Sting's Back to Bass Tour at the Fillmore Miami Beach, November 12

See the full 15-photo Sting at the Fillmore Miami Beach slideshow.


Back to Bass Tour

Fillmore Miami Beach

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Better Than: Getting stung.

He faked out the audience three times, once for every decade of his career. And all three times, the crowd's heavy applause pulled him back onto the stage for an encore.

Sting, the English pop-rock icon, finally closed out his sold-out show at the Fillmore Miami Beach with an acoustic version of "Message in a Bottle" by The Police, the band that initially brought fame to the singer-songwriter.

The audience almost drowned out Sting and his entire band as they sang along with every lyric. He stayed quiet for the hook. But the theater resonated with the voices of those who've aged just as well as the song.

Moms and dads dusted off their old moves, rocking fists and hips, and pulling up old memories with every bellow of Sting's familiar raspy voice. At 60 years old, he still sounds fresh.

The five-piece band for Sting's Back to Bass tour brought mounds of energy to the stage, comprised of longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, guitarist Rufus Miller, drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, electric fiddler Peter Tickell, and Australian vocalist Jo Lawry.

Lawry's powerful harmonies occasionally stole the spotlight. At the very end of "Stolen Car," the audience wowed as she fiercely sang out, "Take me dancing tonight!" From there, things went rock 'n' roll wild for "Driven to Tears." A man shot up out of his seat and banged on a set of invisible bongos while barks and hoots rang throughout the theater.

A nostalgic moment came next as the band mellowed out for the 1993 classic "Fields of Gold." The acoustic guitarist got much love from the spectators.

In a break between songs, Sting disclosed to the audience the two subjects -- sex and religion, of course -- that most fascinate him. Whipping out his own dance moves, Sting performed hip and pelvic thrusts, triggering a slew of whistles from the ladies in the theater -- single and not.

Fiddler Peter Tickell received his own standing ovation as he took the floor during "Love Is Stronger Than Justice," his hair thrashing in his face, eyes focused on the bow. The sounds coming from that man's fiddle had the whole place mesmerized, hitting frequencies so high that some of the crowd probably couldn't even hear it.

After what seemed to be the last song, the whole theater was on its feet. The stage went black for a moment and the roars commenced. In no time at all, the band was back.

Sting held his arms out wide in an effort to embrace the audience, and let out one of those "Desert Rose" deep Indian hollers. I'll have to say it was almost sexier than the woman's voice in the song.

And what's more, Sting pulled out a little belly dancing action. Yes. Sting. Belly dancing. It was quite a spectacle.

Critic's Notebook

The Crowd: Aged like a fine wine.

Random Detail: Somebody threw something on stage. (It was difficult to make out what it was.) And the object had a phone number on it. To this, Sting responded, "What the fuck is this?"

Overheard in the Crowd: "No Rain!" chanted as a response to Sting when he shouted, "Heavy Cloud!"

Sting's Setlist:

"I'm So Happy I can't Stop Crying"

"I Hung My Head"

"Stolen Car"

"Driven to Tears"

"Fortress Around Your Heart"

"Fields of Gold"

"Sacred Love"

"Ghost Story"

"Heavy Cloud No Rain"

"Love is Stronger Than Justice"

"The Hounds of Winter"

"The End of the Game"

"Desert Rose"

"Every Breath You Take"

"Message in a Bottle"

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