Sting Live In Singapore
Last Thursday evening the Singapore Indoor Stadium played host to Sting, live in concert. This was the second to last night of Sting’s Asian tour and saw him reprising many of his best known songs, from both The Police and his long solo career. The Sting And I All told, this was the seventh time […]
Last Thursday evening the Singapore Indoor Stadium played host to Sting, live in concert. This was the second to last night of Sting’s Asian tour and saw him reprising many of his best known songs, from both The Police and his long solo career.
The Sting And I
All told, this was the seventh time I’ve been able to see Sting, in his various musical guises, with The Police, as a solo artist and in his recent early music period. I still consider the concert I saw, when Sting was touring The Dream Of The Blue Turtles album, right back at the start of his solo career, as the best pop concert I have ever attended (it’s also still my pick of his albums).
And, it’s fair to say he continues to be one of my favourite rock and pop performers. Moreover, Sting’s approach to songwriting has been hugely influential on me. So, as you can imagine my expectations were high for this concert.
Bring On The Night
This was advertised as the Back To Bass tour, which was a nice play on Sting being up front on electric bass again and playing his songs with a pared back live band. Fans are used to Sting bringing excellent musicians with him and this was one of the strongest live bands I’ve seen support him tour.
Alongside Sting was his long-time guitar companion Dominic Miller who seems to just get more adventurous with age. On keyboards was David Sancious, a former member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street band. There were also some crowd pleasing highlights from Peter Tickell on violin.
However, the most impressive surprises came from the excellent (and somewhat underrated) jazz singer Jo Lawry who didn’t just fill the classic role on female backing vocalist with laser sharp dance moves accenting pitch perfect vocals, but also shone in the moments when she soar vocally on her own, and not just behind Sting’s singing.
And, most of all, the treat of the night was Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, who despite a subdued performance on a few tracks, added a breadth, depth and gravitas to the drum parts that few percussionists could ever replicate.
If I Ever Lose My Faith In You
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
An Englishman In New York
I Hung My Head
The End Of The Game
Fields Of Gold
Driven To Tears
Heavy Cloud But No Rain
Message In A Bottle
Shape Of My Heart
Hounds Of Winter
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da
King Of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Next To You
Highlights & Other Lights
It was great to see Sting back in this format, playing a lively and upbeat setlist. He looked in great shape and his band really brought the rock back into any of these tunes. In particular I enjoyed Message In A Bottle played at tempo and with real verve after many years as a stripped back and mellow concert closing number.
The reworked arrangement of I Hung My Head lifted this great song and Englishman In New York, Shape Of My Heart, Hounds Of Winter and King Of Pain were also excellent. In fact all the songs had been tweaked and reworked for this tour, which is a testament to the ethos of Sting and the musicians he brought with him
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night was a very flat rendition of Desert Rose, with Sting making a meal of the Arabic opening lyrics, originally sung by Cheb Mami. I also could have happily done without The End Of The Game, a song I’ve never warmed to and Every Breath You Take, which is a tune I would rather Sting leave out of his concerts than play in the more lighthearted tone he has used in recent years.
But, to be fair, these are modest complaints about what was the best pop concert I’ve seen this year from one of my all time favourite musicians. I hope it’s not too long before Sting graces our shores again. Maybe next time he’ll even play a few songs from The Dream Of The Blue Turtles album as well.