Sting and Shaggy made it rain last night– literally and figuratively. They made it rain first with a hot (again literally and figuratively) show of hits, then the skies opened up and drenched 3,000 on Sting’s command: “I dream of rain.”
Last night at the beautiful new Pier 17 Rooftop in the South Street Seaport: It had been a terrific show, despite humid breezes blowing through the stale air. The forecast called for rain, but just light rain, and not til the end of the show.
And then, Sting and his band whipped up a ferocious version of his Arab tinged “Desert Rose.” The sold out crowd pushed forward to the stage, hands above their heads, bodies gyrating, and Sting sang the song’s refrain, “I dream of rain.”
And oh yes, the skies burst forth. I do not mean a little sprinkle. It was if the heavens were being wrung of all the water they’d ever held, God himself turned a bucket over water over onto the South Street Seaport. Torrents, not Bob Dylan’s buckets, came splashing down on the audience.
Somehow it seemed appropriate. You should get a little wet at a rock concert.We got a lotta wet.
Before the deluge, Sting and Shaggy put on a show of non stop hits, perfectly executed, exquisitely musical, in front of a devoted crowd that included trumpet man Chris Botti, Mrs. Sting, Trudie Styler, and our favorite local rocker, Patty Smyth. No one had an umbrella, but everyone danced to the songs from the eminently catchy Sting & Shaggy album. “44/876.” They played their new hit, “Gotta Get Back My Baby,” the very hit-like “Dreaming in the USA,” and even my personal favorite, “If You Can’t Find Love.”
Of course, there were Sting and Police hits like “Message in a Bottle,” “Roxanne,” “Every Breath You Take,” and “Walking on the Moon.” Shaggy contributed his signature song, “It Wasn’t Me.” Sting also sang “Fields of Gold,” which I now refer to as the song Paul McCartney Says He Wishes He’d Written.
The Sting and Shaggy collaboration turned out to be an inspired idea. Sting’s early music was reggae tinged, and his sense of rhythm is so extraordinarily tuned that he’s a natural partner for Shaggy. Shaggy, so popular in Jamaica, is a great foil for Sting, and his music gives Sting’s shadings and extra depth. Sting loves summer tours, and has done them with Peter Gabriel and Paul Simon. This one, which also had a soundtrack, was a winner.