Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Concert FR : Sting - Sacred Love World Tour - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Sting - Sacred Love World Tour
1 February 2005
Stadium Putra, Bukit Jalil.

On this concert I can't really comment on the sound system as I was seated next to the stage this I am not qualified to do so. However from where I sat it can be assumed that is quite decent.

Going back to the concert. it starts around 15 minutes behind schedule. While waiting there is this weird yet funny yet disconcerting announcement that went something like this.

"to the owner of car WET2149, a BMW okease gi ti the foyer to meet the Police"

everybody just laugh when they heard the announcement though I can't help but wonder what had happened.

Anyway while waiting I took a photo of the stage.

As normal the "various artiste pre-concert music" was played on the sound system prior to the concert. I honestly can't point out who is the singer though. At around 15 to 9 the music was phased out and was replaced by the intro to the Sacred's love album.

The light dimmed and the empty instruments are now being played and there he is in full black suit and red/skin colour shoes going into the "Send your love" song. The stadium suddenly brimming with energy, he grab a bass guitar and seamlessly continue with "Message in a bottle". Without stopping a beat suddenly the music turns jazzy and the jazz-up (or down if you like) "If you love somebody set them free" was performed.

after the trio of song he took a break and starts adressing the audience. To our amusement he starts with "Selamat Petang" before folowwed by "Apa khabar" to a huge cheer. He later continue with "Apa khabar semua?" with rather "believable" accent and later said he need to say this right and utterred the word "Malaysia Boleh". AHAHHAHAHA!!!! that's hilarious! the promoter must have hijack his PR person and ask him to say "Malaysia Boleh" at a concert. So not "suitable".

Anyway, he mentioned that it has been 9 years since he last here in KL and feels good to be back.

He then grab an acoustic guitar and starts to sing "dead man's rope" before going to a more upbeat "Brand New day", "Shape of my Heart" and the surprisingly energetic "Englishman in New York". In all this Sting's jazzy tendency which sometimes appear but kept in check in his album was, for better or worse, unleashed.

The were variations, improvisations and the band work so well together that the raw and playful energy was evident. It is clear that most of the band members have some jazzy influence in one part or another. The most evident is the drummer where his kit are place rather different than the normal set-up that you see. The back-up singers were also lively and add to the entire presentation.

He then pick up a clasical/spanish guitar and slow things down with "fragile" before going to my favourite "Fields of gold". A bit later he sang "Whenever I say your name". The female duet part sang by Mary J blige in the album was taken over by one of the back-up singer by the name of Joy Rose. Believe you me, there is nothing lacking in her delivery and they even went for an extended ending when she belt out at the top of her lung, demonstrating her unusual vocal range from the highest up to the lowest low. She actually took centre stage at that moment. Also it is obvious the musician in Sting actually enjoys just playing the instruments and let others take the lead.

That is pretty much what happened the rest of the night. Refreshing, energetic and beautiful arrangement of songs was performed admirably and you do feel that for Sting the performance it is not about him only but the whole band too. He will changed his instruments from the bass, to spanish guitar, to electric, to acoustic according to the need of the song. A true musician this.

The first break came after some 14 song or about 1 hr plus into the show. There are no gimmick of ending the show and no drama. As smooth as he appear the first time, he appeared the 2nd time in the same way, and intro music being played and out come "Desert Rose", "If I ever lose my faith in you" and the crowd favourite "Every breath you take". Though the wonderful voice of Cheb Mami is missing in Desert Rose, the energy and the multi-layered beautiful arrangement more than make up for it. While "Every breath" just got the crowd wild.

Time for another break and when he come back it is for the last time when he play the electric guitar and sang "a thousand years". It was around 10.50pm then, a good full 2 hours later.

Overall it is a solid performance and a thoroughly enjoyable night. Though I get the feeling that he is capable of delivering a hell lot more. Well, maybe we'll have to wait for his full jazz jamming session with no time restriction for that.

Stars : 4 1/2 out of 5 (the 1/2 star short to 5 is because I'm not sitting right in front of the stage)

Below are the full list of songs for the night

1. Send your love
2. Message in a bottle
3. If you love somebody set them free.


4. Dead man's Rope
5. Brand new day
6. Shape of my hear
7. Englishman in New York
8. Fragile - He plays Spanish guitar
9. Fields of Gold
10. Sacred Lov
11. Whenever I say your name - duet with back up singer Joy Rose
12. Every little thing she does is magic
13. Never coming home
14. Roxxanne

1st break

16. Desert Rose
17. If I ever lose my faith in you
18. Every breath you take
(non-sop in between song)

2nd break

19. A thousands years - playing electric guitar

Photos :

Lights on!

The man in close-up

With Binocular? Watching F1 ke?

** note : Initially I sat next to this 2 old couple went on a double date. I have the feeling that one couple is playing cupid to the other. I later moved farther a lil' bit as it is increasingly difficult for me to stop from laughing everytime i notice one of the guys using the bino. Like want to watch birds only lah. AHAHHAHAHAHHA!!!


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