STING: BRING ON THE NIGHT
Review by Mark Wiechman
Sting, Omar Hakim, Branford Marsalis, Kenny Kirkland, Darryl Jones, Miles
Director: Michael Apted
Audio: Dolby 5.1 and 2.0, DTS 5.1
Video: Color, full screen
Studio: Universal Music & VI
Features: See Review
Length: 2 hours
Release date: March 29, 2005
no monopoly of common sense
either side of the political fence
share the same biology regardless of ideology
me when I say to you
hope the Russians love their children too."
is hard to believe that not so long ago, Americans, Europeans, and presumably
Russians and probably the rest of the world were so convinced that a nuclear
holocaust was just a button-push away. It
seemed that machines were taking over the world, and it was only a matter of
time before computers actually made decisions.
President Reagan was depicted in the media as a warmonger, but history
would prove that military strength prevented a war instead of bringing it on.
Rock music was tense, urgent, paranoid, and technology driven. Let's get past the bad hairstyles and questionable fashion
sense, OK? The 80's rocked!
band was bigger in the early 1980's than the Police, and Gordon Matthew Sumner,
AKA Sting, led the way with his screechy vocals, intelligent songwriting, and
irresistible melodies. With Andy
Summers on guitar and Stewart Copeland on drums, they accomplished one of the
hardest things to do in rock: create a seminal style which is commercially
successful. They did so, and at the
height of their success, when Synchronicity
was number one for months, they stopped. Sting
forged a new band, which many hoped would be just as cool as the Police but even
more innovative, with some of the most talented jazz musicians in America
backing him up.
remember how shocked I was when in 1983 Sting said his favorite band was not the
Beatles or another rock band, but the fusion ensemble Weather Report, with the
immortal Jaco Pastorius on bass. He
said this right when he decided to go solo, and his jazz bandmates did wonderful
things with his Police-era compositions, letting them swing and breathe.
Sting himself played guitar for a while, letting Miles Davis alumnus
Darryl Jones funk his way in and out of great Police tunes in a way Sting
himself could not do. Although he
does not ask them to play jazz, their chops are so superior to most rock
musician that they burn even hotter than most rock bands.
he succeed? At first at least, yes.
While many listeners such as myself miss the tension of the reggae-
infused pop with a punk beat of the Police, it is tough to dismiss the
charismatic Englishman's first several solo albums.
Bring On The Night is about half rehearsal footage at a French
chateau (we even see tourists coming through) and half performance, with
interviews popping up here and there. We
meet Miles Copeland, brother of Stewart and equally extroverted and opinionated
as he managed Sting on his own. The
flow is very brisk and the energy never lets up as we see opening night on his Dream
of the Blue Turtles tour. We
even get to see Jake Sumner being born, which is probably the reason for the
PG-13 rating. Oh, how European! Sting's
more current albums and concerts are frankly very dull and too new age in style
for my taste.
occasional artifact shows up but rarely, and the colors and vibrant and full.
Better than expected for an older video shoot.
Dark scenes and stage light changes do not reveal the splotchiness often
seen even in modern footage. An
excellent restoration, which is needed but often not done for most 1980's
DTS live! The sound is great,
especially in a recording from the early 1980's. The balance is excellent and the rear speakers used mainly
for percussion and audience sounds, which allow the brighter tones to show out
videos for If You Love Someone Set Them Free, Russians,
Bring on the Night, Trailer for this concert itself, a photo album, and a
personal playlist which is interesting because it lets you play the tracks you
choose in the order you set up.