Sting’s grandiose designs

I was invited by a friend to attend the Sting concert last night at the Hollywood Bowl at the very last minute, but opted instead to watch Game 6 of the Lakers/Celtics, which I now realize was a mistake given the one-sidedness of the affair. Variety’s top-flight reviewer, Richard S. Ginell, gave the show, billed as part of the “Symphonicity Tour,” with the svelte Englishman backed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, a mixed review, suggesting that the RPCO was merely relegated, at times, to “a wildly expensive backup combo.”

The dual nature of the show might best be illustrated by “Russians,” which Richard referred to as both “bellicose” and “moving.” This YouTube clip, taken from Colorado’s Red Rocks (which I’ll forever associate with John Tesh) on June 9, might suggest the push me-pull you nature of Sting’s appeal, not to mention his grand vision.

 

 I must admit to a love-hate relationship with Sting, having grown indifferent to his increasingly “Adult Contemporary” bent. He was probably the most interesting when he came out with his first solo album, “The Dream of the Blue Turtles” (1985), having recruited all those top-flight jazzmen like Branford Marsalis and the late Kenny Kirkland — a process that was wonderfully documented with Michael Apted’s exhilarating film “Bring on the Night”…

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