Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sting "Back to Bass" Tour Live in Manila

It's been quite a while since I last blogged.  I've been dealing with radial nerve palsy (wrist drop) on my right hand.  So music these past 2 to 3 months hasn't been as primary of a source of happiness for me.  I'm slowly recovering but I'm not out of the woods yet with my condition.  But I'll get into my ordeal in a separate blog post.

Even though I haven't been gigging with my 3 bands. I still manage to enjoy music once in a while. One of those musical highlights is watching Sting's concert back in December 19, 2012. A lot of people I know have been excitedly waiting for this concert for months. It's been eons since Sting last came to Manila to perform. So you can imagine the kind of collective clamor people had for this concert.

There was some hoopla weeks prior to the concert about would-be activists who pleaded directly to Sting's management regarding SM Mall of Asia Arena as the concert venue. Their cries of protest got through to Sting resulting in an immediate cancellation of the concert. I was seriously wallowing in my own personal uproar when I first heard of the cancellation. Frankly speaking, whether Sting had his concert in a SM establishment or not, that doesn't prevent SM from doing further activities that will hurt the environment. The plea should really be directed to the government that allowed SM to engage in tree cutting activities rather than musicians utilizing a concert venue.  That cancellation turned into a change of venue days after. Smart Araneta Coliseum is an adequate concert venue.  But the sheer hassle of the ticket exchange was what nabbed me.  Luckily my SunDownMuse bandmate, Briggs, was kind enough to get our tickets exchanged to equivalent seats in the new venue.  So after briefly disappointing thousands of people, what was the end result of all that hoopla; absolutely nothing.  I admire the motivations behind the plea.  They are rightly placed as a fellow tree-hugger.  But that really wasn't the right method to effectively make a change for the environment.

A few weeks passed, and all the hoopla earlier on didn't really matter.  I was excited for the concert given the lack of personally performing at gigs.  Surprisingly, the opening act was Aiza Segeurra; the child star turned acoustic musician.  I'm not taking anything away from Aiza's musical talent.  However, this was the very opportunity to show Sting and crew how talented Filipinos are in music.  It came off as a disappointment to me that she mostly played covers.  But in the end, it didn't matter.  Regardless of what I thought about her performance, she can brag for the rest of her life that she opened for Sting.  No one can really take that away from her.  Lucky girl.

After Aiza played her set, Sting and his band came on stage.  The crowd instantly stood up from their seats and cheered loudly.  Below are some videos I took from that night.

Englishman in New York

This is one of many Sting songs that I love.  But this particular song is one of the songs that my band J.O.E. (JR Oca Experience) loves covering.  We play it in almost every gig.

Seven Days

Seven Days was one of the songs where Sting's drummer Vinnie really showed his stuff.  I'm sure all musicians who were watching agree with me on this one.

Fields of Gold

Heavy Cloud No Rain

Audience participation throughout the concert was awesome.  Obviously a lot of people who were watching that night knew the lyrics to the songs like I did.

Message in a Bottle

Desert Rose

I know I heard a doumbek playing during this song.  In Sting performances that I have watched on DVD or on the net, he would always have a kick-ass percussionist with him especially for this particular song.  But I guess the doumbek playing I heard was just a recording.

King of Pain

Every Breath You Take

Sting and crew pretended to end the concert a few times, only to come back on stage to play a few more songs.  This proved effective because the crowd would scream "One more!" and each time the band would come back on stage felt like our cries were answered.


When I thought Sting and crew wouldn't play my all-time favorite song, they surprised me and played it last.  I used you be able to play this song on guitar.  Perhaps when my right hand gets better, I'll relearn the song.

Gimp right hand and all, I was happy that I finally watched Sting perform live.  As always he continues to surround himself with kick-ass musicians that only further elevate the good music that he plays.  I am very thankful to him for bringing me back to music.  He and the rest of the band put a smile on my face, even if it was just for a short while.


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