Sting, Peter Gabriel prove to be brilliant teammates...

July 15, 2016

Sting and Peter Gabriel played Rock Paper Scissors.

And guess who came out on top? It was the fans.

The two Rock and Roll Hall of Famers delivered nearly three hours of classic material when they brought their Rock Paper Scissors North American Tour to the SAP Center in San Jose on 


This was not a case where two headliner-caliber artists played two distinct sets, separated, of course, by a 30-minute break so fans can go drop more money on beer and T-shirts. Instead, 

it was one epic, fully integrated set, as the two Englishmen shared vocals, songbooks and bands.

It wasn't like a Sting solo show. It didn't really resemble a Peter Gabriel gig. Instead, it was better - as these two artists found synergy and managed to take their games to higher levels.

Gabriel opened the show in dramatic fashion with the pulsing "The Rhythm of the Heat," which also kicks off his self-titled 1982 album (usually referred to as "Security"). The song seemed 

to mesmerize the capacity crowd, which wouldn't break out of its trance-like state - and stand at attention - until Sting entered the picture with the Grammy-winning "If I Ever Lose My Faith 

in You" from "Ten Summoner's Tales."

The magic really began once the two men joined forces, sharing the microphone on four straight songs while backed by a rock solid ensemble that included longtime players from both 

stars' bands. Three of the songs were winners from Gabriel's songbook - "No Self Control," "Games Without Frontiers" and "Shock the Monkey" - while the fourth was the dull Police 

offering "Invisible Sun."

They'd then trade turns in the spotlight - with Gabriel unveiling "Secret World" and Sting turning to the Police's "Driven to Tears" - before coming together again for a richly moving 

"Fragile" (from Sting's " ... Nothing Like the Sun").

The duets worked wonderfully, as the two voices complemented each other and brought new intrigue to old favorites like Gabriel's "Kiss That Frog" and the Police's "Message in a Bottle."

Indeed, some of the most memorable moments of the night came when one star would sing lead on the other's song. Notably, Sting was electrifying on "Shock the Monkey" and Gabriel 

managed to put his own, decidedly different, sexy stamp on "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free."

Many fans had picked sides before walking into the show, as if this match of Rock Paper Scissors would truly decide who is the greater of the two artists. Yet, that's not how this played out 

at all. There was no competition - Sting and Gabriel were on the same team.

And the fans quickly got with the program, responding with basically equal enthusiasm for both men's performances and material.

Sting and Gabriel - aged 64 and 66, respectively - were both in strong voice as they began to bring the show to a close with the Police standards "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" and 

"Roxanne" and other well-chosen cuts. The main set ended on a high note, as the two co-headliners and their superb band powered through the anthem "In Your Eyes."

(c) East Bay Times by Jim Harrington



Jul 13, 2016

Early in Sting and Peter Gabriel’s Pepsi Center show, which was part of their Rock Paper Scissors tour, Gabriel told the audience that the set would be “a little like karaoke night in Denver.” Gabriel’s band, dressed in black with red stripes on parts of their clothing, was the red team while Sting’s band was the blue team. “You can hold out your scores, but we’re going to ignore them, because we’re going to carry on anyway,” Gabriel said...

Jul 10, 2016

Peter Gabriel and Sting may be longtime friends. But co-headlining Summerfest's closing night Sunday at the Marcus Amphitheater, Gabriel kiddingly implied they were enemies. "We have in fact the red team and the blue team," Gabriel said, joking that the audience had color-coded score cards they could hold up to award each headliner points...