Sting: My Songs Tour

Geelong, Victoria, AU
Mt Duneed Estate

Sting Showcases The Importance Of The Rock Era To Our Culture...

The Police ‘Roxanne’ was released 45 years ago. That is how long a lot of us have had Gordon Sumner (aka Sting) in our lives.

In 2023 the Sting setlist spans from then until now with three new songs coming early in the set, preceded with an apology. Sting explained that part of the deal in us hearing the old was having to sit through the new. The new, however, flowed between the old with ease, so much so that I would imagine a good chunk of the audience will be checking out the latest Sting album ‘The Bridge’ today.

Placing a bracket of three new songs was like having a cigarette after sex off the back of the opening trilogy of ‘Message In A Bottle’, ‘Englishman In New York’ and ‘Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic’. Those first three songs were authentication of why we were all there. Three classics at the start of the show, all 30 or 40 years old, every piece iconic, everyone entrenched in our culture.

At 71, Sting is a Rock and Roll elder. Dylan is 81, McCartney 80, Jagger 79, Waters 79, Rod Stewart 78, Elton 75, Springsteen 73. Sting is certainly now part of a limited group of superstars still generating arena level crowds in their twilight years.

The closing run was equally iconic with The Police classics ‘Roxanne’, ‘Walking On the Moon’, ‘Wrapped Around Your Finger’ and (with son Joe Sumner), ‘King of Pain’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’.

Sting was also very active with the audience, telling stories of the songs. I had no idea ‘So Lonely’ evolved out of the Bob Marley classic ‘No Woman No Cry’. The second album title by The Police should have been the giveaway. ‘Regatta d’Blanc’ literally translates as ‘White Reggae’. Speaking of hidden messages, Joe’s band’s name Fiction Plane is an anagram of Infant Police.

The Police was such a short but potent part of the Sting timeline with five albums released over five years. Sting’s solo catalogue spans 38 years. ‘My Songs’ is not a greatest hits setlist. Four songs from the middle of this set focused in the 1993 album ‘Ten Summoners Tales’.

As I alluded at the start, there are certain artists who we are privileged to enjoy now. In coming years, a lot of these legends will no longer be performing. While some legends perform in their 80s, very few are still doing it in their 90s. The Renaissance of the Rock era from Chuck Berry, Elvis and The Beatles and Stones through to the last great rock era of Grunge, with Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Nirvana was finite and did not regenerate in the 21st century.

If Harry Styles is the future, God help us all.

(c) by Paul Cashmere

Classic songs take the Sting out of the weather...

Sting took a highly entertaining trip through his illustrious back catalogue on Saturday as he brought his My Songs tour to Geelong.

Held at Mt Duneed Estate in occasionally rainy conditions as part of the A Day on the Green concert series, the 90-minute show saw the 71-year-old sling on a head mic and his well-worn bass and keep the rhythm going through a setlist comprising mostly his own material but also some enormous hits from The Police.

With so many great songs both as a solo artist and with his former band, only completists would be disappointed with the 21 tunes played on the night.

Highlights included letting the backing singers show off their talents during “Heavy Cloud No Rain” and “Shape of My Heart”, smashing “So Lonely” into a brief detour into Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”, and Sting’s occasional introductions to some songs, such as his musings on how broken hearts are useful to write a good love song.

“I’m not some callow youth singing about something he knows not of; I have real estate there,” he said.

“But you know the most boring love song? ‘I love you, and you love me’ – that’s a closed loop, there’s no way inside that story.

“Whereas ‘I love you, but you love somebody else’ – now that’s interesting. It’s painful, but it’s interesting.”

Sting brought out eldest son Joe Sumner (who played his own songs earlier as a support act) to trade lead verses on “King of Pain” and sing backing vocals on “Every Breath You Take”.

The two-song encore started with an extended, groove-filled version of “Roxanne” and ended with Sting switching from bass to acoustic guitar for “Fragile” – “At the end of the night, it’s my custom to play something quiet and thoughtful so you go home quiet and thoughtful,” he remarked.

James Reyne was the other support act and powered through a tight, punchy set made up of both his own songs and those recorded with Australian Crawl.

The next concert at Mt Duneed Estate is the Tent Pole music festival, to be held on Saturday, March 4 and featuring Pavement, Magic Dirt, Spiderbait and nine other bands.

(c) Surf Coast Times by James Taylor