If Madonna in MOA Arena was a spectacle, Chris Botti and Sting in concert on March 3 at the Marriott Grand Ballroom was an exceptionally euphoric musical experience.
This was one special gig that featured one of the most brilliant contemporary jazz trumpet artists back-to-back with one of rock ‘n’ roll’s most distinctive voices who happened to have dabbled in jazz early in his career and went on to explore it after the breakup of his band, The Police.
Botti and Sting had one thing in common, a fine taste for musicianship, which was on full display at the concert. It was Botti’s show, but when Sting walked in after a few songs, it seemed like Botti gave way to let Sting’s Filipino fans have the time of their lives singing and grooving to “Message in a Bottle,” Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Roxanne,” among other Police classics plus several of his solo nuggets, “Fields of Gold,” “Desert Rose” and his first song for the night, “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You.”
Nonetheless Botti proved a point early in the show, that his mastery of the trumpet, as Sting himself told Inquirer in a recent email interview, brings the instrument to “its most poetic, vocal-like quality.”
Botti’s band, led by pianist extraordinaire Geoffrey Keezer, was smoking hot – tripping the light fantastic with bursts of bebop and all-around excellence.
In the end, the music lifted the crowd so high and energized that a number of fans – including the vacationing Los Angeles-based Bubut Posadas and her college friend Wing Inductivo – unwittingly found themselves just an arm’s length from Sting and taking all the selfies and videos their phone cameras could allow. No burly bouncers to stop them.
It was such a fun night that called to mind the clever remark of a friend, DJ Par Sallan, who said that this concert could’ve been dubbed “Message in a Botti.”
(c) Philippine Daily Inquirer by Pocholo Concepcion