In review: Sting concert

(Taken from an email to Andy.)

So here's the deal on last night's Sting concert. Smooth and polished and practiced, exactly as we expected. I predicted the concert almost exactly—1¾ hours, two encores, didn't do any Police tunes until the encores.

(I actually predicted an hour and a half, two encores, and Police tunes only during the encores. Pretty close, eh?)I would've liked a bit more interaction with the audience, but it was a good show. He featured a lot more material from Blue Turtles than I would've expected—the entire show actually had a strong jazz feel to it. Lots of soloing—he had a fab trumpeter and keyboardist and used them both well.

It was unbelievably hot. It was 103 in B'ham yesterday. Luckily we only caught the tail end of the day, but it was muggy and hot and everyone was absolutely sweat-drenched.

The concert was generally of the format old song / new song, rinse, repeat. Granted, this was okay with me. I wasn't too sure how I felt about his new material. After listening to him last night I'll agree that his new material is beautifully done, but I think some of it's a bit too new-agey for my tastes. I like his older jazzy stuff better, but I like the older Police stuff even better than that. Part of me missed the punk he used to be. There were flashes here and there, but that wasn't the audience he was trying to reach.

Jonny Lang opened—which proved to be a very pleasant surprise. I'd heard the kid had good blues chops, and I came away very impressed. His set lasted a very generous hour. I think I was one of a very few people in the audience that had heard of him before his performance. It was quite amusing to watch the reactions of the audience change as he worked his way through the set—for the first song or two, applause and appreciation was rather restrained (dude, he's the wanker opening for Sting…) to much wilder and more appreciative applause as the set went on. It was fun to watch him earn the respect of the audience—he's got some seriously good blues instincts. He's just eighteenish now; while definitely a kid prodigy, he'll better as he matures.

Our seats were very good—we were high up, but square on to the stage, and the jumbotron allowed us to see close up. Acoustics were excellent (except for the overmiked keyboard player near the end of Sting's set) and parking was free.

Good show. I wish you could've been there. I think you would've enjoyed yourself.

Tonight we pick up Terry at the airport. He's coming in at 10:30 I think. I'm having lunch with Kat at noon (she's home! she's home!) and we're plotting out the weekend. Looks like she's going to be driving to the DMB concert so that I can sleep on the way home.

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