Sting & Shaggy Newcastle O2 Academy 22nd May 19

  

Back in his home town, Sting along with Shaggy delivered an energetic and powerful set to a near capacity audience who loved every minute of it.


The combination of Sting and Shaggy is a curious one, clearly good friends, they recently released the 44/876 album and promptly set off on a tour around the globe. It’s a union that on the face of it shouldn’t work, but on stage there is no doubt that it actually does. 


Whilst the set leans very much towards Sting/Police material, Shaggy gets chance to perform his material, and the Oh Carolina/We’ll Be Together section works especially well. As Sting points out on stage, Shaggy shamelessly flogs his new album ‘’Wah Gwaan?!’ released on the 10thMay, and the brings out Canadian singer Alexander Stewart to perform on ‘You’ which has a Dancehall groove which gets the whole crowd moving. 


At one point before ‘Crooked Tree’ from the 44/876 album, Shaggy dons a judges wig, and goes into full on panto mode sentence Sting who obligingly wears the obligatory stripy burglar shirt!


One of the many highlights was the appearance of the Newcastle Voices of Virtue Gospel Choir on stage for a rousing rendition of ‘If You Love Somebody’ which quite literally raised the roof in the way that only a Gospel choir can do. 


Time is being kind to Sting as well, his voice is still as good as ever, and a band as tight as and the crowd are loving every minute of it. The reworked version of ‘Englishman in New York’ is an absolute treat, and ‘Walking On The Moon’ sounds as good as it ever.


‘Roxanne’ with its familiar opening chords is wildly received by the crowd and them morphs into Shaggys ‘Boombastic’ which wasn’t exactly to my taste to be honest, but I suspect I was in the minority with that view. Keep them separate as far as I’m concerned!


The Police classic ‘Can’t Stand Losing You’ confirms that a good tune will always stand the test of time and this sounded as good as ever, with Shaggy prowling around the stage encouraging the crowd to go a little nuts.


Of course the night wouldn’t be complete without ‘Every Breath You Take’ and closing track ‘Next To You’ which brought the evening to an absolute barnstorming finish.


These days in the UK it’s apparently not very cool to like Sting, and you could argue with some merit that the can occasionally be his own worst enemy, but here is an artist still at the top of his game, the tunes clearly stand the test of time. 


It’s clear that both he and Shaggy are having a great time on this tour, the audiences lap up every minute of it it’s great fun, and as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing wrong with that. 


Any guesses on who Sting will be touring with next time? 


Setlist:

  • 44/876
  • Morning is Coming
  • Englishman in New York
  • Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
  • Oh Carolina/We’ll be Together
  • If You Can’t Find Love
  • Message In a Bottle
  • You
  • Brand New Day
  • Waiting For The Break Of Day
  • Gotta Get Back My Baby
  • If You Love Somebody Set Them Free
  • Don’t Make Me Wait
  • Angel
  • Dreaming In The USA
  • Crooked Tree
  • Shape Of My Heart
  • Walking On The Moon
  • So Lonely/Strength Of A Woman
  • Roxanne/Boombastic
  • Can’t Stand Losing You
  • Desert Rose
  • It Wasn’t Me
  • Every Breath You Take

Next To You 

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