May
31
2013

Victoria, BC, CA (Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre)

  (10) Comments

SHOW REVIEW

Sting brings his best stuff...

The only question needing an answer heading into Sting’s Victoria debut on Friday night: Which version of the rock legend would show up?

The fiery Brit whose first band, the Police, produced an incredible number of hits over a six-year period? Or the easy-listening yoga practitioner whose last substantial hit was a decade ago?

Turns out he was a little bit of both at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.

Sting, 61, delivered a 21-song, two-hour set split evenly between Police hits and solo offerings. Not every song from both sides of his personality worked, but there was a uniqueness to many of the left-field choices that bookended his staple singles.

The rocking 'Demolition Man', from the Police’s 'Ghost in the Machine', was an aberration among the early mellowness, while the horn-heavy 'I Hung My Head', which Johnny Cash covered in 2002, gave the set a much-needed soul infusion. And the inclusion of 'Next to You' was sensational. Hearing the band rip into the first song on the Police’s 1978 debut was one of the many songs that defied expectations on this night.

But those gems aren’t what the sold-out audience of 6,573 paid to hear, which is why Sting and his solid backing band spent the majority of the set singing songs that practically defined radio during the 1980s and early 1990s.

(Actually, I don’t know exactly what this crowd came to hear, because a cemetery would have been livelier on this night.)

'Message in a Bottle', 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'Roxanne' were expertly, almost effortlessly performed. But when he got to the trifecta ('King of Pain', 'Walking on the Moon' and 'Every Breath You Take') that came near the end of his set, it was impossible not to marvel at Sting’s hit-making abilities.

"You’re a lovely town," he said. "I’ve never been here before. I’m a virgin. A Victoria virgin."

At various points, Sting couldn’t conceal the fact that he has played the majority of these songs hundreds of times during his career. He flirted occasionally with adult contemporary sounds on songs that didn’t need them and decided to completely ignore his Grammy-nominated solo debut, 'The Dream of the Blue Turtles', and the hits '(If You Love Somebody Set Them Free', 'Love Is the Seventh Wave', 'Russians' and 'Fortress Around Your Heart') it spawned, which was an unnecessary oversight.

In the end, there's no sense in thinking the Sting of 1983 is going to be the Sting of 2013, no matter how good he sounds. Whining about why he didn’t play this song or that one is a fruitless proposition: He touched on many facets of his career, from one of the first singles by the Police to their last - and on the night before 'Synchronicity', his final album with the Police, turned 30 years old, at that.

And when an audience member jumped upon the stage during 'Roxanne', Sting let her fly her freak flag for the duration. "That was a special, surprise treat," he said, sounding genuinely moved by the interpretive-dance experience.

Sting still has some get up and go, as evidenced by the news that he showed up unannounced Thursday at a yoga studio in Kelowna, hours before his Back to Bass tour opened. And, it should be said, he still looks incredibly great (Sting can wear the stuff out of a T-shirt and jeans, simply put).

What more do you want from a rock star with a cadre of hits and an honest-to-goodness desire to still play them for his fans?

(c) Times Colonist by Mike Devlin

(10) Reviews and Comments
jroneill - 01.28.13
presale promo code
I joined late hoping to see if there are still tickets available for presale for Victoria

>>>>>

The presale finished at 3pm local time on Friday 25 Jan.
TrevorH - 01.25.13
New Member Promo Code failure
I am signed in as a paid member and the Promo code I have is showing as invalid. Is there anything else I need to do to get to see Sting in Victoria. I found the unique code and when I plug it into the select your tickets page linked from the Victoria show, my code (Copy and paste, and typed in manually) fails. Please let me know if I am doing anything wrong. Thanks!

>>>>>

The presale is working fine. Just checked and seventh row was available. Please let us know what code you are using so we can investigate and resolve.
ldlmiss - 01.25.13
General public sale...
OK... So can't get early tix unless I'm a paid member. When do the general public get access then? I've seen Monday, January 28th @ 10AM on the Select Your Tickets website, and also today (the 25th) at 3PM published? Confused... ;)
Thanks!

>>>>>

Tickets go on public sale Mon. Jan. 28th 10AM (local)
whoopieg - 01.24.13
whoopieg
Please! where is the pre-sale code? I am logged in and can't find it.

>>>>>

You must be a paid member of the fan club to take part in the presale. If you are then login and visit the Tour page where your unique passcode is displayed.
ldlmiss - 01.24.13
Pre-sale code...
I don't see a pre-sale code on my Tour page as promised for the Victoria show? Just wondering if I'm missing it somehow? Desperate to buy tickets early as Sting is on my "must-see" list and I'm SO excited he's coming to Victoria!

>>>>>

You must be a paid member of the fan club and be logged in to see your presale passcode.
Bathset - 01.24.13
Switch tickets
Hi, I have 3 sets of two tickets but would like 4 together. The pairs I have are: Floor B2 Rovw 19 5-6 Main 102 Row H 5-6 Main 102 Row K 9-10 If you have a pair adjacent to any of these, I would love to switch with you. Thx mail_for_lynn@yahoo.ca
Bathset - 01.24.13
Switch tickets
Hi, I was trying to get 4 seats together and couldn't I ended up (don't ask, it's goofy) with 3 sets of two. If anyone has adjacent seats to any of my sets of two, I would love to switch with you. Email is mail_for_lynn@yahoo.ca. Thanks!! Seats are: Floor B2 Row 19 seats 5 and 6 Main 102 H seats 5 and 6 Main 102 K seats 9 and 10
musicslave - 01.24.13
HEAD's UP
just got two fabulous seats in the front, and went back in to get 2 more VIP Meet & GREET (because there's 4 of us and only 2 will pay the extra)and the fanclub code option, although offered) was rejected as invalid. If you want VIPs, better get them, first! https://v2.iloveallaccess.com/tours/sting/back-to-bass/bf531826e97cb835c8f993e1d920e1a0VwV1ZlV%3D/8041e1db81b63383b1a733f608be41e4VwH3AwHv
Kittykittykitkat - 01.24.13
Woop!
Saw the Back To Bass tour last year in Vancouver, so happy Sting is coming to Victoria!
mjharris - 01.24.13
mjharris
Hurray for smaller venues and a performer that continues to tour so just about everyone gets a chance to see him. Sting, you are the best!!