Synchronicity
Nov
20
1983
Oklahoma City, USMyriad Center
With UB40
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Sting proves he has right stuff in rock group's Myriad concert...

If you think Sting is that movie with Paul Newman and Robert Redford, then you've fallen seriously behind times.

For the uninitiated, Sting is a singer for a rock band called the Police which filled every corner of the Myriad with music Sunday night. It quickly became clear the young English rocker has the right stuff.

Sting is the in-school generation's Elvis. Undoubtedly, fans will be making pilgrimages to his estate someday just as middle-aged folks spend vacation weekdays peering at Graceland.

As elsewhere, Oklahoma fans are loyal in their affections for the blond-haired son of an English Catholic milkman, whose real name is Gordon Sumner.

When he commanded them to sing, they did - on cue, with the right words. He would pump his arm furiously in beat to Andy Summer's soaring guitar notes and Stewart Copeland's pounding percussion and almost every arm in the audience instantly became his shadow, pumping furiously along with him.

A pair of young girls slithered through the massed crowd to wave hand-scrawled signs at Sting early in the concert. Both placards read: ''Sting - I Want To Have Your Baby!''

''I'm in enough trouble as it is,'' said Sting, a mainstay headline maker for rock gossip columnists, as he read the signs. ''Do you have a population problem in this country?''

Ah, yes. A man who possesses a wit as quick as his fingers when they dance across bass guitar strings, Sting owns more than a good voice.

It is true he has undeniable sex appeal - although it is a very non-threatening type to his male fans. Like Elvis, young men too delight in Sting's on-stage antics and probably wish they were the Police commander.

But there is more than just a pretty face and prettier voice going on here. Sting will take a stance on the very edge of the stage, one foot perched on a sound monitor, then take a political stance.

''Murder is the sport of the elected,'' he sings, or, ''One world is enough for all of us.''

Other songs make the audience believe in his sincerity. He tells them he is the 'King of Pain', then sings later the giant hit 'Every Breath You Take', which was written for his former wife.

Sting's lyrics are noteworthy, and brutally honest. ''The really good stuff comes from pain, not comfort,'' he said in a recent magazine article. ''Pain is essential. If you have not got pain, then you had better go and get some.''

The Police have managed to stay atop the charts by staying ahead of the crowd. They made power reggae rock a huge hit, but moved away from its traditional rhythms for the most part in their latest work.

And Sting doesn't like to let his on-stage work stay static, either. The horns which were at Lloyd Noble Center with the Police last year were not around, but a three-girl backup chorus has been added to give many familiar songs a different feel.

Talk about a risk-taker. Imagine any other rock star who would come back for his encore and start off with 'Home on the Range'. Maybe Sting was just testing out the country and western market on his swing through the Southwest.

The 90-minute Police set was so strong, it completely overshadowed a very good effort by opening group UB40, a British reggae rock band, and made people forget they had to wait just under an hour during the intermission between bands.

If you didn't bother to pick up one of the few remaining seats for this show, but want to see this Sting character for yourself, don't worry. Just look around this week. Lots of youngsters will be wearing his face on the front of their new T-shirts.

(c) The Daily Oklahoman by Dave Pego

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