Sacred Love
Mar
13
2004
Atlantic City, USBorgata Hotel & Casino Spa
With Chris Botti
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Enjoyable Sting concert brings crowd to their senses at Trump...

Fans receive what they expect when seeing Sting live - a professional show featuring well-written songs performed by good musicians and sung by a distinctive vocalist.

After playing here only once previously, as a member of the Police in 1984 at Boardwalk Hall, Sting made his second consecutive appearance here touring to play music from a new CD. The last time in 1999, he played the Trump Marina Hotel Casino to support his 'Brand New Day' album.

This time, Sting visited the sold-out, 2,400-person Event Center at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa on Saturday to promote his latest album, last year's 'Sacred Love'.

The only problem with Sting's show was there were too many new songs. At ticket prices of $152, $202 and $252 each, nine new ones out of 20 total songs performed is too many unless the album is very good. His 'Sacred Love' CD isn't as enjoyable throughout compared to the 'Brand New Day' album

There were some highlights among the new tunes from the 15-time Grammy Award-winning vocalist and bassist.

R&B singer Mary J. Blige recorded the CD version of the tune 'Whenever I Say Your Name'. In concert, one of Sting's backup vocalists, Joy Rose, handled the duties. Her exuberant half of the vocal duet was one of the best moments of the show's first half. 'This War', another new song, could have been more memorable if Sting's voice was farther out front on the mix. The song really stands out from his other new material and has topical lyrics, but the band played a little more forcefully and loudly on that number, and Sting's microphone wasn't boosted enough to compensate.

One of the pleasant surprises of the night was how well Sting's solo hits were received by the crowd. The songs 'Fragile' and 'Fields of Gold' were played back to back during the mellowest part of the close to two-hour show. Both tunes were greeted with big applause by the crowd when they ended.

The song opened with a rearranged, jazzy version of the Police's 'Walking on the Moon', but otherwise, the Police songs were played in a similar fashion to the original versions.

During the second half of the show, which featured more uptempo songs, an extended version of the first Police hit 'Roxanne' was performed. The latter half of the concert was pretty much an audience singing, standing, clapping and dancing fest, which included the Police's 'Every Breath You Take' and his song 'Desert Rose'.

Among all the musicians, the standout was keyboardist Jason Rebello. Every time he was given space, his jazzy solos enhanced the night. He shined on the tune 'I Was Brought to My Senses' and the new song 'Never Coming Home'.

Sting's solo career hits the 20-year mark next year. He celebrates his 30th year as a recording artist in 2007. He should think about doing a pure greatest hits tour. A new CD is like a new car. This reviewer can understand his enthusiasm about having new songs to play, but the people who have supported his career over decades would probably appreciate hearing songs like 'All This Time', 'Mad About You', 'Shape of My Heart', 'Brand New Day', etc...

Anyone who missed the opening act passed up a real treat. Trumpeter Chris Botti was better live than his newest CD, 'A Thousand Kisses Deep', indicates. His version of 'My Funny Valentine' with only keyboard accompaniment was excellent. His drummer Billy Kilson executed an impressive drum solo during the final song of their set, 'Why Not'.

(c) The Press of Atlantic City by Vincent Jackson

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