Nothing Like The Sun

Brisbane, QLD, AU
Entertainment Centre
Songs paint a clear picture...

He hovered amongst the band, baggy trousers, long blonde hair and a wicked smile, like some Gold Coast surfer in Brisbane for the night. And he surfed a wave of approval that saw everybody on the packed floor section of the Brisbane Entertainment Centre dancing from the first to the last.

As I entered the carpark at 8.30, the attendant assured me Sting would go onstage at 9, the scheduled starting time. Evidently no one had told Sting, who decided to start half an hour early. The good part about his early start was that it only served to lengthen the show.

A Frontier Touring spokesman said later on Wednesday night Sting's two-and-a-half-hour gig (and interval) set a precedent crowds will expect future acts to uphold. But not everybody could play that long and still have people cheering and stamping, two encores down and audibly disappointed as the house lights were turned up to signal the end.

Sting's crowd of about 8,000 people was far from a full house. But it seemed to make the event more intimate. The stage was simple - instruments, musicians and two raised platforms for drums and keyboards. Sting plays guitar and even showed his skill on keyboards.

With his jazz ensemble he let the music speak for itself. Sting's words of man's inhumanity painted a much clearer image than could be built on a set. But his voice and melodies belied the lyrical angst - Sting sang with impeccable beauty. His high notes still rang with the clarity of a South African church bell. He sang 'Set Them Free' for South Africa's imprisoned blacks. And he could not resist dedicating Consider Me Gone to Queensland politicians.

Sting danced with his band and made fun of both them and himself. Behind saxophonist Branford Marsalis he played along on an imaginary sax. Branford turned around in disgust and threw his instrument at the singer. Sting blew out a discordant moose call and gave the instrument straight back.

He pulled out Police material but songs such as 'Bring On the Night' and 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' were familiar post-Police arrangements.

For Police fans familiar with Sting's Dream of the 'Blue Turtles' and latest album 'Nothing Like the Sun', every song was familiar.

The shirt came off at the end and the girls screamed. Once a rock star...

(c) The Courier Mail by M Eaton