Sting tells tales at Oakdale...
Telling the stories that inspired the songs while retracing the steps of his solo career, rock icon Sting performed a two hour set at the Toyota Presents the Oakdale Theater on Monday night.
Widely recognized as the front man for The Police, Sting has launched his 'Back to Bass' tour to highlight the 25 years of material that followed his work with that seminal band.
Despite turning 60 earlier in the month, Sting remains sinewy and svelte, sporting a second-skin style shirt and jeans while hiding behind his bass guitar. He was joined on stage by a five-piece band that included the father-son guitar duo of Dominic and Rufus Miller along with veteran drummer Vinnie Colaiuta.
The ensemble opened with 'All This Time', suggesting a greatest hits theme that never really materialized. Save for 'Fortress Around Your Heart', Sting stayed away from songs on 'The Dream of the Blue Turtles' and hits from '…Nothing But the Sun', concentrating more on mid-90s work from “Ten Summoner’s Tales,” and “Mercury Falling.”
He professed an affinity for country music with 'I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying', but admitted he lacked authenticity in the genre.
"Not really authentic coming from the north of England," he said. "But for a boy from Newcastle to have the legendary Johnny Cash record his song, that was vindication."
Sting followed with the referenced song 'Hung My Head'.
The singer was in storytelling mode throughout the night, sharing his inspirations for the lyrics of songs. In some instances, the story added depth to the performance such as when he talked about his troubled relationship with his late father before playing 'Ghost Story'. At times his stories were less poignant, like his explanation of 'The End of the Game', which was apparently penned as a love story for a male and female fox just before the hunt.
The show was really a music lover’s dream with no-frills lighting, bare-bones stage set up, and no overhead video screens to distract from the live performance.
Colaiuta was pressed into duty for a press-roll intro to 'Hounds of Winter', and gave the spotlight over to fiddler Peter Tickell during a colossal jam on 'Love is Stronger than Justice (The Munificent Seven)'.
The effort earned the young musician a standing ovation.
Sting didn’t entirely ignore his roots with The Police, using his extended triple encore to unleash a few favorites on the crowd including 'Every Breath You Take', and an acoustic 'Message in a Bottle'.
(c) The Republican by Donnie Moorhouse
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