Sunday, May 19, 2024

Sting Fan Show at the Famed Apollo: Fun Flubs and Triumphs


Before Sting would take his “Symphonicities” tour to Eastern Europe this summer, he needed a tune-up. So he chose the world famous Apollo Theater for last night’s show — with an audience comprising fan club members, family and friends. Every seat was taken, and then some as the fans–some of whom traveled great distances–kept running up near the stage and staying there. They were almost all women, and they had their dancing shoes on.

The show — with nearly 40 musicians crammed onto the stage including virtuoso guitarist Dominic Miller and knock out vocalist Jo Lawry— pretty much reproduced the same set Sting did last summer at the Metropolitan Opera and on his CD, “Live in Berlin.” Thanks to producer Rob Mathes, the sound was deep and clear, with standouts including “Why Do I Cry for You?,” “”When You Dance,” “The End of the Game,” and “I Hung My Head.” There were a couple of flubs, proving the meticulous Sting is human–he flubbed a big vocal note twice — sort of a double lutz–before getting it right. The audience loved it. He also “went up” on his famous ballad, “Fragile.”

“Thanks for noticing,” he told me at the after party around the corner at the Red Rooster. A surprise highlight of the night: an acoustic solo version of “Message in the Bottle,” with the audience singing along. Also, his son, Joe Sumner, of the group Fiction Plane, got a wild ovation for his solo on “Two Sisters.”

And where was Mrs. Sting, Trudie Styler, who never misses a show? Why she was at Harvard University, on a human rights panel moderated by Rose Styron called ‘T Squares: from Tiananmen to Tahrir,” with director Michael Apted, plus Larry Cox and Josh Rubenstein of Amnesty International.

PS Check out the grim pictures of Sting taken at the Time 100 dinner on Tuesday night. He was toasted by Christiane Amanpour, and played a set. But the pictures tell a lot of stories.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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