Sting, a well-behaved Englishman at Paleo

Fifteen minutes before the start of his concert, a welcome rain comes on the plain of Asse. But instead of the potentially expected thunderstorm, it will only be a light drizzle, barely refreshing and quickly dissipating. When Sting politely steps onto the main stage of the Paléo Festival and starts his set with Message in a Bottle, from the second of five albums he released with The Police between 1978 and 1983, the air is dry. The British musician continues on Englishman in New York (his solo hit from the late 1980s), Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (The Police, 1981) and If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (the first single from his first solo album, The Dream of the Blue Turtles1985).

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If this start is perfect in the choice of pieces, we are unfortunately quickly confronted with this paradox that Sting’s concerts often have. Despite what he represents in the history of music, despite the quality of his writing, it is a polite boredom that quickly imposes itself. Red and blue striped t-shirt, tight black pants and boots, Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner, 70, is still of an imposing class, firmly clinging to his Fender bass which seems to show the weight of age . Surrounded by five musicians and two singers, he does the job, but little more. From The Bridgehis last dispensable album released last year, If It’s Love and Rushing Water hardly convince and introduce a long soft belly.

Overly polite musicians

The titles are linked, Sting and his musicians stretch them at will, slowing down the tempo where the concerts in open air festivals require something more sustained. While a rereading of Wrapped Around Your Finger leaves you perplexed, a soft version of Roxane recall will cause the same impression of waste. He may try to blackmail the public, Sting is not made for crowds of tens of thousands of people. Three years ago, the intimacy of the Auditorium Stavinski, within the framework of the Montreux Jazz, had suited him better. We would dream of seeing him one day in a jazz club.

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Even though So Lonely will later see the public wake up somewhat, the propensity that the native of Wallsend has to prefer reggae nonchalance to rock aggressiveness leaves one perplexed. At his side, the guitarists Dominic and Rufus Miller, a father and his son, also remain a little too polite, while the young drummer Zach Jones is much too applied, hammers the rhythm more than he marries it. As the concert ends with an intimate version of Brittlewe have the impression of having already forgotten it.

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