Sting: My Songs Tour

Saratoga Springs, NY, US
Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center

Sting entertains fans at SPAC with dynamic show...

Sting spent an evening entertaining in the Spa City this week as part of his ongoing My Songs Tour.

Fans flocked to Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Wednesday to see Sting deliver an exuberant and dynamic show featuring his most beloved songs, written throughout the 17-time Grammy Award winner’s illustrious career both with The Police and as a solo artist.

Opening act Joe Sumner, Sting’s son, kicked off the show with set of his own songs, warming up the crowd before his famous father took the stage.

Sting, along with his band, brought the audience on a musical journey through time as they played numbers like “Message in a Bottle,” “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” “Fields of Gold” and “Desert Rose.”

The Englishman, with strong ties to New York City, told Wednesday’s crowd that he was delighted to be back in Saratoga Springs, noting that it was his eighth time performing at the venue. “Kind of feels like home,” he said.

Though it’s been 45 years since Sting co-founded the Police, he has managed to maintain both his signature sound and appearance as he continues to tour the globe at 70 years old.

Sting is still making new music, too. His local performance also showcased a few songs – “Rushing Water,” “If It’s Love” and “For Her Love”  – from his latest album, The Bridge, released in 2021.

Toward the end of the set, Sumner came back to join his dad for “King of Pain,” a single from The Police’s last album Synchronicity.

This same album included the chart-topping 1983 hit “Every Breath You Take,” which closed the set.

The late summer concert ended with an encore of the ever-popular 1978 Police tune “Roxanne,” followed by “Fragile,” described by Sting as a quiet and thoughtful send-off.

“We shall see you again,” Sting said to his adoring fans as he exited the stage for the final time that night, promising to come back in the future.

(c) The Saratogian by Lauren Halligan

Fit, age-defying Sting delivers crowd favorites at SPAC...

“This is the eighth time we’ve been on this stage. It kind of feels like home,” announced Sting during his headlining show at Saratoga Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night, in one of the last concert events of the SPAC season.

It’s hard to keep track of all the English musician’s Saratoga appearances, but he usually manages to do something different when he comes around every few years. In 2010, Sting led the Royal Philharmonic through orchestral arrangements of his rock songs. In 2008, he brought his reunited band The Police for a nostalgia-fueled return to the British rock trio’s new wave heyday.

This year, Sting visited Saratoga for his “My Songs” tour, which launched with a residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in late 2021. As during his 2017 SPAC performance, Sting never failed to impress with how well he, his voice and his songs stand the test of time.

The 70-year-old Sting continues to defy aging in a way that almost generates disbelief. Looking like a yoga guru, the supremely fit singer wore snug jeans and a tight gray t-shirt that showed off his lithe chest and arms. How much yoga can one person do, in between a diet of organic vegetables? I don’t know, but if Sting had a health and fitness guide, there would be many buyers.

Sting’s setlist followed a similar structure to the 2017 show: an opening salvo of older hits, a return to crowd favorites at the end, and a middle section with lesser-known songs and new material — this time from his 2021 release “The Bridge,” written during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once again, the bill was a family affair, with an opening set by Sting’s son, singer-songwriter Joe Sumner, who writes earnest tunes about love and loss that don’t quite ignite with electricity. But he looks and sounds remarkably like his father.

Sting was joined by a five-piece band including Dominic Miller (guitar), Josh Freese (drums), Rufus Miller (guitar), Kevon Webster (keyboards) and Shane Sager (harmonica), as well as backing vocalists Melissa Musique and Gene Noble.

The band sounded organic and loose on Police classics “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” as well as Sting’s solo hit “Englishman in New York,” which started the show. Sting’s edges have been smoothed some, but he still hits some extended high notes, although he clearly knows his limitations and conserves his voice at times.

“In the lockdown, I wrote a lot of love songs,” Sting said during a mini set of newer songs, including “If It’s Love” and “For Her Love,” which he played while seated on a stool.

The mid part of the set got bogged down in slower tempo songs from his 1993 album “Ten Summoner’s Tales,” including “Seven Days,” “Shape of My Heart” and “Heavy Cloud No Rain.”

But then he returned to more energetic form on Police classics “Walking on the Moon” and “So Lonely,” the latter that included a snippet of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” Sting’s son Joe came back onstage to add vocals to “King of Pain,” the biggest barn burner of the night, a bit ironic as it also features the most depressed lyrics.

Other highlights included “Every Breath You Take” and the first encore “Roxanne,” which got the crowd going in a rousing call and response. “It has not escaped my attention that this song has become a college drinking game,” Sting said of apparent attempts to drink shots of alcohol for every mention of the word “Roxanne” in the song. He finished the night with the delicate “Fragile.”

(c) The Daily Gazette by Kirsten Ferguson