Sting in Greensboro...
I am delighted to share my experience at Sting's concert in Greensboro, North Caroline on 8 May 2001. My daughter and I were so excited to see Sting again... our fourth concert! And, we got fourth row seats - unbelievable!
Signs were posted everywhere that Jill Scott, the opening act, would not be there due to illness. We were curious about what would happen in her absence and soon got a wonderful surprise. The local announcer told us that Dominic Miller would provide the opening performance! In a few seconds, I got a glimpse of Sting as he came from backstage around the equipment and unexpectedly appeared before us. We screamed our surprise and delight''
He introduced Dominic by saying he had asked his band members if anyone would be interested in playing for twenty dollars and that Dominic had volunteered! So Dominic came out, and Sting waved a bill at him before disappearing from the stage.
Dominic's wonderful solo performance gave us a rare chance to sample his talent and wit. He joked between songs and told us that 'Everyone is always asking me what it's like to work for Sting... It' actually more like being brothers... He's the older brother who's better looking, has more money, more houses, and more children... but I have to say it's the best freakin' job in the world'! I especially enjoyed his playing 'Lullaby To An Anxious Child', and just when we thought he was finished, out came Sting again and they gave us a hauntingly beautiful delivery of 'Shape Of My Heart'. The song was such a special treat for my daughter as it is her favourite, and she was moved to tears - such a gorgeous song!
After a short break, that long-awaited moment came when Sting appeared and began with 'A Thousand Years'. Our seats were directly in front of Dominic, and he was very attentive to the crowd and very animated. He teased us frequently, leaning over the edge of the stage, smiling, and milking each note from those strings so effortlessly. He tossed guitar picks into the air at us several times, making everyone scramble for them. But at the same time, Sting was working his magic mid-stage! He looked so tantalizing in his tight black muscle-shirt and camouflage pants! He tempted us with rhythmic swayings and lots of smiles while he thrilled us with 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free', 'We'll Be Together', 'Mad About You', 'Seven Days', 'Perfect Love Gone Wrong', 'After The Rain Has Fallen', 'Fields
Of Gold', 'Fill Her Up', 'Englishman In New York', 'All This Time', 'Moon Over Bourbon Street', 'Brand New Day', 'Desert Rose', 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'...
Between songs, Sting asked us, 'Did any of you see Ally McBeal last week?' We all shouted 'Yes!' He continued, 'I just want to tell you that you can't sue me for looking at your girlfriend!' The whole audience roared it's approval! Then he pointed to a row behind us saying, 'You girls have a sign... hold it up!' He read from the sign, 'North Carolina #1 Import... Woo us'!, which brought rigorous applause and cheers.
At one point, Dominic stepped back away from his spot and Sting moved in front of us for a long while, churning the frenzy Dominic had stirred already, into a whirlwind of pleasure, and when he launched into Roxanne we were pushed even higher! With Sting's driving bass rhythm and interjected bursts of 'Put away your make-up, Told you once I won't tell you again etc.' we were helplessly swept away. Then his whispered 'Roxanne' repetitions drove the audience to silence and we were clinging to each movement of his lips. Several girls around us were reduced to tears, nearly swooning, but mercilessly, he took us back up to the dymanic 'Roxanne' finish, knocking the breath from us.
He kept the momentum while he gave us another of my favourites, 'Bring On The Night'/'When The World Is Running Down', and suddenly we were hearing the encores - 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You', 'Every Breath You Take', 'Message In A Bottle' and 'Fragile'.
I didn't want it to all to end. After Sting left the stage it was almost as if we were in a state of shock! All I could think of us was 'Wow!' We were just numbly moving towards the exits, and as I looked around, everyone was wearing a smile as big as my own. Thanks, Sting et al, for coming to Greensboro! We love you!
(c) Leah Allen for Sting.com
Scott's absence didn't lose Sting...
Opening act Jill Scott's absence from the Sting concert, disappointing as it was, allowed Sting to open a window into some music the audience otherwise wouldn't have heard and into his personality.
Blessed with a distinctive and powerful voice and an ability to write magical, genre-defying songs, Sting showed Tuesday night that, at 49, he has kept both in excellent shape. The concert at the Greensboro Coliseum included music from three different decades and, with two encores, lasted nearly two hours.
Scott is recovering from a lung infection and is expected to rejoin the tour by Friday. Dominic Miller, a guitarist who has played with Sting since 1991, opened in her place.
With his hands in the pockets of his camouflage pants, Sting coolly strolled onstage to break the news to the crowd. He joked that Miller had agreed to entertain for 20 minutes, for $20. Miller then delivered an enjoyable set of solo guitar music that he interspersed with self-deprecating jokes.
''I guess people expecting Jill Scott took a look at me and said, 'Well, she's not as good-looking as I thought she'd be,''' cracked the thin, pale Miller, who also joked about his album, which he deadpanned ''is available in a store in Racine, Wisconsin,'' his hometown.
In contrast, Scott is listed among People magazine's current ''Most Beautiful'' and her Grammy-nominated debut CD has sold more than a million copies.
To close the opening set, Sting joined Miller to perform a lovely song the two wrote, Shape of My Heart. After a break, the band - including two keyboard players, a drummer and a trumpeter - took the stage to a throbbing sound that set the evening's otherworldly tone. To Sting's appealing melodies and moving lyrics, the group put a variety of rhythms, frequently changing them midsong.
In addition to his solo hits from the 1980s and '90s and his latest music, including the hit 'Desert Rose', Sting did several of his hits with The Police, such as 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Roxanne'.
Other highlights included an acoustic version of the Police hit 'Message In A Bottle' and the show-closing performance of 'Fragile', the anti-violence anthem from 1987.
The coliseum offered refunds to fans unhappy with Scott's absence. But Sting, Miller and the band's talents made it wise to stay.
(c) The Greensboro News-Record by Joya Wesley