Sting at the Bell Center: his songs, our memories

Totally divided opinion, except for a small reservation: the interpretation of the songs was so scrupulous identical to the versions in the studio, that I had the impression that I was in my living room and not at a concert. At least, that’s what I remember.

A quick return to current Montreal this evening of May 5, 2022, this time at the Bell Center. More than half of the concert that Sting offered us was filled with rereadings restructure from his disc-published classics My Songsin 2019, and the latest compositions from the album Bridgereleased last year.

Objectively, when Sting took the stage at 8:45 p.m. with his eight musicians and reserve singers, a quarter of an hour after the usual snack that his son Joe Sumner has served us for years, the 10,500 people present at the Bell Center did not. this. cares little about the notions of musical modernity.

Worthy of a reminder

This is often what happens when an artist gives himself an early performance worthy of a bis. Spectators had barely seen the neon orange blouse and black British leather pants when everyone recognized the opening irons of Message in a bottle which stirred the crowd.

The immediate sequence of The Police’s repertoire to that of Sting me If you love someone Leave him alonehere, slightly reorganized and decorated with the participation of accordionist Shane Sager who will have had the lion’s part in this concert, accompaniment section.

How is everyone going? Are things going well?asked Sting, in French, who has nothing to fear from a negative protest, while continuing with that always fabulous English in New Yorkmarked by a cover … Sorry, a lot of battery covers along the central instrumental bridge.

The crowd took over the choir and Sting revived ten times instead of a key phrase of this classic: “Be yourself, no matter what they say. »An excellent interpretation of Every little thing she does is magic completed these first 20 minutes lived at full speed.

: voici maintenant les nouvelles chansons”,”text”:”Vous vouliez des succès? Vous en avez vu. La mauvaise nouvelle: voici maintenant les nouvelles chansons”}}”>Want success? You have seen it. The bad news: here are the new songssaid Sting before sitting down on a bench.

How do we define success? he asked before recalling the anecdote of 1978 when he woke up to someone whistling Roksane in the street.

This is a success!he pointed with the hammer, noting that it was the notion of a whistling melody that had led to If it is Love, a new ear worm-type song that hit the mark. In a more classical form, For her love evokes what a man is ready to do for a woman while To love youwith a beautiful intensity, highlighted much more the work of the bassist than that of the singer. Hasty water, invigorating, completed the innovation segment that showed that Gordon Sumner still has a talent for writing. And for the entry …

He for I hung my head it was delicious when he noted that he wanted to be two things when he was little: be a musician and be a cowboy. His love for country music comes from there. Sequence with a Gold Fields bathing in yellow light was a pleasure.

A fifty-year-old fit

70-year-old Sting, but does not look like a second, writes Philippe Rezzonico.


Sting is now 70 years old, but does not look like a second, physically. You would swear he’s 40 less and he sounded like a 1990s voice to me. Coincidentally, then Sumner split new day with Sager – who nicely replaced Stevie Wonder playing the harmonica in the studio version – who I realized Sting was also a director.

A first segment with four immortal songs from the 1970s and 1980s, personal or with The Police, a second block consisting exclusively of four titles from 2021, then a string of four songs from the albums of the 1990s, the last it’s The Shape of My Heart. Simple and effective concept.

At this point, we could also anticipate the sequel, a final sequence of the genre, Hello The Police. The first notes of Wrapped around your finger announced the string of hits immortalized from the time Sting burned the charts with Stuart Copeland and Andy Summers.

It was then that the quality of the instrumentalists – especially Dominic Miller on guitar – and Sting’s sense of improvisation worked wonders. Walking on the Moon has turned into a song to respond to the audience and Get up, get up, by Bob Marley, is associated with the latter. I was immediately teleported to the Olympic Stadium in 1988 when Sting, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman, Youssou N’Dour, Michel Rivard and Daniel Lavoie performed it in concert for Amnesty International.

Sting remained the same with So lonely, another key song from the first disc by The Police. Here I was reminded of where I first heard him at the age of 15 … Sting explained the origins of this reggae-inspired song, in which he integrated another hit of Bob and his Wailers. No Woman Does Not Cry. The black lady on my left was dancing her life. It was wonderful.

The desert grew was the only song populated by Sting while out at home, but it engulfed the crowd with its Arabic flavors. When the king of pain overturned the spectator in front of me out of happiness, struck me: Like a tour My Songs shows, these are Sting songs, but the memories are ours, according to our age and our relationship to the British work. I could not help but think of my first blonde listening to the legend Every breath you take

As expected and as usual, Roksanereworked, had the desired effect, previously Driven to tears do not tear everything. Just to calm things down before he hit the streets again, Sting wrapped up his nearly two-hour concert in guitar mode with the new song Bridge which symbolized the connection between all the present generations.

Finally, whether with a loyal approach to studio versions or with interpretations with modified arrangements, Sting manages to consistently meet expectations.

After all, I left the Bell Center in the same state of mind as the Forum almost 30 years ago.

But for no second did I feel like I was in my living room …

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