07.08.05 Sting rocks Live 8 with outstanding set...


Sting performed an outstanding three song set at the Hyde Park concert in London comprising 'Message In A Bottle', 'Driven To Tears' and 'Every Breath You Take' (the latter with some specially rewritten lyrics).

The set was most noticeable for the introduction of a new guitarist, Lyle Workman. For more on Lyle see our separate news article. Also, providing keyboards during the set was Kipper sporting his new haircut, and Joy and Donna on backing vocals.

Here's some press comments...

"Sting delivered the most politically charged performance of the day. I think he would have got a huge amount of respect from people who weren't Sting fans for the intelligence of his political message and the way it was delivered. 5/5" - The Independent

"...But this wasn't a show about raising money. It was a musical demonstration of a worthwhile political point, something which perhaps few of the artists seemed to consider in their songs. Sting was the great exception. Appearing in the evening, when the night was falling, he changed the lines of his song 'Every Breath You Take' from 'I'll be watching you', to 'We'll be watching you'. His meaning was clear. We, all of us, he was saying, will be watching the politicians at Gleneagles to make sure they do their best to 'Make Poverty History', as it says on the Live8 slogan. As a love song, it had seemed sinister, a stalker's obsession. As a political statement, it was a warning to our democratically elected leaders." - The Daily Mail

"Superstar Sting blew the crowd away with a mighty 133 decibel roar for his classic 'Message In A Bottle', followed by a warning to the G8 leaders in 'Every Breath You Take'. - The News Of The World

"The yoga activist hasn't sounded this lean, mean and rocky since the Police. Did a joyous 'Message in a Bottle', and an inspirational 'Every Breath You Take', with new lyrics for the G8 leaders: "We'll be watching you." - The Daily Telegraph

"Sting played his old Live Aid set cleverly adapted, via back-projections of the G8 leaders, to refocus attention on matters in hand." - The Independent

"So far, so pop. Only the leaders who meet in Gleneagles on Wednesday can change the world. And as Sting implied last night with his rewritten version of 'Every Breath You Take' "we'll be watching you' the world now waits for an answer to the crucial question: have they been listening?" - The Independent on Sunday

"The appearance of Sting causes the more cynical journalists to hasten from the backstage area in the hope of a catching a daft quote along the lines of the one he made at last year's Mojo awards, about how the Middle East crisis could have been resolved if only the warring factions had paid attention to the lyrics of his song 'Desert Rose'. They are out of luck: he keeps his trap shut between songs and instead changes the lyrics of 'Every Breath You Take' into a glowering, powerful indictment of the G8 leaders, who slope past on the onstage video screens." - The Guardian

"Throughout the day, from the artists' mouths and from the screens behind the stage, the G8 leaders were mercilessly chastised and lampooned. It was as though they were being put on trial for crimes they and their predecessors had committed against humanity. If it didn't shame them, they truly have no shame. Nobody let them know this more than Sting, who changed the lyrics of 'Every Breath You Take' to "Every game you play, every vow you make, we'll be watching you." - The Daily Mirror

"A wicked set from Sting, including an amazing reworking of 'Every Breath You Take' which - against a backdrop of pictures of G8 leaders - promised them: "We'll be watching you." - The Sun

"Another old pro proved to be a crowd-pleaser. He rallied fans with favourites like 'Every Breath You Take'. 9/10" - The BBC

Live 8 was part of a day of action across the world which kick-starts The Long Walk to Justice that calls on the leaders of the world's richest countries to act when they meet in Gleneagles on 6th-9th July. July 2nd saw millions come together to call for complete debt cancellation, more and better aid and trade justice for the world's poorest people. LIVE 8 called for people across the world to unite in one call - in 2005 it is your voice we are after, not your money.

Before the Live 8 concert Sting said, "Was Live Aid really 20 years ago? It feels like only 12 to me. Even so, my memory of the say itself is a bit dim! I was on pretty early because I did a couple of acoustic duets with Phil Collins, who had to go off to New York on Concorde, so it was like I got the event over with and then just had a laugh.

I remember having our picture taken by David Bailey, like a school photo. Actually, it felt like the last day of school, or sports day. We were all doing something we thought was good, and fun. It also did all of us good to share, because most artists can be a bit isolated with their band and manager and accountants.

Bob always call his mates, and when Geldof calls you don't say 'no' unless you want an argument! In any case, I believe very strongly in Bob's commitment and passion. We've all got 15 minutes on the day of Live8, which is about three songs. I'm doing 'Message In A Bottle', which is appropriate, and I'm also doing 'Every Breath You Take', which I said I'd never sing again but Richard Curtis asked me to. I'm slightly changing the lyrics to "We'll be watching you". But I have a band this time, so I'll be more prepared than for Live Aid!"