Jul
19
2009

Ledyards, CT, US (MGM Grand at Foxwoods)

  (0) Comments

SHOW REVIEW

Sting meets Foxwoods...

Last weekend, Sting played an intimate gig at the 4,000-seat MGM Theater at the MGM Grand Hotel at Foxwoods. The 11-time Grammy winner performed his greatest hits as a solo artist ('We'll Be Together', 'Shape of My Heart') and when with The Police ('Roxanne', 'Walking on the Moon') to a crowd that spanned in age from 7 to 87. Speaking of which, the musician sang "Happy Birthday" to the fan who was nearing 90.

From the acoustics, to the setting, to the performance itself, Sting reinforced last weekend why he's so beloved in the industry and by his fans. The man is in his 50s and he's still gyrating his hips like a wee lad. He's also a gracious host, interacting often with the crowd and best of all - being honest. During 'Roxanne', he asked the audience rhetorically how many times he's probably sung it before. After trying to do the math, he stopped and said it's his "job" to make it sound like it's the first time, every time. Class act.

The show was amazing and so are all of the facilities at the MGM Grand, which opened a little over a year ago. The 825-room hotel features four restaurants (David Burke and AltaStrada are musts), as well as four retail shops and a luxurious spa (G-spa). But to Sting and the theater, it truly shines. It's a rare treat to see someone of Sting's caliber in such a small venue -- well, small when compared to the bombastic Madison Square Garden. For more, visit www.mgmatfoxwoods.com.

(c) Danbury News-Times by Jon Chattman

Sting in Connecticut...

Sting, free of The Police, played a sold-out solo show on Saturday night at Foxwoods MGM Grand Casino in northern Connecticut. Luckily, someone told him it was Connecticut, because he was going to announce, "Hello, Massachusetts!" (Well, it's close.)

The night before, the Police captain had wowed 120,000 fans at the Quebec Summer Music Festival. At Foxwoods, the show was more intimate. Sting even sang birthday wishes to an 87-year-old fan named Celia who sent a message up to the stage. Solo Sting meant the reappearance of his many hits away from The Police including 'If I Ever Lose My Faith in You', 'Fragile', 'Fields of Gold', and 'If You Love Somebody (Set them Free)'. How nice to hear them all again, as strong as ever. (Isn't it time for a new Sting rock album?)

Anyway, even the Police songs he performed were rearranged to excellent effect, including a reworked bluesy 'King of Pain' and a punchier 'Roxanne'. It must have been a pleasure to stretch out again after The Police's 16-month reunion tour...

(c) The Hollywood Reporter by Roger Friedman

Sting Relies On Hits For Foxwoods Concert...

The reunion of the Police for a 2007-08 tour was strictly a nostalgia play, an enthusiastically received recycling of past hits from a group that showed little interest in recording together again. Group frontman Sting has since returned to a solo career and is making a new solo record, but his formula was just as hit-focused for his stop Sunday night at the MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods Casino in Mashantucket, as he filled a 20-song set with a checklist of his most popular solo and Police tunes with few unexpected turns.

Staked to a sturdy pulse by the three-piece band that accompanied him, the 57-year-old Englishman plucked at an electric bass and sounded sharp as he shifted his voice from husky exhale to shiny bark in the opener 'If I Ever Lose My Faith in You'. Drummer Josh Freese drove the insistent, punk-derived beat of 'Message in a Bottle', while Sting howled its lyrics with a practiced blend of urgency and confidence.

The exceptional David Sancious had a keyboard flourish for every type of tune, whether stretching out on 'Englishman in New York', or adding atmosphere to 'Fields of Gold'. Guitarist Dominic Miller colored that delicate tune and sizzled on 'Synchronicity II'.

Like his fluid bass work, Sting's singing provided his material with punctuation; in the case of his voice, it typically came as an extra touch of gusto at the end of each lyrical passage, small jolts that drove 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' and 'Driven to Tears'. His bass lines were rarely showy but were among the quirky components of a jaunt across 'Seven Days' in which the groove was a moving target.

The show featured no tunes from Sting's two most recent discs, and took half of its offerings from the Police, among them the buoyant 'Walking on the Moon' and a gently swaying trip through 'Tea in the Sahara'. The set's final four songs were all Police numbers, including a bounding rendition of 'When the World Is Running Down You Make the Best of What's Still Around' propelled by Sancious, and an extended finale of 'Roxanne' whose meandering middle section did little but accentuate the size of the blowout when the band ramped it back up.

The show's two encores suited a show that was topped out at enjoyable and included a take on 'King of Pain'. Sting belted gamely through 'Every Breath You Take' and set a soothing mood as he picked out the guitar lines of 'Fragile' to close the show, an old hand at the art of crowd pleasing.

(c) The Hartford Courant by Thomas Kintner

Sting spins magic at MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods...

Seeing he had played the night before to approximately 100,000 fans at the Quebec City Summer Festival, Sting probably felt like the 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater at Foxwoods was a positively intimate place to be Sunday night.

And so it was, packed to the max for the former frontman of the Police, who at 57 is still singing superbly, still lean, muscular and still drawing shrieks from the crowd.

Backed by an exceptional three-piece band featuring the great keyboardist David Sancious, along with guitarist Dominic Miller and drummer Josh Freese, bassist Sting and company mixed his solo material with a heavy dose of Police songs during the 19-song, double encore, hour and 50 minute performance.

The frontman was dressed all in white, complete with painter's pants and a white t-shirt and he jokingly noted that he'd been wearing the outfit all week because he'd been having his apartment painted.

The night started strong with a wide-open, steady building arrangement of 'If I Ever Lose My Faith in You', which was followed by a ferocious run through the Police classic 'Message in a Bottle', and the reggae-tinged 'Englishman in New York'.

After the Freese and Miller showcase on 'Synchronicity II', Sting sang "Happy Birthday" to an 87-year-old fan in the front section, before reaching back again to one of his biggest hits with the Police, 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic'.

His 2007-2008 massive reunion tour with his old mates in the Police obviously softened his attitude as far as playing vintage material. Though many of those songs were always part of even his solo repertoire, he readily plays even more Police songs on stage these days, a move which Sunday's crowd appeared to love. His solo selections were very well received. But each time he did a song by the Police, the place exploded.

As noted, vocally, he's hitting the high notes with power and passion, though he did seem a bit weary in a couple of unexpected spots at the MGM, notably during one of his most unforgettable compositions, 'Fields of Gold'. The song was given expert treatment by the band, but Sting sang it too quietly and appeared to be struggling a bit with the more subtle aspects of the melody. He also seemed to be wavering ever-so-slightly on the follow-up 'Driven to Tears'.

But he soon regained the power with 'Walking on the Moon', appropriately played on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the first man walking on the moon.

The latter half of the night was sparked by 'Wrapped Around Finger', which found Sting shrugging his shoulders and laughing after the line "You consider me the young apprentice," and a killer take of 'When the World is Running Down You Make the Best of What's Still Around', the latter which featured a funky solo courtesy of Sancious.

No Sting concert would ever be complete without his infamous ode to a woman of the night, 'Roxanne', which closed the main portion of the performance.

The band returned to encore with the Mid-Eastern flavors of Sting's 'Desert Rose', prior to a lengthy rendition of one of his signature songs 'King of Pain', and the pulsating mega-hit 'Every Breath You Take'.

Sting shifted to acoustic guitar for one last encore, a hushed and moving version of 'Fragile'.

(c) The Republican by Kevin O'Hare

SET LIST

(0) Reviews and Comments