November 28 at
the Wiltern, it was Back To Bass time for the erstwhile Police-man.
this stage in my fogeydom, nothing makes me feel and look like a youngster more
than going to a classic rock concert, in this case, Sting. And while Sting’s
fans haven’t aged as gracefully as the 60-year-old musician, who, performing
the first of three sold out intimate dates at the Wiltern, looked too damn fit
in his tight jeans and equally tight t-shirt revealing quite the buff physique.
That’s just wrong. The man indeed has it all.
on his Back to Bass Tour, celebrating 25 years as a solo artist, Sting, along
with his extremely tight five-piece band, went for the back to basics approach
playing on a no-frills stage sans a fancy light show and tired concert antics.
taking the stage, a single spotlight shun over Sting’s microphone on the
darkened dais. Indeed, there was no denying whom the man of the hour would be
once the show started. And when the concert began, Sting didn’t share the
spotlight with anyone, as even the drummer was off to the side instead of
playing directly behind the singer.
impressive, spot-on vocals, Sting was in fine form during his two-hour set.
Celebrating 25 years as a solo artist, it was interesting how many Police songs
filled the set list. Sting’s song selection touched upon all of his work, but
it would have been more interesting perhaps had he focused on his early solo
material, which hasn’t been played in years. Some songs were welcome treats but
far from concert staples. And if ever there was an appropriate occasion for
Sting to skip playing any Police songs this would have been it, but such was not
two violin players in his band, some of Sting’s songs took on a country music
feel. In fact, Sting’s “I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying” was even covered by
Toby Keith and became a No. 1 country hit, while “I Hung My Head” was covered
by Johnny Cash. The country vibe continued with “Love Is Stronger Than Justice”
and “Desert Rose” even took on an almost a Riverdance sound.
evening’s final song featured Sting by himself onstage, standing alone with an
acoustic guitar in hand as he played the Police classic “Message In A Bottle.”
Any by 10:30 p.m. the satiated audience disbursed. No late night for the older
set, which I’m sure appreciated not staying up late on a school night. But then
again, what would you expect from the former schoolteacher? He came, he
delivered the goods, and just like that, Sting left without any fanfare.
Little Thing She Does Is Magic
So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying
Hung My Head
Around Your Heart
Cloud No Rain
Is Stronger Than Justice
Hounds Of Winter
End Of The Game
Breath You Take
In A Bottle (Acoustic)