With a spring in his step, Sting turns back time in Musgrave Park

Nostalgic fans of The Police yearning for another Regatta de Revival tour will have been overjoyed to have caught Sting’s latest threesome live on Tuesday night at Musgrave Park in Cork.

Given that the effervescent Sting releases a new album virtually every year, it’s quite incredible that he finds time for a “classic hits” tour like this — where he treats himself, and the rest of us, to a trip down memory lane.

All the hits were on parade: ‘Message in a Bottle’, ‘Englishman in New York’, ‘Every Little Thing She Does is Magic’, ‘Driven To Tears’, and ‘So Lonely’.

Sting enjoyed the chats with the audience at Musgrave Park on Tuesday night, at one stage raising his beer and toasting the crowd: 'I haven’t been in Cork for 10 years, and I apologise for my absence. It’s great to be back. Sláinte!' Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Sting enjoyed the chats with the audience at Musgrave Park on Tuesday night, at one stage raising his beer and toasting the crowd: ‘I haven’t been in Cork for 10 years, and I apologise for my absence. It’s great to be back. Sláinte!’ Picture: Eddie O’Hare

‘Roxanne’, of course, is always a winner.

What a trio. Sting fans will be familiar with Dominic Miller, his regular guitarist of the last 30 or 40 years. Chris Maas is a great drummer, the ideal choice to complete the set.

Where does Sting find the time for a tour like this magical trip through his back catalogue?

Does he ever do a bit of gardening?

Well, if it’s not gardening he’s doing, he’s clearly doing something to maintain his wellbeing and it sure ain’t Botox.

Raising his beer, Sting said: 

I haven’t been in Cork for 10 years, and I apologise for my absence. It’s great to be back. Sláinte!

And good health to you too, sir. Fit, energetic, a bleach blond mop, a few wrinkles to be fair, but you’d give him a spritely 50-something. The man is 72. In October, he’ll be 73. If there are any signs of ageing, they’re certainly not to be found in his voice.

“This next one is about my little house in the country.” — ‘Fields of Gold’.

 Fans at Musgrave Park would have been well familiar with the trio, with guitarist Dominic Miller, and drummer Chris Maas accompanying Sting. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Fans at Musgrave Park would have been well familiar with the trio, with guitarist Dominic Miller, and drummer Chris Maas accompanying Sting. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Musically, this night was perfect. In the case of Sting, however, sometimes critical use of the ‘p word’ is not meant to be a compliment — almost like he’s too perfect, maybe even too uptight, to risk a flaw.

Well, the truth is elsewhere. This performance was perfectly joyous from start to finish. Brilliant songs delivered to a capacity audience of around 15,000 people, with a charm in some ways more akin to an intimate pub show.

“I’m not a conventionally religious man, but I have read the Bible. The Second Book of Samuel, 11:22. A man falls in love with a beautiful woman, but one problem: She’s married to someone else.” — ‘Mad About You’

Blondie opened for Sting at Musgrave Park (Virgin Media Park) in Cork with a joyous set of hits. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Blondie opened for Sting at Musgrave Park (Virgin Media Park) in Cork with a joyous set of hits. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

Does his energy leap in Ireland? When he was last in Cork, Sting was spotted dining in the Fishy Fishy Restaurant in Kinsale.

He met with fans, including one who gifted him six pairs of boxer shorts. Later, he nipped into Sin É on Coburg St to sing a tune or two.

This time around, one wonders where he turned up locally?

Not in a clothes shop, he was already sorted for boxers. More likely an uplifting elixir somewhere.

Whoever gave Sting an Irish welcome before the gig, we owe you a debt of gratitude. He was in top form and playing with the joy and energy of the young lad who wrote ‘Roxanne’ all those years ago.

Blondie opened proceedings in Virgin Media Park (Musgrave Park) before Sting's set in Cork on Tuesday night. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Blondie opened proceedings in Virgin Media Park (Musgrave Park) before Sting’s set in Cork on Tuesday night. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

And thanks also to the lad who gave him those boxers.

They must have been top quality, because his movement was as free as his spirit was joyful.

Every bit as joyful was Blondie, the opening act supreme. Debbie Harry holds an audience with ease and immense charm. Her voice is as good as ever, and the band is red hot.

The way the crowd engaged with ‘The Tide is High’, ‘Heart of Glass’, and all the other hits got the night warmed up nicely .

Nostalgia is at the very least as good as it used to be.

Fans gather at Musgrave Park for Sting and Blondie 

  

Emmet Ó Riabhaigh and Lorna Sammon from Drispey Co Cork at Tuesday night's concert by Sting and Blondie at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Emmet Ó Riabhaigh and Lorna Sammon from Drispey Co Cork at Tuesday night’s concert by Sting and Blondie at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Mary and Catherina O'Keeffe, Duagh, Co Limerick were at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park in Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Mary and Catherina O’Keeffe, Duagh, Co Limerick were at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park in Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Celina and Patryk Zajac from Dromahane with their Polish freinds Renta Grygierczyk, Wojtek Piasecki, and Sylwai Panek arriving for the concert by Sting and Blondie at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Celina and Patryk Zajac from Dromahane with their Polish freinds Renta Grygierczyk, Wojtek Piasecki, and Sylwai Panek arriving for the concert by Sting and Blondie at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Jeremy Irons at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park in Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Jeremy Irons at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park in Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Brother and sister Kenneth and Viv Forde, Carrigaline, at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Brother and sister Kenneth and Viv Forde, Carrigaline, at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Greg and Stef Buckley, Watergrasshill, Co Cork, were at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park in Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Greg and Stef Buckley, Watergrasshill, Co Cork, were at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park in Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Anna and Ursula Wojslaw from Mayfield in Cork at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Anna and Ursula Wojslaw from Mayfield in Cork at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Alex, Antonina, and Anna Bogdan from Blackrock, Cork at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Alex, Antonina, and Anna Bogdan from Blackrock, Cork at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Bruce and Roya Golchin and their daughters Yasmin and Armina and their friend Shahira Apraku from the Lee Rd, Cork, at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Bruce and Roya Golchin and their daughters Yasmin and Armina and their friend Shahira Apraku from the Lee Rd, Cork, at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

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Martin O'Riordan and his daughter Jacinta from Mayfield in Cork at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Martin O’Riordan and his daughter Jacinta from Mayfield in Cork at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
Jim Heffernan, Newcastle West, and Liam O'Sullivan Dromcollogher at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Jim Heffernan, Newcastle West, and Liam O’Sullivan Dromcollogher at the Sting and Blondie concert at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
Martin and Lucia Guerin, Morroe, at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Martin and Lucia Guerin, Morroe, at the Sting and Blondie concert at Virgin Media Park / Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare
John and Maria Delaney, Kilkenny, arrived early for Tuesday night's concert by Sting and Blondie at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
John and Maria Delaney, Kilkenny, arrived early for Tuesday night’s concert by Sting and Blondie at Musgrave Park, Cork. Picture: Eddie O’Hare

 

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