Sting – An Englishman at the Seminole Tampa Hard Rock
Sting is one of the most recognized musicians in the world! Starting out with The Police in 1977 and then having his own incredible solo career, he has sold a zillion records and has created some of the most famous songs of any era. Not surprisingly, he sold out the Seminole Tampa Hard & Hotel Event Center, many of the crowd being die-hard Police fans! The energy was at a fever pitch for the show that opened with the Police tune “Message In A Bottle,” which was followed by this writer’s favorite, “An Englishman in New York,” with harmonica played by Shane Sage. The band was at the top, but that is how Sting rolls! He always has a great band, starting with his tenure in The Police. I saw the “Dream of the Blue Turtles” tour in 1985 at USF Sundome, his first solo album after leaving the Police and the band was stellar. Sting’s current band includes Dominic Miller on guitar, Rufus Miller, guitar, Josh Freese banging the drums, Kevon Webster, keyboards, Shane Sage, harmonica, Melissa Musique is a backup vocalist, along with Gene Noble, who takes a turn with Sting on “Shape of My Heart.”
Back to the current tour, “If You Love Someday, Set Them Free” and “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” were back to back and had everyone up dancing. His bass is well-worn but sounded awesome; he has recently been using both a 1957 and 1954 Fender bass. He took to playing some acoustic songs from his album “The Bridge,” including “Rushing Waters” and “If It’s Love.” Of course, he is in great physical shape, and Sting’s voice at 70 might be an octave or two lower than in his younger days, but he sounds great! He hit all the right notes. 1993’s haunting “Fields of Gold” was beautifully arranged. “Brand New Day” sounded as fresh and uplifting as it did when released in 1999.
Sting and the band did not disappoint in giving those die-hard Police fans what they wanted! The second half of the show is dedicated to some of the biggest Police hits. “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” “Walking on the Moon,” “So Lonely,” and then “King of Pain,” which convinces us all that Sting will always be the king of pain. The 1986 heavily rotated MTV video and radio mega-hit “Every Breath You Take” had fans dancing in the aisles literally. Of course, no Sting show would be complete without “Roxanne” making an appearance in red lights. There was a sing-along that was probably heard out in the Hard Rock’s casino. “Roxanne” is one of rock’s timeless pieces since its release in 1978. Sting closed with the title track from “The Bridge.”
Sting’s son, Joe Sumner, opened the show! Joe played an acoustic set of half a dozen songs. He sounds and looks much like his famous father, a little more laid back. The talk of Joe’s tunes was the song “Jellybean.” Sting also brought Joe to the stage to sing with him during the show’s encore. Another great show at the Seminole Hard Rock Events Center keeps bringing great entertainment to Tampa Bay! Be sure and check their website out for all upcoming events!
Vicky Sullivan Photos