I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting much from last night’s Sting and Shaggy concert. It seemed like a weird combination and maybe a little bit like a money grab or a way for both of these guys to stay relevant in the ever changing world of music. Regardless, I got in my car and drove down to The Armory in Minneapolis.
I wasn’t surprised that I was clearly the youngest person as I walked from the parking lot to the venue. The confusion as to how to concert and how to enter said concert was running rampant. With the older audience, I wasn’t shocked to see chairs set up in the venue on half of what usually is a general admission floor. I had a killer spot fairly close to the stage and on top of the stairs.
Although not a huge fan of Sting or Shaggy, there’s no denying that I was screaming and cheering as soon as I saw the two superstars take the stage. Seeing Sting instantly transported me back to my childhood. My dad was much more musical than my mom growing up but my mom had her favorites. Whenever I hear Dave Matthews Band’s “Live in Chicago” album, Fleetwood Mac, James Taylor or Sting I am instantly transported back into her Audi while we would run errands. She went through a stint of non-stop yoga where Sting seemed to be her Justin Timberlake (meaning future husband). Although I didn’t get why she was worshiping this old man at the time, having seen him a couple of times over the years has changed that.
The set kicked off with Sting’s “Englishman in New York”. The crowd went silent as the 66 year old powered through the song. I thought the show was going to go something like: Sting plays a song, Shaggy plays a song, they play a song together, so on and so forth so I was a bit surprised when Shaggy started adding little pump ups throughout Sting’s song. That being said, it was absolutely perfect. From Sting songs like “Field of Gold” and “Shape of My Heart” to Shaggy songs like “Angel” and “Wasn’t Me” along with a couple of The Police songs including “Walking On The Moon” and “Message in a Bottle”, there was no point in the set where things felt stagnant. It was definitely amazing to hear songs that took me back to my childhood but the highlight of the night may have been the songs that the two men wrote together for the ’44/876′ album that came out in April.
As I mentioned, I was a bit surprised to hear that Sting and Shaggy were a duo and was looking for reasons as to why this could be a thing or who had asked for it. I think in my mind that the two men just wouldn’t mesh but I was proven wrong within the first song of last night’s set. Sting’s raspy yet soothing voice blended perfectly with Shaggy’s Jamaican soul-filled style and created a sound that was more peaceful and calming than anything I had ever heard before. Don’t let that description fool you though, the show was full of energy and power. Song after song, the two men stalked the stage and made the older women in the audience coo. All Sting had to do was stand there and the women would go crazy. Shaggy could have done the same but instead went for a couple of dance moves that had women around me grabbing out their phones and taking video to send to their girlfriends that had made the wrong choice and stayed home on the chilly Sunday night.
With a twenty two song set followed by a three song encore and then another two song encore, Sunday night’s show was one of those shows that I wish would have never ended. Although I went in not being a huge fan of either of the superstars gracing the stage, I left with a whole new appreciation for both. There was no fight for the spotlight at any time during the night. The two men were very much a duo and a perfect one at that. There was an sense of respect between the two as they took turns performing their hit songs and also a sense of respect between the audience and performers. When there was a solo of any sort, it was followed up by a roar of applause from the audience. People seemed to wait for in-between songs before they made their way to the bar or to the bathroom. This may sound like a small thing but it’s something that is noticeable when you go to enough concerts and is taken as a sign of respect of not only the band but also the rest of the audience.
I guess what this entire post can be boiled down to is last night was a surprisingly amazing show that would have been a shame to miss. Sting and Shaggy may be the duo nobody asked for, but they are the duo that everybody needs.