Soul Cages
Sep
02
1991
Canandaigua, USFinger Lakes
With Special Beat, Vinx
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Sting concert is stung by painful sound effects...

Sting fans expecting to hear songs from his stirring new 'Soul Cages' album at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Centre Monday night left disappointed. So did those looking forward to enjoying classic tunes from Sting's earlier career, with The Police, on this warm September night.

Sting performed these songs, from 'Message In A Bottle' to 'All This Time'. He even threw in a few surprises, such as 'Purple Haze' and a song he noted he didn't write but just felt like singing, 'Ain't No Sunshine''.

Yes, Sting performed them, but the audience didn't hear them..

The concert's sound mix was atrocious, often painful to the ears. Fans couldn't hear the music for all of the noise. The technicians at the sound board must think ''This is Spinal Tap'' is a training film.

''Spinal Tap'' is the bitingly funny Rob Reiner parody of heavy metal, in which a guitarist for the title band shows off his personalised amplifiers, whose volume can be turned up, not to 10, but to 11, to Spinal Tap that extra edge in concert.

Beautiful, haunting Sting melodies - 'Mad About You', 'Why Should I Cry For You', King Of Pain', 'Be Still My Beating Heart', 'Wild Wild Sea', 'Fortress Around Your Heart' - were almost impregnable Monday night, protected from enjoyment by great barriers of distortion.

Some of the blame for this sonic disaster inevitably must rest with the band - Dominic Miller on guitar, David Sancious on Keyboards, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Sting (looking extremely fit in a faded black T-shirt, tight black jeans and black boots) on bass.

Is it possible Sting was oblivious to how his band sounded? Did he not notice folks pressing their ears closed when Miller would lay down one of his irritatingly high-pitched guitar solos, which he did with unfortunate regularity?

Perhaps the band was unaware, for it performed at that level for most of the night.

The evening was not without its highlights however. He must have performed 'Roxanne' 10,000 times by now, but Sting offered the crowd an energetic reading of the signature Police tune. The performance never seemed obligatory. Everyone stood and cheered, and helped Sting send choruses of ''Roxanne-O!'' across the hall.

The concert closed with its most enjoyable moment, when Sting returned to play a single quiet encore of 'Fragile' from the 'Nothing Like The Sun' album, joined by members of Special Beat, the English ska band that opened the show, and Vinx, a percussionist whom Sting has taken to producing.

''On and on the rain will say, how fragile we are, how fragile we are,'' Sting sang, accompanying himself on guitar.

At last, the audience could listen to the music, instead of being assaulted by it. But then Sting was gone, and the house lights came up, and a lot of people left feeling like they had missed something.

(c) The Syracuse Herald-Journal by Grant Podelco

Bad Sound mix mars beautiful music but concert still had its moments...

Sting fans expecting to hear songs from his stirring new 'Soul Cages' album at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center Monday night left disappointed.

So did those looking forward to enjoying classic tunes from Sting's earlier career, with The Police, on this warm September night.

Sting performed these songs, from 'Message in a Bottle' to 'All This Time'. He even threw in a few surprises, such as 'Purple Haze' and a song he noted he didn't write but just felt like singing: 'Ain't No Sunshine'. Yes, Sting performed them, but the audience didn't hear them.

The concert's sound mix was atrocious, often painful to the ears. Fans couldn't hear the music for all of the noise. The technicians at the sound board must think 'This Is Spinal Tap' is a training film.

'Spinal Tap' is the bitingly funny Rob Reiner parody of heavy metal, in which a guitarist for the title band shows off his personalized amplifiers, whose volume can be turned up, not to 10, but to 11, to give Spinal Tap that extra edge in concert.

Beautiful, haunting Sting melodies - 'Mad About You', 'Why Should I Cry For You', 'King of Pain', 'Be Still My Beating Heart', 'Wild, Wild Sea', 'Fortress Around Your Heart' - were almost impregnable Monday night, protected from enjoyment by great barriers of distortion.

Some of the blame for this sonic disaster inevitably must rest with the band - Dominic Miller on guitar, David Sancious on keyboards, Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and Sting (looking extremely fit in a faded black T-shirt, tight black jeans and black boots) on bass.

Is it possible Sting was oblivious to how his band sounded? Did he did not notice folks pressing their ears closed when Miller would lay down one of his irritatingly high-pitched guitar solos, which he did with unfortunate regularity?

Perhaps the band was unaware, for it performed at that level for most of the night.

The evening was not without its highlights, however. He must have performed 'Roxanne' 10,000 times by now, but Sting offered the crowd an energetic reading of the signature Police tune. The performance never seemed obligatory. Everyone stood and cheered, and helped Sting send choruses of ''Roxanne-O!'' across the hills.

The concert closed with its most enjoyable moment, when Sting returned to play a single, quiet encore of 'Fragile', from the '...Nothing Like the Sun' album, joined by members of Special Beat, the English ska band that opened the show, and Vinx, a percussionist whom Sting has taken to producing.

''On and on the rain will say, how fragile we are, how fragile we are,'' Sting sang, accompanying himself on guitar.

At last, the audience could listen to the music, instead of being assaulted by it. But then Sting was gone, and the house lights came up, and a lot of people left feeling like they had missed something.

(c) The Post Standard by Grant Podelco

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