06.08.12 ''Sting musically potent at sold-out Chastain'' reports the Atlanta Journal & Constitution...

Sting musically potent at sold-out Chastain...

In the past decade or so, Sting has turned his songs inside out. We've heard the symphonic versions. The lute versions. The electro-enhanced 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' version.

So what, at halfway to 61 years of age and nearly 35 years into a career, is left to do?

Why, play the songs in their basic, original forms, of course.

That's exactly what the still-muscular, still intelligently sexy Sting is doing on his ''Back to Bass'' tour, a two-hour historical romp through his career that will have many grousing about the lack of huge hits (thankfully, even he has realized that the formless 'Roxanne' is overplayed and overrated and axed it from the show) and longtime fans perking up at the appearance of 'Sacred Love' and 'The Hounds of Winter'.

Here's the thing about Sting: No matter what he's playing, whether it's the tangy twang of 'I'm So Happy I Can't Stop Crying' or the unusual 5/4 time signature that powers 'Seven Days', it's always musically interesting and lyrically potent.

At Thursday's sold-out Chastain Park Amphitheatre gig, Sting and his terrific five-piece band, including 22-year vet Dominic Miller on guitar and awe-inspiring violinist Peter Tickell, effortlessly ping-ponged from the jaunty bounce of opener 'All This Time' to a silken version of The Police's 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic'.

The sometimes-moody Sting was in a jovial mood, chatting early and often with the crowd (an annoyingly chatty lot themselves, but that's a story for another day) and mentioning how happy he was to be back at Chastain, where he played in 2010.

Throughout the set, the singer/bassist, in a tight, white T-shirt, a spiky row of blonde fuzz on his head, sounded as hearty as he looked, holding notes until the veins in his neck popped and ably navigating key changes.

After noting that he'd never written a song about Georgia, he and the band dove into 'Englishman in New York', its elegant message of individualism emphasized as he led the crowd in a singalong of the refrain, ''Be yourself, no matter what they say.''

Sometimes striking a professorial stance - this is Sting, after all - he shared that the two things that fascinate him most are sex and religion (a suitable intro to 2003's 'Sacred Love'); he harbors a deep affection for westerns (hence, 'Love is Stronger Than Justice [The Munificent Seven]'); and that he respects the beauty of the fox, even after one snuck into his chicken coop for a meal (an unexpected segue into 'The End of the Game').

In a perfect set list world, could we have heard 'Brand New Day', 'Fortress Around Your Heart' or even the cheeky semi-hit 'Nothing 'Bout Me' instead of some of these deeper album tracks? Well, sure.

But fans only there for the radio hits were still sated with a lithe version of 'Desert Rose' and a soaring take on perhaps The Police's most intriguing song, 'King of Pain'.

It is hoped that moments such as Sting's subtle bass work on 'Never Coming Home'; the expert cymbal work of drummer Vincent Colaiuta (whom Sting called ''the best drummer in the world'' - ouch, Stewart Copeland) on 'Driven to Tears'; and the gripping crescendo between Sting and Tickell at the close of 'Love is Stronger Than Justice', reminded attendees of the art of musicianship.

And really, isn't that more important than screaming ''Roxanne'' for the 800th time?

(c) The Atlanta Journal & Constitution by Melissa Ruggieri
(2) Reviews and Comments
jeanne2012 - 06.11.12
St. Louis/Fox Theatre
We were blown away by the band in St. Louis. I have so many favorites by him that Sting could sing a nursery rhyme and make it incredible... The version of Seven Days he played last Tuesday night had us howling...(My voice still hasn't recovered from that night). We were so thrilled with the set list and Peter Tickell--man!!! He is a dynamo. I hope all of you fans out there get an opportunity to see this show. Love you Sting!!!
pumkin - 06.08.12
Sacred Love and Seven Days. What a treat.
It's rare that a drummer becomes so renowned that referring to them by their christian name garners immediate respect. There's Nicko, Chad, perhaps Jojo? But say Vinnie to any drummer with a working knowledge of the greats, and it can only relate to one man: Vinnie Colaiuta. With Vinnie rejoining the ranks of Sting's world-class band for an extensive tour that returns to the Henley Festival on 4 July (bad luck if you don't have tickets already). He's also made some significant changes to his drum set up. Vinnie told Rhythm all about his new rig, getting back out with Sting, as well as recounting some of his early experiences in the music world over 11 pages of their July issue...

[1] Comments
Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Sting performed in St. Louis Tuesday as he continues to kick off the next leg of his Back to Bass Tour. His stop in St. Louis is one of only a handful of shows Sting is performing in the United States before heading back to Europe for the next couple months. The last time Sting appeared in the Gateway City was for a performance with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at a sweltering Verizon Wireless Amphitheater two years ago. At that time his concert tilted towards a very subdued nature. This time, with help of a much smaller backing of Dominic Miller on guitar, Vinnie Colauita on drums, David Sancious on keyboards, Peter Tickell on electric fiddle and vocalist Jo Lawry, Sting was able to perform a more up-tempo show...
English rocker Sting kept it simple and straightforward at his concert Tuesday night at the Fox Theatre. When Sting last visited these parts two years ago at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, he lushly recreated his classics with the help of the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. This time, Sting came with a band including Dominic Miller on guitar, Vinnie Colauita on drums, David Sancious on keyboards and Peter Tickell on a mean electric fiddle for a show that took fans in another direction. Sting and his band were most interested in rocking out, pumping up songs such as 'Demolition Man', 'Driven to Tears' and 'Next to You' to maximum effect, in ways that couldn't play out with the orchestra show...

[3] Comments
For those of you who didn't make the trek to Thackerville, Okla. last night to hear Sting, you missed a good one. It was the second of two concerts at WinStar World Casino this weekend that kicked off his latest tour, not long since the finish of his “Back to Bass Tour” that brought Sting to the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie last November. This was his first time to perform at WinStar in the Global Event Center, a comfortable venue much like a hotel ballroom. The room seats just under 3,500, with cushy chairs, bars in the back and dry acoustics. It was the perfect place to hear Sting, who was in prime form...

[1] Comments
Following the Back To Bass tour which ended in Cape Town in March, tonight Sting commences his latest tour in Thackerville, Oklahoma, the first of 35 summer dates across North America, Canada and Europe. The tour will find Sting performing many of his greatest hits and he will be joined on the tour by a 5-piece band featuring Dominic Miller (guitar), David Sancious (keyboards), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Peter Tickell (electric fiddle), and Jo Lawry (vocals). If you are attending of the shows remember to share your reviews, thoughts and photos with other Sting fans on the relevant tour page for the show - as everyone would love to know what you think. The full tour schedule is below. Some tickets may still be available for certain shows - check the ticket links on this page http://sting.com/tour/index/...