Sting, the rock icon, is back and in fine form.
The 16-time Grammy winner last night (Sept. 27) treated international advertising execs to a preview of his new album 57th & 9th, due Nov. 11 on A&M/Interscope, with a performance after the inaugural D&AD Impact Awards at NY Advertising Week.
Introduced by UMG’s US head of brand partnerships Mike Tunnicliffe, a jovial Sting delivered a tight, vocally pristine set that sounded a whole lot like vintage Police — with nary a nod to the Celtic, orchestral or Broadway sounds he’s taken up in recent years.
With a backing band including his go-to father-son guitar collaborators, Dominic and Rufus Miller, and drummer Josh Freese, the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer executed big on first single “Can’t Stop Thinking About You” of which he noted, “I’ve just been told it’s No. 10 on the airplay chart, so I’m very happy. It’s been a while.”
Sting shared three additional new songs, including “50,000,” which he said he was inspired to write after one of his contemporaries died earlier this year, and “Next To You,” which sounds like a potential forthcoming single.
Before launching into new rocker “Petrol Head,” he playfully shared some songwriting insight: “Sometimes my role is not to write about myself but to step into someone else’s shoes. This one’s about a truck driver who’s obsessed with sex and religion. Only one of those things applies to me.”
The half-hour Playstation Theater show also included his former group’s classic-rock standards “Message in a Bottle” and “Every Breath You Take.”