A hundred nights of 'Sacred Love'...
Friday night saw a sell-out crowd spending a cozy evening celebrating the Sacred Love Tour's 100th venue and Sting's birthday under an Orange County moon.
Dominic spent his allotted time playing to an appreciative crowd. His rendition of 'Star Spangled Banner' was particularly well received in Irvine, with a number of the crowd standing for the performance. It would be great if one time he could replace his Project acoustic sound with an electric guitar and give the anthem a bash with a dash of Hendrix mixed in! It would be fun to hear Dominic cutting loose for a change. I love his set more each time I hear it - very impressive. Nice to see Dominic sporting his Lance Armstrong yellow wrist bracelet in support of the LAF foundation to find a cure to Testicular Cancer. Hopefully he can get Sting to show his support too!
Annie was on form yet again, although her voice sounded a little hoarse on occasion - I'm guessing that the dry Southern California air is not the best for the vocal chords. 'Broken Glass' remains my absolute favorite, although I think the crowd responded to 'Sweet Dreams' more than any other song. Her set passes by way too quickly.
Then on to Sting. Firstly - the dreaded white stage-walls of obscurity were gone! From our seats in the orchestra we had a wonderful view of the stage - a massive improvement over Chula Vista, and a different league to LA. It was great to get a view of Jason for the first time! Joy and Donna looked particularly fetching in their outfits tonight and Joy's rendition was again spellbinding and resulted in another standing ovation for her. Sting's voice was a little hoarse on occasions, but on 'Roxanne' in particular he was soaring as per normal. I'm guessing the California dry air is giving all the performers some difficulties.
Under Kipper's supervision, an impressive 15000 voices sang Happy Birthday to Sting backed up with a virtuoso rendition played on keyboards by Jason. Sting admitted to being quite moved, just before he sacked Kipper again!
A surprise was in store for the performance of 'Seven Days', Chris Botti appeared on stage to deliver his gift to Sting's party. It is always great to hear his wonderful talents and the crowd were appreciative, more than a single song would have been nice (a la Branford) but we mustn't be greedy!
'Roxanne' was back to it's long version, but it didn't meander quite so much this time and as a result the crowd stuck with it. It was interesting that it was shortened for the LA concerts, not sure of the reasoning for that but it was enjoyable in any case. 'Every Little Thing' was very well received, as was 'Every Breath'. In fact the whole concert was delivered and enjoyed extremely well tonight, as everyone was in a party mood. There were no changes to the set list compared to LA and San Diego as far as I could tell.
OK - off to bed for me - it's now nearly 1am on Saturday morning. It is nice to have wrapped up another review, hopefully this time before anyone else has had time to get home. It's nice to be only five minutes from the venue for a change!
That's it for concerts for me for this leg of the tour - no plans to attend the San Fran venues, so hopefully we can get some good reviews from some of the other members in due course.
(c) Rob Elliott for Sting.com