon. In addition, Copeland's classical compositions include the jazz-inspired "Off the Score," "Tyrant's Crush," and the operatic works "The Invention of Morel," "Satan's Fall," and "The Electric Saint."
"That fully plays into why these arrangements are so perfect," Weiser said when looking back at Copeland's career. "You had a drummer who was a film composer, an orchestra composer, and he actually wrote a percussion concerto. So you have someone who really knows all the ins and outs of how to write for an orchestra. It makes these arrangements so tangible and easier to love because he knows how to incorporate the brass section and the woodwind section into these songs he knows so well, instead of it being a rock concert where it just happens to be a band playing with an orchestra. This is so much more seamlessly integrated, and I think it only happens because of Stewart Copeland's genius as a composer and drummer."
For audience members who want a sneak preview of the concert, Weiser recommends listening to the album The Police Deranged for Orchestra, released in June of this year. "It's amazing. It's such a different way to hear these songs, but it's the songs you know and love which is the best part."
Saturday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. // Warner Theatre, 811 State St. // $14-$60 // For tickets and info: eriephil.org