Sting brings rock-star persona, enduring spirit, spellbinding songs to Van Andel Arena...
Saturday night’s Grand Rapids tour stop had the former Sting frontman unfurling more than 20 career-spanning songs, backed by a top-flight band.
Sting is still a rock star. If the black leather pants and his still-pristine upper register aren’t enough to prove that, then perhaps his aptitude as a low-end ambassador on bass or director of a spellbinding, genre-bending set might do the trick.
All of which were present at the rock ‘n’ roll legend’s Saturday evening tour stop at Van Andes Arena at (with his son, Joe Sumner, opening the show).
Conducting both his band and an arena packed with roaring fans, the former The Police frontman only solidified his mythical nature by regaling them with hits such as “Message in a Bottle,” “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” and “Roxanne.”
Even his new material sprouted a life of its own as the seedling songs drifted from the stage and out onto fertile ears. “For Her Love” found the English-born songwriter perched on a stool, bass over his knee and heart on his sleeve.
This is, of course, focusing the spotlight on Sting himself: Sting’s seven-piece band was equally as impressive.
With the “My Songs Tour” featuring a musical crew that included Dominic Miller and Rufus Miller on guitars, Josh Freese on drums, Kevon Webster on keyboards, Shane Sage on harmonica and a pair of captivating vocalists, Melissa Musique and Gene Noble. It was dizzying to take in the amount of talent on stage.
Other highlights included “Fields of Gold,” “Wrapped Around my Finger” and a reggae montage including covers of “No Woman No Cry” and “Get Up, Stand,” which was all it took for fans to take to their feet again to joyously move to the music.
Near the finale, the unmistakable reverb-laden guitar riff of “Every Breathe You Take,” became a hypnotic time-portal to another era.
That’s before “Roxanne” — a 1978 single released prior to Police’s debut album — blew the lid off of an already boiling stew of hearty hits.
Sir Sting hasn’t aged with grace; he’s graced an age with his uplifting songs and unending spirit.
(c) Local Spins by Enrique Olmos