Two Seoul shows from rocker StingFor Sting’s British management agency, the singer’s return to Seoul for two concerts this weekend means something more than a routine stop on his Asian tour.
Sting’s last concert in Seoul, back in October 1996, was held in a park just outside Olympic Stadium in Jamsil, the venue inside which the singer will be performing this time. The shows were sold out for two nights in a row; around 25,000 people saw him play. Whether you were a fan of Sting or not, the event was considered one of the most memorable concerts in Korea by a foreign musician in years.
Sting’s management agency may have recalled the event too. Indeed, the first words of greeting in their e-mail after Sting decided to schedule this weekend’s shows, according to the local promoter, were “good to be going back there again.”
Starting his musical career with the jazz group Newcastle Big Band in 1970, Sting, whose given name is Gordon Sumner, established his reputation as a capable singer-songwriter, mixing elements of jazz, classical and worldbeat.
Following enormous success in the early 1980s with the New Wave rock band The Police, he began working on his first solo album in 1984, making his debut the following year with hits like “If You Love Somebody Set Them Free,” “Love Is the Seventh Wave” and “Fortress Around Your Heart.”
His trademark came with “Shape of My Heart,” a song that did well in Korea, especially after the piece was featured in the popular film “Leon,” by the French actor-director Jean Reno.
Seoul is the last stop on the singer’s Asian tour; he’s given concerts in Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore. Normally in Asian tours by foreign artists, Japan tends to be the last stop, since it’s the farthest east. The local promoter suggests that there’s something significant in the fact that Seoul has the “golden spot” on this tour.
For this weekend’s concerts, Sting and his band will be performing hits dating back to Sting’s Police days, including classic songs like “Every Breath You take,” “Roxanne,” and “Message in a Bottle.”
Also performed will be songs from his more recent albums, such as “Desert Rose,” “Whenever I Say Your Name” and “ Send Your Love.”
by Park Soo-mee
“Sting: Sacred Love Tour” takes place at Olympic Stadium in Jamsil on Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from 50,000 to 150,000 won. For more information call (02) 1588-9088.
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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