red lights

Sting Creates a Buzz in Madison

Kohl Center
Madison, WI
May 15, 2001

Sting coming off a high.

Story and photos by Terry Mayer

Very few groups or singers last long in the music industry today. To stay artistically and commercially viable is an elusive feat. They might have a big debut album and if they're real lucky they might have a strong follow up. But after that the hits tend to fade faster than the long shadows of the day's fading sun. To last more then four or five years is an accomplishment, to last ten and still be relevant is nearly a miracle.
Sting Sting, an artist who's music has spanned over two decades, visited the heart of Wisconsin yesterday and graced the stage of The Kohl Center in Madison. He burst out on stage and nodded hello to about 10,000 of his fans, with many older admirers remembering him with a badge, as member of the Police. Fit and energetic, he constantly shifted his body from side to side while performing. As the sedated backdrop faded to a yellowish gold and the rest of the lights slowly disappeared, he presented "Fields of Gold," a heartfelt and soulful melody, in which he passionately stripped the ballad down to it's blusey essence.
Sting, shaking the introspective melancholy of the previous song, ripped into the energetic and infectious "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," which prompted the faithful to get up and dance wildly. They paid almost 100 bucks for a ticket, so why not make the most of it? For a large part of the next two hours the Kohl Center got Sting, without the brakes . His stage set was Spartan, what better way to emphasize his music. There were no lasers, no strobes, no big screen and no other trickery to mask the lyrical and musical content.
Sting started to clap his hands in a steady beat, as he walked forward on stage the audience started to join along in the rhythmic clapping, just then he wryly changed course with "Brand New Day." Indeed, the old trooper was having fun.
The Sting army closed ranks into a sloppy, stand-still march as the passionate calls for "Roxanne" echoed throughout the cavernous stadium. The hits kept coming with "Desert Rose," and "Every Breath You Take." Sting began his encore with a rather predictable solo rendition of "Message In a Bottle." He flatly ended his performance with a dry and hollow rendition of "Fragile." Sting should have lost the encores and quit while he was still pursuing, but not quite catching, his past glories with the Police.

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