Ageless Sting Brings Timeless Music To ACL Live

Sting was in Austin recently on his 57th & 9th Tour. His first rock album in over a decade got its title from the Manhattan street corner that Sting crossed each day as he walked to the recording studios in Hell’s Kitchen. Sting has always been about sharing deeper meaning into the human journey, on this  he says “It’s about searching and traveling, the road, that pull of the unknown.” he says. “On this album, we ended up with something that’s energetic and noisy, but also thoughtful”. Read more at Sting  final-0214Sting is one of the music greats who has had a successful and extensive solo career after mega-stardom and multiple Grammy’s with their original bands. In fact, all of The Police members have had successful careers.’Although they existed for just over six years, the band’s contribution to the lexicon of rock was immense’ (Sting.com). One of the amazing things about Sting, besides his longevity in the business, is his anti-aging features (see past interviews where he talks about yoga, tantra, love, peace etc.) Not only is he still youthful, fit and sexy, he still has a near perfect voice-clear and intact as if it were 1995. So fit, Sting still jumps on stage.See our ACL Live concert photos here 

final-0237Sting, the storyteller, songwriter opened the show by sitting on a stool, casually talking with the audience and playing.He kicked off with an acoustic version of “Heading South on The Great North Road” from the new album about his music beginnings when he traveled the main highway in England from Newcastle in the North to London in the South.“I owe a lot to Austin,” he said, explaining that Austin’s KLBJ Radio was the first radio outlet in America to play “Roxanne” in 1979- a risqué song about a man who falls in love with a prostitute. He also played his first show in Austin at the Armadillo World Headquarters (aka Threadgills with a hippie Austin culture that led to its Music Capitol of the World title ) and he chuckled at the memory. The first two sets were by his son Joe Sumner, then The San Antonio rock band The Last Bandoleros (Photos here) who gave off some serious Beatles vibes and who Sting describes as a cross between Los Lobos and The Monkees. Sting’s band included his longtime guitarist, Dominic Miller,with son Rufus Miller (guitar) plus Josh Freese -best known for playing hardcore drums with Guns N’ Roses and Nine Inch Nails

 His set started with amazing classics, Synchronicity, Spirits in the Material World, and one of our personal faves, Englishman In New York– with lyrics ‘I’m an alien” bring up so much emotion for us in the current times we live in (America with ICE immigration raids etc.) and “I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear” “Be yourself no matter what they say” are all as meaningful today as when they were written. Before playing Message in A Bottle, one of The Police’ greatest songs -which he said he wrote 40 years ago alone in his London basement apartment playing for his dog- but today audiences sing all the words and he is grateful and appreciative, humbled. It means a lot to him.
 The set continued with a nice medley of the new songs, I Can’t Stop Thinking About You (which we can’t stop thinking about!), One Fine Day, and Petrol Head– a somewhat more rock-metal song about a man involved in sex, trucks, and religion (which he said he ‘had only one of those things in common’. If you know Sting you know which one). Then he rolls into a reggae-style version of I’m So Happy, I Can’t Stop Crying about divorce that he originally wrote as a country song for legend Toby Keith that he decided to make a little more fun. A song refresh. That’s what Sting does so well. He is so eclectic as an artist, his music covers so many music genres. It’s the lyrics and the variety of song styles that makes him so unique and the songs timeless.  See cowboy Sting’s mohawk here   Before playing Pretty Young Soldier, he explained he wrote the song about female cross-dressers in WWII who were on a mission to find their loved ones who went off to war (similar to the ladies in theater in those days who wanted to play men’s roles). He closed out the main set with a mashup of “Roxanne” and the Bill Withers soul classic “Ain’t No Sunshine.” 
Sting closed out the encore with Oscar nominated “The Empty Chair” which he wrote with J. Ralph about Jim Foley, an American Journalist killed by ISIS in Syria in 2014. Sting first denied the request to write it but then thought about what would he do if one of his own kids was missing or captured. He said he would probably leave an empty chair at the dining table as a hope that someday they would return. Referencing the current fake-news climate in the White House, Sting said “at a time when truth itself is under attack, this man, Jim Foley, died to tell the truth.”Not a super up-lifting song to end with but powerful, meaningful.Sting said he likes to give people some chill music before going home to help them wind down.

Billboard Magazine lists Sting’s top songs here– see if you agree and share on Twitter.

Set List

SYNCHRONICITY
SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD
SHE’S TOO GOOD FOR ME
ENGLISHMAN IN NEW YORK
CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT YOU
ONE FINE DAY
PRETTY YOUNG SOLDIER
I’M SO HAPPY I CANT STOP CRYING
DOWN DOWN DOWN
PETROL HEAD
SHAPE OF MY HEART
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE
ASHES TO ASHES
50,000
WALKING ON THE MOON
SO LONELY
DESERT ROSE
ROXANNE

NEXT TO YOU
EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE
THE EMPTY CHAIR

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