SHOW REVIEW

Solo Sting's Latin Influence Jazzes Up Engaging Set...

There's no need to call the Police. Sting is doing just fine by himself.

The rock star, the former lead singer of the Police, has a successful solo career going for himself, both as a rock star and an actor. He displayed his skills in the former category Saturday night at the Omaha City Auditorium before 5,980 people, none of whom seemed to feel they'd been stung.

Sting, one of rock's more intelligent performers, delivered an easy and engaging two hour and 40 minute set that displayed a healthy jazz and Latin influence.

An eight - piece backup group assisted the musician, 36. The most notable support came from saxophonist Branford Marsalis.

Sting, whose current album is '...Nothing Like the Sun', opened the show with five numbers from that album. He began the night with 'The Lazarus Heart', and followed it up with 'We'll Be Together', a recent hit single, and the appealing 'Englishman in New York'.

The end of the latter song featured a brief solo by Marsalis, who then segued into 'Sister Moon'. During that slow, jazzy number, Sting climbed to near the top of the elevated platforms at the rear of the set, where he performed a slow dance with a female vocalist.

'Sister Moon' was followed by the uptempo 'Rock Steady'. Before the night was over, he would perform most of the remaining songs on the 'Nothing Like the Sun' album, including 'Be Still My Beating Heart', 'Straight to My Heart'' and 'The Secret Marriage'.'

The performer also did a few prior solo tunes, including 'Consider Me Gone' and 'Fortress Around Your Heart'. His 1985 solo hit, 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' was one of the evening's highlights.

Sting's stage patter included a few comments about television evangelist Jimmy Swaggart. The singer said he hated to kick a man when he's down, but he reminded the audience that Swaggart once said that a Police song was written by the devil. Sting humorously informed the audience that it was he, and not the devil, who wrote the song.

Sting also had a little trouble with his geography. He mistakenly referred to Omaha as the capital of Nebraska, an error that the crowd felt obligated to correct.

The group performed the stunning 'They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo)', a song about the mothers and widows of the missing in Chile.

The second half of the show also included 'Fragile', on which Sting performed on acoustic guitar, and a scorching version of Jimi Hendrix's 'Little Wing'.

The group left the stage after that song. They returned to perform five encore numbers, including, curiously, 'Home on the Range'. Sting finished off the show with 'Message in a Bottle'.'

Persons who attended the Sting concert Saturday night at the City Auditorium were given the opportunity to register to vote.

Booths organized by the League of Women Voters were set up inside the auditorium at which concertgoers could register to vote.

(c) Omaha World-Herald by Jeff Bahr

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