Sep
06
2004

Nashville, TN, US (Starwood Amphitheater)

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With Dominic Miller & Annie Lennox

SHOW REVIEW

Send Sting some honey, lime and Trinidad rum to help his voice...

Send Sting some honey, lime and Trinidad rum to help his voice. I felt sorry for the guy last night, his voice was in terrible shape, he complained he had a frog in his throat and he has been listening to too many politicians lately and he's ''allergic to bull$hit!'' LOL, the crowd went wild!

He asked for help from the audience during 'Roxanne' but I have not heard Sting's voice in this state since the 2nd leg of the 'Nothing Like The Sun' Tour. It's good that Tampa and WPB are postponed (not for the fans, sorry) for Sting to rest his vocal chords. I was really worried last night and then after the encore he came out and gave 'Desert Rose' his all, and you can hear the strain and then looking at the video screens, oh man, it was hard, I was more worried he might be pushing it beyond repair, man, it was hard.

Having said that, it is amazing how well the band pulled this gig off. Maybe they were feeling each other out in Atlanta and played it safe after the 1 month break. This band could go down as one of Sting's best ever. The chemistry in this band is unlike any other. Even with Sting's voice in such shape, they rocked the house, and the sound engineer did an incredible mix, I was amazed at how well he brought the band across, and even a hoarse Sting sounded OK in the mix but you could hear and see he was straining.

THE BAND

Someone in the audience held up a sign ''It's all about the drummer'', and Sting joked that it was Keith Carlock's family, but man oh man, Keith Carlock is just sooooo incredible, not only his style, but his touch. I love the sound out of his kit, it is so dynamic with a perfect tone, his drums are no longer washed out in this mix like at the beginning of the tour, it is mixed with such power, yet subtlety, I can't describe it. He is the best thing to happen to Sting in a while. He is more valuable after suffering through the BND tour with Manu Katche, Carlock brings the power and excitement of a Vinnie Colauita or Stewart Copeland and the finesse of a Manu Katche all in one package. At the final band introduction, Sting really gave him his due with a resounding ''on the drums, Mr KEITH CAAAARRLLLOOOKKKK!!!!!'' The kid is in high demand but I would love for Sting to keep this guy around for upcoming tours.

Rhani Krija was in great form tonight, what an incredible percussionist.

Joy Rose brought the house down in 'Whenever I Say Your Name', exceptional in nashville. She and Donna really helped Sting out, again, the best singers to ever back Sting.

Jason did a wonderful job on 'Never Coming Home'. His keyboards went out during 'Seven Days' so the jazz element was lacking a bit. I would like to see Jason featured more though.

Kipper was in great spirit and form as usual. He is mixed in now perfectly with the band and is not overpowering any of the musicians with his sequence, the mix was perfect! He brings a modern touch to Sting yet allowing Sting freedom when sequencing or playing the bass live on songs like 'A Thousand Years', and 'Whenever I Say Your Name', Sting has never had that freedom.

The fan's sign ''it's all about the drummer'' should read ''it's al about the chemistry!'' The band rocks, I would love to hear Keith Carlock and this band drill home a version of 'Message In A Bottle', it would surely rock the house.

THE TUNES:

'Send Your Love' was particularly good tonight, I am hearing more of the band. 'Whenever I Say Your Name' rocked. 'Lose My Faith' was slower tonight but a great version and the crowd again went wild to ''Lose my faith in our politicians''! 'Roxanne' was the encore song and was a bit shorter, no 'Fortress Around Your Hear't riff, it was played AFTER 'Never Coming Home'. I love the way this band delivers 'Every Little Thing', so soft and yet powerful.

Sting regained some of his voice for 'A Thousand Years' which sounded good.

Annie Lennox is not as fat in the mix during 'We'll Be Together', so no ''critic'' can say she's overpowering Sting, another good move by the engineer.

IN SUMMARY

I really wish that Sting keeps this exact band around for another tour. The only thing lacking was Sting's voice. Knowing full well that he is straining more than ever on this tour and that no way in hell he would accept any setlist changes that yours truly proposed, he needs to do something to rest his voice. nashville was only his 4th show after a 1 month break. I suggest reducing his current set to 90 mins instead of 100 mins, and I would suggest dropping 'Synchronicity II' and 'We'll Be Together' and playing a 5 min acoustic version of 'Roxanne' with Jason on piano and Sting on acoustic guitar alone. I would also suggest he not sing 'Shape of My Heart' with Dominic or give that rousing introduction to Annie Lennox before she goes on stage. She in fact forgot to thank Sting last night during her set.

VIDEO

The video show was reduced last night, during a couple songs, we used to see and smaller video panels moving up and down next to the big monitors of band members during 'Sync II' and others, I missed that last night. The Victoria Secret strippers are still there during 'Sacred Love'! I purchased my ''no religion but sex and music'' t-shirt last night, hopefully God doesn't strike me down, LOL!

(c) Gerard Marks for Sting.com

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