Amazing. Finally a promoter who shows some apreciation for the free publicity they are getting. Usually we get escorted right out of the building as soon as our time is up.
Sting on the other hand seems totally comfortable and completely at home on stage - like he was born with a bass guitar in hand howling Roxanne in the delivery room. He had a first rate band with him and was more adventurous in deviating from the recorded version of his songs than Sheryl Crowe, who pretty much did a note perfect greatest hits package. Not that it was bad. She had the whole audience on their feet by the end and got very warm and sustained applause for her set.
Some of Sting's variations were more successful than others. He slowed Message In A Bottle down to a near ballad pacing, blending audience participation with fragments of other songs from the same LP, creating a hypnotic reverie that really highlighted the song structure of each melody. Energy-wise it was a low point for an audience that seemed impatient to party to the music at points, but I found it one of the highlights of what I saw of his set (had to leave mid-way)
The guy has sold 100 million albums yet plays one of the most beat to cr@p bass guitars I've ever seen (close up on the monitor I wouldn't be surprised if parts are held together with gaffer tape)
And speaking of guitars, isn't it about time Fender made female friendly versions of strats and telecasters. The regular sized ones look a little large and bulky on Sheryl's frame. Women have come a long way in rock from being just the back up singers.
Nowadays they're the stars often as not. You'd think guitar manufacturers would have taken note. I'm not talking about messing with the shape of the Strat or Telecaster - that would be heresy! - just shrinking the proportions a bit. It's not so noticeable on this one, but with some of the shots the size of the guitar makes her look child-like. Not a good thing for an adult artist.
All in all, an enjoyable evening. The unexpected bonus of being able to watch the show was a really nice surprise.
All photos taken with the Olympus E30 camera and Digital Zuiko 50 - 200mm 2.8 lens with 1.4 Olympus teleconverter added.
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