Oct
21
2011

Boston, MA, US (Wang Theatre at the Citi Performing Arts Center)

  (9) Comments

SHOW REVIEW

Sting brushes time aside in sublime performance...

If the former Police frontman, who joined the sexagenarian club this month, has lost a step, it wasn’t evident Friday night at the Citi Wang Theatre.

Sixty looks good on Sting.

More importantly it sounds terrific. If the singer-songwriter and former Police frontman, who joined the sexagenarian club this month, has lost a step, it wasn’t evident Friday night at the Citi Wang Theatre as he kicked off his 'Back to Bass' tour with an exquisite two-hour performance in support of his recently released box set, 'Sting: 25 Years.' (He returned Saturday night.)

A master of dynamics and extremely savvy casting agent of backing musicians, Sting and his airtight quintet played songs from almost every single pop album he’s released, from the Police’s 1978 debut to 2003’s 'Sacred Love'. (Oddly, 1987’s 'Nothing Like the Sun' was bypassed.)

The varied set list mixed a handful of Police classics - including a taut 'Demolition Man', and a solo encore of 'Message in a Bottle' - with some of Sting’s big solo hits - sultry takes on 'Fields of Gold' and 'Fortress Around Your Heart' - and a clutch of deeper, late career cuts that proved more than worthy of reexamination, including an incendiary version of 'Inside' that drew the sold-out crowd to its feet for its blistering, ranting climax.

Although he claimed to be nervous, the rocker appeared refreshed and was charming throughout the night, sharing anecdotes about the songs, paying tribute to his wife, quoting George Bernard Shaw, and generally appearing to enjoy the rediscovery and rearrangement of several songs. Little of the fussiness or pretension of which he is often accused was on display. Yes, he is exacting, frequently employing hand gestures to the band and sound engineer to achieve the desired mix, but it’s hard to argue with the sublime results.

If it were permissible to spend an entire review of a rock star rhapsodizing about said star’s drummer, this space would be devoted to the off-the-charts skills of veteran Vinnie Colaiuta, who transcended the concept of mere timekeeping on such songs as the odd-metered 'Seven Days' and 'Love Is Stronger Than Justice (The Munificent Seven)'.

The entire band was exemplary. From Aussie singer Jo Lawry’s shaded harmonies throughout the night and her impassioned solo vocalizing on 'The Hounds of Winter', to Peter Tickell’s electric fiddle flourishes, to the solos of lead guitarist Dominic Miller (Sting’s right hand for years) it was a tasty combination of lyrical and warped but economical. Miller’s son Rufus filled out both the guitar and vocal layers. And in a pleasant surprise, former Sting band member trumpeter Chris Botti popped up to burnish 'Seven Days' and 'Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing)'.

(c) The Boston Globe by Sarah Rodman

(9) Reviews and Comments
gmsdma - 10.05.12
Yes!
So glad to be here to kick off the tour and get to hear Sting sing two of my faves: Sacred Love and Never Coming Home! Fabulolus. ALL in top form!
Kathleen52 - 10.24.11
Friday Night
Awesome show! Just slightly disappointed that he didn't sing Roxanne & An Englishman in New York, but that's just me. We LOVE sting and are fans for life!
Hardtail78 - 10.22.11
Volume
Hi Sting Good to see you last night (Friday Show) I would love to hear some lead guitar as well.
Hardtail78 - 10.22.11
Volume
Hi Sound crew at the Wang.... Volume was over the top Way to loud. Need to turn it down. Just an observation guys, Hardtail78
david_lee_tiller - 10.22.11
Gordon Sumner Wang Theatre
Sting is a very personal artist with a open heart to the world. Needless to say, he is an extraordinary performer. His voice is STILL very strong hitting every note! He is a 60 years young man with an "old soul". We had excellent seats and smashing time. Thanks Gordon and band! Peace Namaste, David Lee Tiller.
NP - 10.19.11
Saturday Night
I'm in the PIT!
phing - 10.04.11
Oh yeah...
The shoe starts 20 minutes after sting leaves the stage!
phing - 10.03.11
Looking forward!
This show is going to rock!
phing - 10.03.11
Sting - Tour Kick Off - After Show Party
Join GHOST IN THE MACHINE, New England's premier POLICE TRIBUTE BAND, at the HARD ROCK CAFE for a vintage set of POLICE classics after STING kicks off his "Back to Bass Tour" at The Wang Theatre at the Citi Performing Arts Center on October 21'st. Part of the proceeds of this show will help support The Hard Rock Cafe's "Pinktober" breast cancer charity. Ghost in the Machine is a tribute band performing the greatest hits of the platinum selling band The Police. GITM is one of the most authentic Police tribute bands around, re-creating the sound, energy and excitement of a vintage Police concert. The magic of The Police has captured the hearts and minds of millions, and has created one of the largest followings in history. Ghost in the Machine, New England's premiere Police tribute band, has developed a live show that captures the magic of The Police live. GITM invites you to share your passion for the greatest band on the planet by joining them in a tribute that will leave you speechless!