Sacred Love

West Palm Beach, FL, US
Sound Advice Amphitheatrewith Dominic Miller & Annie Lennox
Sting & Lennox worth the wait...

''So, what was that hurricane's name?'' Sting queried the dancing, sing-alonging throng packed into Sound Advice Amphitheatre Thursday night.

''Frances!'' someone chimed helpfully.

''That's the same name as my ex-wife,'' the long, cool, fetchingly shaggy-haired singer/bassist/tantric love god quipped.

Ah, that Sting. So clever. So sexy, talented and obviously beloved by the ebullient fans that gathered for Thursday's makeup appearance by him and Annie Lennox. The first, of course, had been postponed on account of that pesky Frances. But the soulful, skilful stylings of both singers and their backing musicians made it more than worth the wait.

After a short set by Sting's guitarist, Dominic Miller, Lennox took the stage and immediately commanded it. Most of her hour-long set was made up of songs from her earlier albums, as well as her career with the Eurythmics. In a far cry from her '80s androgynous look, the lean, lithe Lennox, who turns 50 on Christmas Day, vamped it up in a tight red tank top and low-slung jeans.

She wrapped her amazing vocal range around Bob Marley's silky 'Wait in Vain', wailed like a wayward gospel diva on 'Missionary Man' and slammed a blistering 'Sweet Dreams' into the stratosphere.

An hour wasn't enough for Annie, although she did make a brief reappearance during Sting's set, threatening to steal his hit 'We'll Be Together' right from out of his yoga-toned arms.

Although this show is a continuation of his 'Sacred Love' tour, which hit these parts at Miami's Knight Centre earlier this year, this version finds the former Police lead man in a looser, funkier place.

Maybe this is his stadium shtick. After kicking off with a percussion-heavy 'Send Your Love', from his latest album, he swung into the Police's 'Synchronicity II', leaping into the air like the snarky '80s punk he once was.

Sting's strengths in concert are many - his expert musicianship and the way he surrounds himself with equally fine musicians and singers (particularly rafter-shaking singer Joy Rose), as well as his charisma.

Although shows with dual headliners always mean that each performer has to leave out some favourites, I can't imagine what could have made this better - except for maybe if they'd sung more songs together. Oooh. I smell a sequel.

(c) The Palm Beach Post by Leslie Gray Streeter