Sting’s My Songs Tour doesn’t disappoint! Hearing him sing his most popular songs in person was exciting. He owned the audience from the very first song – “Message in a Bottle”. Sting is an incredibly accomplished performer and sang his heart out, while enjoying and encouraging audience participation and connecting extremely well with fans. His energy is palpable, yet somehow also reserved. It would be hard to find something about him not to like! My Songs is an extended world tour in support of Sting’s thirteenth solo studio album. The album released in May 2019, with an initial tour beginning at La Seine Musicale in Paris, and selling out six times at the London Palladium.
As you can see from the few photos I took, my location (standing) wasn’t ideal. The performance sold out early, and the best seats were gone long before I even found out about the concert. The venue – Bratislava’s indoor ice hockey arena Ondrej Nepela – was at capacity (10,000 seats). The interesting, congenial crowd included all ages. This is Sting’s second Bratislava performance in three years. I chatted with a few locals before the performance – all friendly and happy. There really isn’t any Sting song I don’t like, but the beat is certainly a change from the Philharmonic concerts I’ve attended recently.
Joe Sumner and Sting’s Electric Rock Ensemble
Singer and guitarist Joe Sumner, Sting’s son, opened the concert. Tour band members include:
- Dominic Miller – Guitar
- Josh Freese – Drums
- Rufus Miller – Guitar
- Kevon Webster – Keyboard
- Shane Sager – Harmonica
- Melissa Musique and Gene Noble – Backing Vocals
Sting deferred to members of his band, as they performed impressive solos. He sang outstanding duets with Sumner, Musique, and Noble. The harmonicist, Shane Sager, was fantastic, as were the guitarists, keyboard, and drums!
The list of Sting’s awards, honors, and other distinctions is too extensive to cover in this blog post. “The music composer, singer, songwriter, actor, author, and activist was born in Newcastle, England. He moved to London in 1977 and co-founded the popular band The Police with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. The group released five studio albums and won six Grammy awards and two Brit Awards.”
As a solo artist, Sting has received “ten Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, and four Oscar nominations”. The list of his “greatest achievements includes a TONY nomination, a Billboard Magazine Century Award, and a 2004 Person of the Year Award from MusiCares“. In 2003, Sting was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In addition to his extraordinary singing career, Sting has appeared in “more than 15 films, was an executive producer of the critically acclaimed ‘A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,’ and starred in the 1989 Beggar’s Opera on Broadway. His latest theater project was the musical, The Last Ship, nominated for a TONY award. Sting was inspired by memories of the shipbuilding community of Wallsend in North East England, where he was born and raised”. He wrote the “music and lyrics for the Broadway show that ran in 2014/2015 and concluded after a critically acclaimed tour of London theaters in March-June 2018”.
“Sting’s support of human rights organizations like the Rainforest Fund, Amnesty International, and Live Aid reflect his art’s universal reach. He and his wife, Trudie Styler, founded the Rainforest Fund in 1989 to protect the rainforests and its indigenous people. They organized benefit concerts to raise funds and spread awareness about our planet’s threatened resources. Since its inception, the Rainforest Fund has grown into a network of interconnected organizations working in more than twenty countries on three continents.”
Sting ended the concert with a request from the audience for “Roxanne” : ) and sang “How Fragile We Are,” dedicated to the plight of oppressed women in Iran. It was a memorable evening of fun and great music!