Veteran musician/actor Sting has been entertaining audiences the world over for the better part of four decades on the stage and screen. Over the course of that time, Sting (A.K.A. Gordon Thomas Matthew Sumner) has earned countless accolades and seemingly endless acclaim for his work. Now with the release of his latest live recording, Live at the Olympia Paris, Sting is certain to gain even more accolades and acclaim. That is because there is so much to say to the positive about this recording, released Nov. 10 via Eagle Rock Entertainment, beginning with the concert’s extensive set list. It will be discussed shortly. The bonus performances included with the main feature are just as important to discuss in examining the recording as the show’s main set list. The performance put on by Sting and company throughout the main set and bonus performances rounds out the recording’s most important elements. Each element is unquestionably important in its own right to the recording’s whole. All things considered, they make Live at the Olympia Paris truly more proof of why Sting is one of the music industry’s most respected names to this very day.
Live at the Olympia Paris, the latest live recording from veteran performer Sting is is proof positive of why he remains today one of the music industry’s most respected names. This recording presents plenty for audiences to appreciate beginning with its extensive set list. The concert’s 23-song main feature takes audiences all the way back to The Police’s 1978 debut record Outlandos d’Amour and all the way up to his most recent album, 2016’s 57th & 9th. While not every one of his 12 solo records was represented here or all four records from The Police, the set list still presents a healthy cross section of his career. Four of five records from the Police — Outlandos d’Amour, Reggatta de Blanc, Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity — each get nods in this set list. Almost half of Sting’s 12 solo records — …Nothing Like The Sun,Ten Summoner’s Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day and 57th & 9th — get nods in this set that also includes covers of songs from David Bowie and Bill Withers. 57th & 9th gets the most nods with a total of six songs while Ten Summoner’s Tales sees three of its songs featured. …Nothing Like The Sun gets two songs on the set list while Mercury Falling and Brand New Day each get two numbers. Would it have been possible to include one song from every one of his albums, both solo and as a member of The Police? The answer is yes, but that would have only put the set list at 16 songs. Not only that, but it would also have left little room and choice for multiple songs from that overall body of work. Keeping that in mind, having 21 songs pulled from nine albums (more than half of his overall body of work) is impressive to say the very least.
As if the cross section represented in this set list is not enough, its order is just as important to note. Audiences will note in examining the set list that it never spends too much time focusing on one album or another. The set’s first two songs are lifted from his days with The Police. From there, Sting and company jump to …Nothing Like The Sun (1987) for the third song before jumping all the way to 2016 and Sting’s latest album 57th & 9th for the next two songs. From there on out, the set list jumps back and forth throughout Sting’s career nonstop, again giving audiences a healthy representation of his work while also keeping the concert’s energy balanced throughout. That well-thought-out organization, couple with the very cross section presented in this set, shows clearly why the show’s set list is so critical to the recording’s whole. Even as important as it is to the recording, it is only one of the recording’s key elements. The bonus performances included in the recording are just as important to its whole as the main feature.
The bonus set list that is included with the concert features only one of Sting’s works — ‘Heading South on the Great North Road,’ which is taken from 57th & 9th, while the rest of the songs come from Sting’s son Joe Sumner and his band, The Last Bandaleros. This is key to note because it shows Sting giving his son the chance to tour with him while also developing his own identity and fan base from that of his dad. It’s basically a dual purpose scenario. What’s really interesting to note of the group’s songs is the stylistic differences and similarities between their compositions and those from Sting. ‘Take Me To It’ for instance boasts a distinctly bluesy composition while ‘Looking for Me, Looking for You’ presents a decidedly radio friendly pop arrangement that in its own right sounds similar to some of Sting’s works. At the same time, it does separate itself from his songs because of that sound. ‘I Don’t Want To Know’ meanwhile presents an arrangement that is rooted in a decidedly South of the Border sound. The other bonus songs present their own similarities and differences, too. Those similarities and differences generate plenty of appreciation for the group and even for Sumner in his own right. When those songs are set alongside the songs featured in the recording’s main feature, the whole of the two sets give audiences plenty to enjoy and appreciate. All in all, they are not the recording’s only key elements. The musicians’ performances round out the recording’s most important elements.
The groups’ performances of the recording’s set lists are important to discuss because, as with any act’s performance, are what makes or break the songs. Luckily for audiences, both groups shine in their respective performances. Drummer Josh Freese, who has made a name for himself playing with the likes of A Perfect Circle, The Vandals, Guns N’ Roses and others shines once again as he keeps time for Sting and company. Meanwhile guitarists Dominic and Rufus Miller both give their all along with Sting in each song, even in the set’s slower, more reserved moments. Hearing Sting casually interact with his French audience in its native tongue adds to his performance. That is because it shows a certain level of respect for the audience since he obviously didn’t just happen to say a few short phrases, but make full conversation with the audience. Even non-French-speaking audiences will agree that this minor detail adds so much to Sting’s performance as it creates respect for him by audiences. Between that and the energy put into each song’s performance, the groups’ performances go a long way toward making these performances al lthe more enjoyable. When one adds in the show’s separate and extensive set lists, they make the recording in whole another enjoyable addition to any Sting fan’s home library. That is the case even with the editing issues raised in the concert.
Sting’s latest live recording Live at the Olympia Paris is overall, an impressive new live effort from the veteran performer. That is due in part to an extensive set list that reaches all the way back to Sting’s earliest days with The Police and even all the way up to his most recent album, 2016’s 57th & 9th. The bonus songs from Sting’s son Joe Sumner and The Last Bandaleros gives them a unique opportunity to introduce themselves to audiences. The groups’ performances round out the recording’s most important elements. Each noted element is important in its own right to this recording’s whole. All things considered, the elements noted here make Live at the Olympia Paris a presentation that the veteran performer’s fans will agree is worth the watch. It is available now in stores and online. More information on Live at the Olympia Paris is available along with all of Sting’s latest news and more at:
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