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Review: Sting masterful at New York City’s Carnegie Hall (Includes first-hand account)

As the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer took the Carnegie Hall stage, Sting was greeted with a warm standing ovation from the New York audience. He was backed by the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, which was under the musical direction of conductor Rob Mathes, who was also responsible for its musical arrangements.

He began his set with “Englishman in New York,” where he had the crowd clapping along with him. “Thank you so much,” Sting said, prior to praising Carnegie Hall for being a “hallowed, sacred venue,” which is known for its “unique magic.”

Speaking of magic, he immediately broke into his second song “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” which he dedicated to his manager, Kathryn Schenker, and thanked her for her gratitude and love. This was a bittersweet moment since the acclaimed musician noted that this was the last night that Schenker would be his manager after many years together.

Sting continued with the calming “Fields of Gold,” which featured Aussie vocalist Jo Lawry on harmony vocals, and their voices blended well together.

Sting performing at Carnegie Hall in New York

Sting performing at Carnegie Hall in New York
Chris Lee

He accompanied himself on acoustic guitar as he sang “Roxanne,” where red lights dimmed on the stage. He subsequently shared that “When We Dance” was about a triangular love story, and it was a soothing vocal performance; moreover, he noted that his follow-up song “I Hung My Head” was about an accidental shooting and its consequences. The stage was graced in blue lights and he played the harmonica.

After a sip of water, Sting paid homage to the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra by singing “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.” His version of “Why should I Cry for You?” had a neat orchestral arrangement thanks to the Orchestra of St. Luke’s.

Sting played acoustic guitar on “End of the Game,” and it was followed by “The Shape of My Heart.” He showcased his sincere storytelling ability on “The Last Ship,” while taking his fans on a journey, as the stage was decorated in blue lights.

The award-winning musician revealed that his inspiration for “Mad About You” came from the Bible and it was an intense yet dynamic performance. He had the audience clapping along to “King of Pain,” which earned him a standing ovation.

Equally stunning was his rendition of “Every Breath You Take,” where he acknowledged the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and his talented band members, which included Dominic Miller on guitar, Ira Coleman on double bass, Joe Bonadio on drums, Jo Lawry on vocals, as well as Mike Ricchiuti on keyboards.

For his encore, Sting returned to perform his beloved hit “Desert Rose,” which was sheer perfection. He was shaking his hips and he had his fans dancing along with him in the aisles. Towards the end of the song, he was able to get everybody on their feet. He continued with a smooth rendition of “Fragile” and for his final encore, he returned to perform “Message In a Bottle,” which he sang solo and acoustic, thus leaving his fans yearning for more.

The Verdict

Overall, Sting put on a phenomenal live concert at New York’s iconic Carnegie Hall. He displayed his warm and infectious personality, and allowed his strong musicianship to do all the talking. Whoever has yet to see Sting perform live ought to add a ticket to one of his shows on their bucket list. One will definitely not regret it. He earned 5 out of 5 stars.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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