Sting: My Songs Tour

Brussels, BE
Forest National

Sting at Forest National: a relaxed best of hits…


The Sting concert this Saturday, November 25 was sold out. Among the spectators, Jean-Philippe Lejeune gives you his impressions, accompanied by photos by Benoît Bouchez.


In my car, turning in the Forest district in search of the parking lot that we could call "haphazardly", a parking lot which does not exempt you from walking 1.5 km, I realized that I had not never seen, neither Police nor Sting on stage. For the former it would have been more difficult for me to applaud them given their dense but rather short career which ended in full glory in 1985… Or during their reformation tour which stopped at Werchter in 2008. I was therefore looking forward to finally see the Sting phenomenon on stage.


Shortly before 8:00 p.m., I joined the already crowded Forest floor. The date is a sellout and the fans are present in large numbers, in a good mood, excited and talkative. It's not easy for the support act to make themselves heard from the first minutes of their set. However, this is the challenge that Joe Sumner will take on with ease for his guitar/vocal set. Hey Sumner, this name certainly rings a bell… It’s obviously the son of Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, known as Sting. From the first notes I am struck by Joe's voice tone, quite close to that of his father in the 80s. He performs alone on stage distilling the colorful and positive folk pop of his first solo album "Sunshine in the night" released this autumn. Joe did not enter the musical world since he was leader of the group Fiction Plane for 20 years. And the sauce sets! A few lyrical flights in the high notes, a cover of Bo Diddley's "Who do you love" in chorus with the audience: Forest has visibly adopted Joe Sumner in 30 minutes, watch in hand.


No time to stretch your legs during the 20-minute break, the crowd is thickening and the floor is now crowded. I find myself right in the middle, one ear to the stage and one ear to the audience. 8:45 p.m. Sting arrives very relaxed and off we go for 1h45 of hits! It looks like Sting has become younger... Certainly white hair has replaced the peroxide hairstyle of the Police years. And it starts strong! The leader of the star trio of the 80's launches his concert with "Message in bottle" then continues in front of a singing and enchanted audience with "Englishman in New York" where the soprano saxophone has been replaced by the harmonica of the young Shane Sager. Because yes, there are lots of people on stage around the 72-year-old singer/bassist! The faithful Dominique Miller, his regular guitarist since the album "Soul Cages" in 1991. And then the younger generation, the New York musician Zach Jones on drums and the backing singers Gene Noble and Melissa Musique in particular. Sting has fun with his band, shows them off and wanders around the stage always armed with his bass guitar, his trusty Fender Precision. And everything seems easy, natural! The author of “If you love somebody” offers his greatest titles with communicative elegance. The voice tone is still there, of course a little rounder and a little deeper but still as recognizable and unique. Then Sting calms things down, he tells us about the view surrounding his 16th century mansion in Wiltshire before starting "Fields of Gold". The emotion is palpable both on stage and in the audience. Visually we also travel thanks to the giant screens at the back of the stage which show stained glass windows filled with gold-colored light then a panorama of New York to illustrate "Brand New Day" where Stevie Wonder's harmonica is replaced by that of Shane Sager. Gene Noble, one of the backing singers, also had his quarter of an hour of fame. He adds a more R’n B vocal on “Shape of my heart” which gives the title a neo-soul dimension.


But there is no downtime with Sting, the band leaves with "Walking on the moon" directly followed by "All this time", very reggae punctuated with famous 'iyoooowwwo' launched by the singer and taken up by the crowd. This question/answer game puts the Forest audience in a trance. The almost shamanic atmosphere is interrupted by a surprise “So lonely” which raises the temperature even further. Since we flirt with the reggae concert, the title slides towards a cover of Bob Marley's "No woman no cry". Divine ! You know when you're having fun you don't see the time passing and above all no one wanted it to stop. And it's the return of Joe Sumner for a vocal duet with his father on "King of Pain", which offers harmonies enriched with this Police title. “Every breath you take” will close the concert before the encores demanded by the more than ebullient public. "What song do you want? asks Sting. "Roxanne" of course which gets everyone in agreement then "Desert Rose". And for the finale Sting abandons his bass for an acoustic guitar for an intimate and almost Bossa nova version of "Fragile". Unsurprisingly, it was a perfect evening and set for this return to Forest. A real journey into the world of Sting, with no downtime, no false notes, in short, just class but coming from a size such as Sting, we kind of expected it.


(c) RTBF by Jean-Philippe Lejeune

posted by peter
Hounds of Winter
Hounds of Winter was added to the setlist! Thank you so much for that! Allthough Dom should have played the riff, not just the chords.
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