Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Concert Review: Sting Brings His Bass Back To Connecticut

The name Sting has become one of the most well-known, single names in music history. Sting began his musical career with the rock trio The Police. After 5 albums in ten years, he left the band in 1986 to pursue a successful solo career. Now at age 60, Sting has become very reflective on his past, which is the reason his current tour is named "Back To Bass." He has stripped away all the extra instrumentation and orchestras and is just performing with a five-piece band. Included in his band is longtime guitarist Dominic Miller and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, with himself playing bass.

The tour, which began in Boston on Friday, October 21, made its second stop at the Toyota Presents Oakdale Theater Monday night. Sting is also promoting his latest release, a retrospective box set entitled "25 Years," which covers his entire solo career.

As the lights went out, Sting strolled out on stage to join his bandmates, took a quick bow, and then led the night off with "All This Time." The setlist was almost entirely made up of songs from his solo albums with only a handful of Police songs. Sting was proud to show his love for country songs performing "I'm So Happy, I Can't Stop Crying" and "I Hung My Head" to which Sting commented that he was most proud of it being covered by Johnny Cash. Sting was very talkative with the audience, describing the origins of songs or his feelings on turning 60. He even made the mistake of saying that this was his "first time in Wallingford," yet he performed at the Oakdale back in 1999. While Sting and his band rocked the Police songs "Demolition Man" and "Driven To Tears," he breezed through others like "Fields of Gold" and "Ghost Story."

The audience finally got involved, helping Sting sing the chorus to "Heavy Cloud, No Rain," but they became more attentive during "Love Is Stronger Than Justice." The song featured an outstanding solo from Peter Tickell on electric fiddle. Back-up singer/violinist Jo Lawry got her moment to shine with her vocal delivery on "The Hounds of Winter" before the band jammed on the set closer "Never Coming Home."

The encore brought audience members rushing to the stage to snap pictures with their cell phones during "Desert Rose." Then Sting brought the house down with "Every Breath You Take."

Sting and the band returned to the stage for a second encore that began with the up-tempo Police classic "Next To You." After a bow from the band, Sting was left alone on stage to perform his acoustic, solo rendition of "Message In A Bottle," which has become is signature closing song. With the audience singing along to Sting's vocals, fans were treated to a night of hits from one of rock's elite performers.

Setlist:
All This Time
Seven Days
Demolition Man
I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying
I Hung My Head
Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing)
Driven To Tears
Fortress Around Your Heart
Fields Of Gold
Sacred Love
Ghost Story
Heavy Cloud No Rain
Inside
Love Is Stonger Than Justice
The Hounds Of Winter
The End Of The Game
Never Coming Home

Encore:
Desert Rose
Every Breath You Take
Next To You
Message In A Bottle

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