Summoner's Tales
Singapore, SGSingapore Indoor Stadium

Bring On The Night...

Sting, the king of pain, relaxed, bringing on the night of celebration for the 8,000 fans - mostly yuppies - in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Moving away from the emotional and spiritual gloom of 'The Soul Cages', Sting tore through a riveting, raucous 23 song set that included most of the tracks from his current LP, 'Ten Summoner's Tales', plus many Police hits. And the sheer energy he played with dispelled all previous perceptions of Sting as a super-serious intellectual rocker.

This was Sting, revealing the showy jazzman always lurking in his heart. Following an opening barrage of four songs from 'Tales', including 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' and a storming 'Love Is Stronger Than Justice', Sting barely paused to wryly comment that Singapore ''seems to be everything people said it was'' before launching into a surprise cover of The Beatles' 'A Day In The Life'. (In fact, a recent Los Angeles Times report listed Sting in a speculative list of candidates to replace John Lennon in the reformed Beatles.)

When Sting sang three Police favourites to the loudest cheers that night - 'Synchronicity II', 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', and 'Roxanne', few expected him to tackle his back catalogue so early.

In fact, Sting dipped into his Police days repeatedly, including a power-packed King Of Pain and a resonant 'Every Breath You Take' during the first encore. Interestingly, only a few tracks from '...Nothing Like The Sun', notably a stand-out 'Englishman In New York', were included and the other solo albums, the debut 'Dream Of The Blue Turtles' and the bleak 'Soul Cages', were totally omitted.

However, while this may have left fans of those albums a little disappointed, the songs that Sting did play were perfectly in tune with the mood of this concert, which resembled an all-out jazz jam. It was a challenge to Sting's band - Dominic Miller on lead guitar, jazz drummer Vinnie Colaiuta and the awesome David Sancious whose keyboard solo on 'Bring On The Night/When The World Is Running Down' brought the house down.

Ever since his marriage last year to long-time companion, Trudie Styler, Sting has exhibited his renewed lust for life. Throughout the two-hour concert, Sting hardly paused for breath, the same way he played the night before in Kuala Lumpur. Marriage does strange things.

(c) The Big O by Chris Ong