SHOW REVIEW

Sting rocks Cyprus...

Writing a review for a Sting show can be difficult. It's hard being objective about him because he's a legend and if you grew up listening to his music but never saw him in your country... well this makes it all the more daunting a task. I consider myself lucky because I saw him live twice in the US but the majority of his cypriot fans never saw him perform. The closest he ever visited was Greece, when he was with the Police and solo, so Cyprus was yearning for a Sting concert. Needless to say, the level of excitement and anticipation was very high and everybody waited for June 10 like manna from heaven. After the success of the shows in Malta and Israel, the Cypriot funs knew the Broken Music tour would be special. And it was!

The show would start at 9pm and the doors to the stadium opened at 7pm. The diehard fans (myself and my wife included) rushed to the front while everyone else trickled in and took their places. By the time Fictionplane hit the stage the venue was half full, but the adrenalin level was so high that people where stomping with every song that they played. Joe Sumner warmed up the crowd with an energetic showthat no one will easily forget. By 9pm the place was packed, nobody could wait any longer, they wanted Sting to come out. Rhythmic chants of 'Sting, Sting, Sting...' filled the air until the dimming of the lights meant that it was show time! At 9.15pm the audience went berserk as the band played the manic riff of 'Message in a bottle' and Sting entered the stage armed with his bass guitar. The wait was over!

From then on, it was a night of singing, dancing, screaming and stomping. In the quieter moments of the set, the obligatory lighters were lit. It was one night before full moon and there wasn't a single cloud in the sky. So the moon in all its glory graced the sky above the stadium as if it was part of the show. I guess it became just that when Sting sang 'Walking on the moon'. Sting said good evening and thank you in Greek but he had little more to say to the fans. He didn't have to though, the music spoke to everyone and everyone came to hear the music.

He introduced the band twice, introduced 'A day in the life' as a Beatles song and after 'Fragile' he said: 'good night Cyprus, we shall see you again!'. Despite the constant touring Sting delivered every song-regardless of its register-with conviction and ease. He was a master performer at the top of his game. Just as flawless was his bass playing on his trusted Fender Bass guitar. That instrument was truly an extension of himself. The set list focused more on his Police years covering material from all albums the band ever released. He even sang 'Next to you' with the same( if not more) reckless abandon of the original recording! Needless to say, he also performed songs from his solo albums: Englishman in New York, 'If I ever lose my faith', 'Fragile', 'Desert Rose', 'Why should I cry for you', 'If you love somebody'... The crowd couldn't get enough.

The Broken Music tour band was exceptional. Sting always works with top notch musicians and this tour's crop was certainly no exception.

Backed by powerhouse drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. the band rocked relentlessly through the set taking no prisoners. Abe Laboriel is a heavy hitter, groovy drummer who added his personal touch to all the tunes. He commanded his drumkit and the stage as if he'd been playing with Sting all of his life. On 'Driven to tears' he augmented Steward Copeland's fills with his own while his frequent use of the double bass-drum pedal created some explosive endings. Lyle Workman was the perfect choice for second guitar. His playing never clashed with Dominic Miller's and his chord/volume swells emulated the synth parts on songs like 'Fields of gold'. His solo on 'When the world is running down' was unforgettable.

Dominic Miller knows Sting's music inside out. He is a long time side man and collaborator so his knowledge of the material is unequaled. Yet his playing was very sensitive and energetic at the same time. Whether live or in the studio, Dominic always respects Sting's repertoire choosing to play only what's needed.

Sting attracted all age groups to his first Cyprus concert and I'm sure that everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The ticket was very reasonably priced at 25 CYP, which is actually less than 50 US dollars. Including FictionPlane, it was a 2 hour plus show so it was excellent value for money. I guess it was worth the wait, and we hope that he will indeed see us again. We miss him already!

By ''guitaroboe'' for Sting.com

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