Sting: My Songs Tour

Dallas, TX, US
Toyota Music Factory

Sting's 'My Songs' Tour Gave Fans Everything and More...

The legendary Sting played a Saturday night concert with old hits and help from his son. Not that he needed it.

Sting turned 72 this month, and other than his displaying a few more wrinkles, it was like watching the 20-year-old version Saturday night at the Pavilion at Toyota Music Factory. With 17 Grammys and countless other awards, Sting is rock royalty but he has not yet been dubbed a knight.

The rocker was named a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth in 2003, but that is considered a lesser honor. It seems Sting still has life goals ahead of him.

Born Gordon Sumner, Sting got his name from a black-and-yellow striped jumper he would wear in his early jazz club days. The band said it made him look like a wasp, and the name and persona Sting was born.

Joe Sumner, Sting's son, opened the night with a sweet acoustic set. If you didn't already know it was Sting's son, you would have guessed it right away. Joe is not cut like his dad, but otherwise he is the spitting image, and his voice is so close to his father's it's downright eerie.

This was further highlighted at the end of the show when Joe joined his father in singing the Police classic "King of Pain." Sting and Joe traded off verses in an almost surreal take of the song. Sting often sings his own harmonies, so it was extra wild to hear the father-son duo harmonizing as though it were Sting was covering the two main parts.

To that end, Sting chose some of his lower-pitched vocal parts at times, but this seemed mainly to conserve his voice for the high notes that had to be there. (He had no difficulty with those notes.) He wore a wireless mic and strolled from one side of the stage to the other the entire show. This added to his already strong connection with the audience, as he regularly scanned the crowd and locked eyes with fans all night. No musician rises to Sting's level without being an amazing live performer and entertainer. Sting continues to

The tour, called "My Songs," is a reminder of how many of Sting's songs have permeated the culture, whether you're a fan or not. A bonus, but not a surprise, were the many Police songs Sting "covered." Sting and his band also extended most of the songs and many became call-and-answer singalongs. This harkens back to The Police's tour supporting their last studio album Synchronicity, when the entire audience turned the concerts into singalongs.

Thankfully, that was not the case for most of the night, so the audience was able to enjoy the vocals of Sting and not of the fans surrounding them. Sting, expectedly, has a band that does him justice. Dominic Miller has been his guitarist since 1991 and has always added vibe and texture without overshadowing the overall sound. Shane Singer was stellar on the harmonica. Sting joked with Singer, asking if he was up to the task of holding a candle to the famous harmonica part Stevie Wonder played on Sting's hit "Brand New Day." After a long and funny build-up, Singer simply replied "Yes" and proceeded to destroy the part in the best possible way. It was a unique turn to hear the harmonica being as much a featured instrument as the guitar.

The best way to describe Sting, even at his age, is unapologetically cool. And it's possible he had the best time of anyone at the show.

(c) Dallas Observer by Andrew Sherman