Brand New Day
Portland, USCumberland County Civic Center
With Jill Scott

Sting's Portland performance brings fans to their feet...

Stranded on Jewell Island with no way to make it to the Sting show, we caught a ride with a group of fellow Memorial Day campers from Chebeague Island, which allowed us to arrive just in time to catch the much-anticipated show.

Sting performed at the Cumberland County Civic Center on Friday night. He played for almost two hours with his band, including two backup singers and a trumpet player, Chris Botti, who performed a few jazzy solos to help get the crowd on their feet. During the middle of 'Perfect Love...Gone Wrong', Manu Katche left the drum set and showed his multiple musical abilities by spicing up Sting's normally calm melodies and upbeat hits with his rap-style vocals.

Sting, as he has in his other performances recently, cracked his Ally McBeal joke: ''If you saw Ally McBeal last week, you cannot sue me for looking at your wife.'' Sting played solo guitar to the famous song 'Message in a Bottle'. The crowd sang the chorus and Sting added his special touch to each verse.

Sting included in his set 'Every Breath You Take', 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic', 'Fields of Gold' and 'Lose My Faith in You'. He also played some songs from his new album, 'Brand New Day', including 'A Thousand Years', 'After the Rain Has Fallen' and 'Fill Her Up'. As the lights turned to red, Sting played a new rendition of 'Roxanne', proving that he still has the vocal capabilities he did back in the days when he was with the Police.

Sting hadn't played in Maine for over 11 years, but tried to make up for it by playing song after song without so much as a breath in between. Kind of like the radio stations - more music, less talk, which appeared to please the crowd. By the end of the show, Sting promised that he would be back to Maine, and as he left the stage he autographed fans' CDs and shook hands with the people in the front row. Before leaving the stage, the band put their arms around each other and bowed several times to the audience. The fans danced and sang along throughout the show, especially when Sting performed his hit songs from the Police. The show was incredible and left many people, like myself, humming favorite Sting songs as I walked out of the arena.

Backing up Sting for the show was Jill Scott. Scott played amazing, heartfelt songs throughout her entire set. She dedicated a couple of songs to her husband. Scott enticed the crowd with music off her new album. Scott's incredible vocals, along with her band's accompanying music, were warmly welcomed by the fans of Portland.

(c) The Portland Press Herald by Julie L. Pyles