Saturday, February 05, 2005

Rocking with Sting’s Every Breath

Rocking with Sting’s Every Breath
Pop Icon Leaves Audience Wanting More
The Times of India

Bangalore: Joyous Bangaloreans in the teeming thousands along with the Swedes, Yankees, Canadians and French jostled, pushed and fought for a glimpse of the gaunt Sting atop a 12-foot high stage. The fields of gold pulsated with the real thing, of Gordon Mathew Sumner’s rich acoustics.

The evening set in with the Message in a Bottle. “How you doin’ out there?’’ he asked midway. The end was nigh, 9.40 pm. Striped shimmering black trousers and a white-collared black shirt, coupled with the Fender Precision bass guitar and that intense voice belting out numbers that baby-boomers grew old on and Gen-X is growing up to. Be it the Shape of My Heart, Sacred Love, Englishman in New York, Invisible Sun, the cult-like Desert Rose or Fields of Gold, the audience roared along and lapped up Sting’s cerebral lyrics.

As with any international act, the attendant foreigners were in full force. Like Isreali Haya Ramoon. “Sting is around my age. I became a huge fan of his after my children started playing his music loud. The crowd here is very young but they are grooving to a 50-something man. Isn’t that cool?’’ she trilled. Haya had come here with her husband who works at Intel and who said he was “converted after the concert because till then, I had no idea that he had such a fan following.’’

Canadian Heathir Lawrence had more than one reason to be there. She shares a yoga guru with Sting. “I’m a fan of his music; my parents are Jamaican so there’s lot of reggae in his style. But the other compelling factor was that he practises ashtanga yoga as taught by Pattabi Jois in Mysore’’ says she. Heathir has trekked from Mysore and says it’d be great if Sting came down to visit the guru too. And homesick Swede Anders Ihr said: “I was a big fan of Sting and then lost touch with his music. This feels like a rejuvenation.’’

When the blue-green eyed songwriter barely started belting the ubiquitous Every Breath You Take, all he had to do was a phrase. The crowd did the rest. Rounds of cat-calls and whistles rent the air when he was accompanied by an Afro-American vocalist for Sacred Love. Unlike metal freaks and testosterone rockers, Sting’s on-stage acts were like his music — graceful, sophisticated.

Tennis pro Mahesh Bhupathi with wife in tow was seen swaying. “I’m here because my wife likes the music, the number I’m most familiar with is ‘Desert Rose.’’ UB chairman Vijay Mallya, seen rocking in the vicinity of the stage, hollered that he came to all the rock acts at Palace Grounds. “When I was growing up, it was BeeGees for me. It’s recently that I took to Sting.’’ He also dropped a tidbit — “Dire Straits are coming next.’’ Brand guru Harish Bijoor — “I came here only for ‘Every Breath You Take’. I use that in all my presentations. It makes a connect.’’

The concert was organised by DNA Networks.
At the stroke of 9.40 pm, Sting bade adieu to the pumped-up audience and despite encore yells, he didn’t oblige. “Ridiculously early’’ said a fan. Then came reality — packed parking lots, traffic jams.


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