Sting: My Songs Tour

Esch, LU

Sting at Rockhal: The legendary Police frontman who just keeps giving...

Ex Police-frontman Sting returned to a sold out Rockhal on Saturday for another high-octane show. The man ages like fine wine, presenting a captivating and inspiring set made up of his predominantly older catalogue, and gets personal with the Luxembourg audience.

"When I was young, I had a little transistor radio. I would tune in to Radio Luxembourg. They were the only radio station that played Jimi Hendrix at night. So thank you, Luxembourg," exclaims Sting on Saturday evening.

Launching into Message In A Bottle, Englishman In New York, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and If You Love Somebody Set Them Free, Sting immediately sets the mood with upbeat classics from The Police times and early solo work.

Equipped with a clip-on microphone, Sting is free to walk around and own the stage, interacting with his band and saluting the crowd in the front rows. The perfect set-up for this act, something he first started implementing at his Las Vegas Residency.

This Luxembourg gig was actually supposed to take place last year, but was cancelled due to illness. Sting lost his voice during a show in Amsterdam just a few days before; like a true professional serving his audience, he is catching up on those cancelled dates.

If It's Love from the recent album The Bridge came next, followed by If I Ever Lose My Faith in You. Sing-alongs like Fields Of Gold, Brand New Day and Shape Of My Heart took the audience on a dynamic soft pop ride, before closing bangers Walking On The Moon, So Lonely, Desert Rose and Every Breath You Take really fuelled up the Luxembourg crowd towards the end.

The 72-year-old's vocal performance and stage presence is flawless as always. Sting has always been someone to make physical and mental health a priority in his life. He has aged like fine wine, drinking tea like a rock star and showing his ripped physique in a tight grey shirt. His incredible bass playing is locked in with the band, both groovy and playful.

Accompanied by Dominic Miller on guitar, Zach Jones on drums, Kevon Webster on keyboards, Gene Nobel and Melissa Musique on backing vocals and Shane Sager on harmonica, Sting brought along a tight band whereby each member got their spotlight moment. Gene Nobel's vocals on Shape Of My Heart in particular sent shivers down the room, while Shane Sager's harmonica playing was the perfect fit for this particular set list.

The light show was spectacular as well, perfectly balanced to add attitude and atmosphere to the gig without taking attention off the singer and his band. The video screens in the room are a great addition to Rockhal, with transitions from different angles really upping the concert experience.

Encores included a long version of Roxanne, flirting with jazz funk in the middle section before returning to its original format, as well as Fragile, a strong call for peace and an end to war in this world, without Sting referring to any events in particular.

One or two new songs from his recent album would've been a fantastic addition to the show, but what can you ask for if you have to choose a handful of songs from a 50-year career to fill only two hours?

Sting is an artist you hope will never retire, and can easily keep going for another decade at least. He's truly enjoying his time on stage; he's definitely not doing this for the money. His concerts remain fan favourites, and even if his music may not be everyone's taste, he is admired and respected across the globe for his extensive catalogue, openness to explore and collaborate.

Luckily for us he'll be back soon, as he remarks, before walking offstage.

(c) RTL by Josh Oudendijk

Sting rolled out his impressive playlist at the Rockhal...

The British singer offered half a century of hits to a packed Rockhal on Saturday evening.

He walks forward, low on his hip, and places his gentle but piercing gaze on the 6,000 spectators at the Rockhal. Many of them have graying temples but not all, as if several generations had met in Esch on Saturday evening. Including on stage since Joe Sumner, the big guy who played the opening act and who displayed a disturbing false air of the expected idol, is none other than his eldest son.

He throws out “Message in a Bottle”: the tone is set, Sting will obviously offer hits from The Police but not only that... He continues in fact directly with “Englishman in New York”, taken from his second solo album, as if to remind us – without denying what he owes to his comrades Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland – that he has still come a long way on his own.
His unmistakable voice

He does it again by going on to “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic”, then “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free”, taken from his very first solo album “The Dreams of the Blue Turtles”. He serves his fans, the diehards, then picks up the others on “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” and “Fields of Gold”. The magic of live music happens (finally) when he has fun with his musicians and backing singers. Despite a cold snap, he plays his unmistakable voice on sounds that belong only to him and finds everyone again on “Shape of My Heart”.

Then it’s the shot of nostalgia, “Walking on The Moon”, “So Lonely”, cleverly set to Bob Marley’s “No woman no cry” before a powerful journey into the “Desert Rose”. Sting is never as good as when he embraces his multitude of influences and his thirst for crossbreeding. The public is finally here and there for a new leap back forty years with “King of Pain”, and the essential “Every Breath You Take”.

The concert seems over but impossible. Impossible for him to leave the Rockhal without having uttered the cry that everyone is waiting for. Obviously, he comes back and offers “Roxanne”, a title that catapulted him to the top of the charts and into hearts. It was 45 years ago. Timeless and eternal Sting.

(c) L'Esseential by Marion Chevrier