Sacred Love

Saskatoon, SK, CA
Saskatchewan Placewith Dominic Miller & Annie Lennox
Lennox brings the heat, Sting supplies the cool...

The queen of rock was born on Christmas Day nearly 50 years ago. She was in Saskatoon Wednesday night, and her gift was in full and fabulous form.

Merry early Christmas, Saskatoon.

Annie Lennox was the undisputed star of the double bill with Sting, from the moment she walked out in purple satin jacket over ripped blue jeans, a cropped black tank top - and sunglasses.

Elegant, slender, sexy and dynamic, the tiny woman with the incredible big voice slammed through an hour's set that showed she is not just a rock star, but also a force of funk, punk, and jazz.

She didn't speak for a long time, but when she did, she said Saskatchewan right. Twice.

''We drove a long way from Edmonton, through the night, through the night, to be with you,'' said Lennox.

She sat at the piano to accompany herself on 'Here Comes the Rain Again', in a slow rendition of the hit, her full, rich voice in complete control, those perfect notes resonating through the auditorium.

Then Credit Union Centre really began to jump when she started up 'Walking on Broken Glass'. The audience began to groove, and clap, and sway, and sing; many knew every word.

Howling out 'Missionary Man', shrieking at the beginning like an evangelist, the crowd was with her on every note. She ended with 'I Need A Man', and waltzed off the stage crowing the lyric, ''You can't touch this.''

The crowd went nuts, and doubly so when Lennox returned to belt out her first big hit, 'Sweet Dreams'. What a performance; what a voice; what a force of nature.

Half an hour later, Sting returned to a completely revamped stage, featuring screens depicting a variety of images from dancers of different cultures, among other things. They also portrayed some soft-core porn.

Sting is in good voice, exudes a confidence and style that most performers can only wish for. Yet after the tour de force that was Annie Lennox, he was slightly colourless and did not bring out the same energy and excitement.

In fact, the best piece of the first half hour was his duet with Lennox 'We'll Be Together', which really rocked, as did his version of the Police hit 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'.

He was warm with the crowd and apologized for not having returned to Saskatoon sooner.

Sting is a star, undeniably, but those unfamiliar with his newer work may have been slightly disappointed, at least by press time.

Sting's long-time guitarist Dominic Miller, whom Sting describes as his right hand, was the opening act, and although the crowd was still filtering noisily in, he played beautifully, seemingly unconcerned. His rendition of J.S. Bach's 'Air on a G-String' was lovely.