03.08.05 Sting wows Delhi!

After his recent rave reviews for his Bangalore show, Sting followed up with an amazing concert in Delhi at the Dilli Haat Grounds in Pitampura on February 6. Here's just some of the reviews from the Indian press...

From Webindia.com

Sting wows his Delhi audience...

Mixing his new found love for techno dance vibes with his traditional mix of rock and jazz, music icon Sting had thousands of fans eating out of his hands when he performed in the capital on a cold winter night.

The biting cold that had settled on the city after a brief afternoon shower seemed to dissipate almost instantaneously as Sting took the stage in west Delhi's Dilli Haat grounds in Pitampura Sunday night with his seven-piece band.

Kicking off his show with 'Send Your Love', a high-energy track from his latest album 'Sacred Love', Sting didn't slow down at all before launching into a blistering version of 'Message In A Bottle', one of his major hits from his days with the band Police.

Greeting about 10,000 cheering, dancing and orderly fans with "Namaste, Delhi," the 53-year-old rocker took them on a musical journey that spanned all phases of his career.

Mixing solo hits like 'Englishman In New York', 'Fields Of Gold' and 'All This Time' with old Police nuggets like 'Roxanne' and 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', Sting soon had the fans singing along.

Behind him, the band was like a tight, well-oiled machine, providing just the right groove for the tracks.

Dominic Miller's airy guitar runs mingled with jazzy piano of Jason Rebello and the duo of Joy Rose and Donna Gardier made a lot of fans with their superb backing vocals.

Even when Sting brought out the old hits, they were completely retooled - 'Roxanne', the Police's ode to a sex worker, was turned into an extended jazz jam that featured a lot of improvised interplay between Sting's throbbing bass guitar and the thundering drums of Keith Carlock.

"The sound was so nice and loud that I could feel the thump of the drums in my stomach," said Sheetal Jain, who was standing right in front of a tower of speakers at the side of the stage, which was tastefully decorated.

"It's so nice to watch a show by a musician who really rocks and doesn't depend on a bunch of dancers and monitors flashing all kinds of videos to keep the crowd going. This is real music," said Vinoto Sema, a student from Nagaland.

This was the first time Sting had sung in the Indian capital since 1988, when he toured the country with Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel for Amnesty International. And the fact was not lost on Sting, an avowed India-lover.

"I last played here in 1988, and I was 10 years old then," he quipped, drawing loud cheers from the audience, a motley mix of the young and old.

But it was the older songs like 'Roxanne', 'Fragile' and 'Shape Of My Heart' which drew the biggest response from the crowd, as people sang along with Sting.

Sting also traded in his trademark bass for an acoustic guitar for 'Fragile' and 'Shape Of My Heart', showing off some fancy fretwork.

And the absence of Cheb Mami did not prevent Sting and his band from turning in a great rendition of 'Desert Rose', his hit of a few years ago recorded with the Algerian star.

Sting saved one of his best known songs - 'Every Breath You Take', a track about obsession and possessiveness that is often mistaken for a love song - for the encore before closing the show with the haunting strains of 'A Thousand Years'.

Not that the fans were satisfied. Many lingered around, chanting "Sting, Sting" in the hopes of a second encore that was not to be.

But then, Sting did promise he would be back in India before leaving the stage.

and from The Times of India by Sunaina Kumar

Sting holds Delhi spellbound...

Gordon Sumner, dressed in pin-striped black trousers and black shirt, said 'Namaste... it's been a while' and won Delhi over, even before he hit the first musical note. Over 6,000 people rocked for two hours as the Sting spell was cast on them at the Dilli Haat grounds in Pitampura on Sunday.

Braving the chilly Delhi drizzle and traffic jams up to Dhaula Kuan, a melange of people came together to attend the concert - from celebs like Indian rock band Euphoria and sarod maestros Aman and Ayan Ali Bangash, to a generous sprinkling of grey heads. And Sting disappointed no one.

The singer, who had just flown in from Varanasi, crooned to all-time favourites like 'Message In A Bottle', 'Sacred Love' (which he dedicated to India saying that just like the country, the song was about sex and religion) and 'Englishman in New York'.

The audience was in for a pleasant surprise as the concert started at 7pm sharp and ended at 9.20pm. The parking arrangements that has been demarcated according to the ticket prices were also well-organised, as was the security.

Except for slow-moving traffic around the grounds, there was no problem at all. We did not have any trouble with the security either," said a young couple.

"He has a much better stage presence than Bryan Adams," said a fan. Two giant projectors beaming down at the crowds and the Metro speeding across the Pitampura skyline made for an electrifying set. The singer took a break after the first hour, leaving crowds thirsting for more. The constant clamour and loud cheers were finally rewarded with the hit song 'Desert Rose' driving the audience wild. Sting then wrapped up the ecstasy with 'Every Breath You Take'.

At 9.10 pm, when Sting took a bow, Delhi had not had nearly enough. It took 10 minutes more of jamming before Delhi would let go of their star performer.

and from Expressindia.com by Paromita Chakrabati

An Englishman has New Delhi on its feet...

When Gordon Matthew Sumner a.k.a Sting takes centerstage, there's very little that can go wrong.

Even though rain threatened to play spoilsport at this party, the much-awaited Delhi leg of Sting's 'Sacred Love' concert went off without a hitch. After the Shaggy no-show, if South Delhi had had reservations about the venue, Sunday night proved them absolutely wrong. No major traffic jams, no parking glitches, no lapse in security arrangement - Pitampura did itself proud as the new venue of international concerts in the Capital.

Colourful bandannas, teenagers in scruffy jeans and beads, the queue outside the Dilli Haat grounds was a veritable rockstar's paradise. With such a perfect setting, there was no way that Sting would let down his audience.

Starting with 'Message In A Bottle' to 'Englishman In New York', 'Shape Of My Heart', 'Roxanne', 'Every Breath You Take' and more recent hits like the 'Desert Rose', the rockstar wooed his fans from 7.30 pm to 9.30 pm.

"This one's for India, because it's about sex and religion," he declared before singing the title track from his new album 'Sacred Love'. Needless to say, the crowd went berserk.

"I bought his album this morning, so that I could sing along. He has not performed in Italy for quite some time now. The moment I heard he's performing in Delhi, I decided I would attend here," said Cecile, an Italian tourist, who came for the show with her Indian friends.

In fact, lots of foreigners had come to watch the star perform. Also among the audience was J. Claude Tribolet of the French Cultural Centre, Palash Sen of Euphoria and Subir Malik of the rock band Parikrama. "It's the best concert I've been to after Roger Waters in Bangalore," said an overwhelmed Malik. A resident of Model Town, Malik was also quite pleased with the success of the new venue. "People never take too kindly to a new concept. Pitampura didn't do too badly, did it?" he remarked.

After his performance in Bangalore on February 4, Sting arrived in Delhi only late last night. The star, who declared in a recent interview that he likes "Hinduism more than anything else at the moment" had taken a detour to Varanasi, where he even took a dip in the Ganga.

Bevan Eakins charts the tidal wave of compassion which unleashed Sting's tsunami benefit concert at Leeuwin. Three days after the Indian Ocean tsunami had claimed 290,000 lives in South-East Asia and Sri Lanka, international rock star Sting and his family were enjoying a Christmas break on a ski slope somewhere in Europe. Sting's tour manager of 15 years, William Francis, telephoned the former front man for Police and said a request had come from Margaret River to hold a tsunami benefit concert. Would he do it? "Yes," was the unequivocal reply...