07.24.10 ''A whimsical statement of maturity - Sting indulges his fans by reworking his repertoire as an easy-listening evening... '' reports the Montreal Gazette...


A whimsical statement of maturity - Sting indulges his fans by reworking his repertoire as an easy-listening evening... It was three years ago almost to the day that Sting and his old bandmates Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland played the Bell Centre for the first time in decades as part of the Police reunion tour. If that show (and the encore a few months later) before 19,000 enraptured fans was a recapturing of their youth, Sting's solo performance for 9,400 at the same venue last night, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, was a whimsical statement of maturity. He's 58 years old, as he reminded us - and for most of the evening, he acted like it, playing classically arranged versions of his solo material and Police classics, as can be found on his new album, 'Symphonicities'. It was date night at the Bell Centre, and the older crowd was eating it up, cheering heartily for the reworkings of a repertoire that long ago lost its bite. Sting seemed only too willing to indulge them, wearing a pleased grin throughout the proceedings. His mantra may have come in the second song of the evening, the clarinet-featuring 'Englishman In New York': "Be yourself, no matter what they say." As conductor Steven Mercurio spun around and led the audience in handclaps, it was clear that everyone was on his side. 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' had swing; but 'Roxanne' suffered from a sappiness that robbed the song of its vigour. Not that anyone seemed to mind. The adult-contemporary ballad 'When We Dance' drew a roar of approval. 'Russians' was a standout, Sting's voice soaring clearly above a spare arrangement that retained both the drama and lyricism of the original. Things faded into easy listening territory for the remainder of the first half, until a fiery version of 'Next To You'. He picked up where he left off after intermission, Songs such as slinky jazz number 'Tomorrow We'll See' (about a transsexual prostitute) and 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' (his classic werewolf lament) showed his affection for inhabiting unusual characters. The orchestration added a cartoonish quality to the latter, which he punctuated with a howl at song's end. It was all very pleasant, enhanced by Sting's playful between-song banter, much of it en Francais. He's a refined, gracious entertainer who has found his niche. With the lark that was The Police reunion faded into memory, it was clear that this is Sting's late-career comfort zone. © The Montreal Gazette by T'cha Dunlevy
From rock 'n' roll to Latin soul, Sting kept fans guessing Wednesday night at the John Labatt Centre. And the former Police frontman wasn't alone. "I've got the biggest band I've ever had in my life," the UK artist said, before jumping into his solo hit Englishman in New York.
Rhinebeck resident Ira Coleman could quite possibly be the envy of thousands of bass players in the world. He not only gets to perform with Sting, he also gets to ask him for advice on technique.
Sting showcases his changing style at Ravinia... If there's one thing a Sting fan is used to, it's change. From his start as the singer and bassist for The Police, to an ever evolving solo career that has encompassed blues, jazz, reggae, country and even Elizabethan lute music, Sting is nothing if not a Renaissance man.
"In the spring of 2009, I was approached to perform a concert of my songs with the illustrious Chicago Symphony Orchestra. While I had worked with orchestras before on various album tracks and special live performances like the Grammys and the Oscars, I had never been asked to put together an entire evening in such a refined format..."
Sting knows his latest crossover project will annoy his detractors. And, he tells The Daily Telegraph's Neil McCormick, he couldn't care less. "I don't need everyone to love me," says Sting. "I really don't." The 58-year-old superstar is preparing to go on stage with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, augmented by his own four-piece band, to perform orchestral rearrangements of songs from his back catalogue...