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ting isn’t always the best proposition for an engaging night out –
despite his undeniably catchy back catalogue – simply because he’s
known for being a bit, well, uncommunicative. Which is fair enough
in one sense, as maybe he prefers to let the music do the talking. But let’s
be honest, most concertgoers do prefer it when the artist they are paying
a lot of money to see shows at least some regard for their fans. After all, it’s
the fans that keep them where they are. Thankfully, Sting is on more
friendly form in 2013 and engages in plenty of banter between songs, even
urging on the packed crowd with shouts of ‘Yalla!’
The audience at the du Arena at Yas Island were glad to respond to these
cries to ‘come on’ and everyone was positively bouncing from very early
on in the night. Sting kicked off proceedings with the horn and drums of
If I Ever Lose My Faith in You’ and the stadium was filled up with the
familiar chorus. This was quickly followed by the nimble hop of ‘Every
Little Thing She Does is Magic’ and the sing-along jazz-reggae of
Englishman in New York’. It was a great start and bode well for the rest
of what was in store for the thousands gathered.
Ten songs in and I caught myself being surprised at how many all time
classics Sting has actually produced… and then he went and smashed out
ten more. It was also a more direct affair from Sting’s most recent tours,
where he assembled sizely orchestras and lute players. This ‘Back To Bass’
tour has him back to basics, with his trusty bass guitar strapped around
him playing in front of a plain black curtain. There’s no light show, no
pyrotechnics, just a breakneck run through two hours of great songs.
Backed up by a five-piece band of trusted collaborators, Sting belts out
selected hits fromThe Police and from his solo career. It’s a great batch of
songs that spans a quarter of a century in the music business. The arena
chants the popular Police tracks, which stem from an amazing run of hits
released from 1977 to 1983, through to the eclectic and unpredictable hits
of Sting’s solo career.