Sting: Live at the Olympia Paris (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Bill Hunt
  • Review Date: Dec 07, 2017
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
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Sting: Live at the Olympia Paris (Blu-ray Review)

Director

Alexandre Buisson

Release Date(s)

2017 (November 10, 2017)

Studio(s)

Universal Music Group (Eagle Vision)
  • Film/Program Grade: A
  • Video Grade: B+
  • Audio Grade: A
  • Extras Grade: B-

Sting: Live at the Olympia Paris (Blu-ray Disc)

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Review

In the summer of 2017, ex-Police frontman Sting and his longtime friend, ex-Genesis frontman Peter Gabriel teamed up for a tour of the United States. This is not that concert. Right before that, however, Sting took his solo act to L’Olympia Bruno Coquatrix in Paris, France on April 12th to perform a rip-roaring set of his best tracks from both his Police and solo years. This is that concert. And it’s pretty damn great.

Part of his 57th & 9th tour, the 102-minute performance delivers twenty-two mostly classic tracks, along with a few from the new album, with a backing band that includes Sting’s longtime guitarist Dominic Miller, Dominic’s son Rufus Miller (also on guitar), drummer Josh Freese, and Percy Cardona (accordion – a nice touch, ‘cause France and also it works incredibly well in certain tracks), with backing vocals from Sting’s own son Joe Sumner (also frontman of the band Fiction Plane), as well as Diego Navaira and Jerry Fuentes from the band The Last Bandoleros. Highlights include a great opening version of Synchronicity II, a nice moment where both father-and-son pairs perform together on Shape of My Heart, and a lovely nod to David Bowie featuring Ashes to Ashes sung by Joe, which transitions into 50,000.

Eagle Vision’s Blu-ray offers good 1080p HD image quality, presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio. As is typically the case, the concert was filmed from a number of different positions and some of the cameras seem better dialed-in than others. Blacks can occasionally look a little crushed and gray on some of them, and there’s a bit of compression artifacting visible occasionally in smoke and fog, but colors are bold and accurate and overall detail is excellent. A slight film look has been applied to the image as well, which lends a pleasing quality to the image.

The concert’s audio is outstanding, available in both LPCM 2.0 stereo and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround flavors. Clarity is terrific in both cases, with a lovely musical tone and great low end support. In the case of the 5.1 mix, staging is spacious and pleasing, with the surrounds employed to create a natural musical ambience befitting the venue.

There are no traditional extras on the disc, but for fans of the concert you do get a nice bonus here, which is a set of “opening act” selections, including an intro song by Sting and Joe Sumner together, a trio of songs by Joe alone, and five tracks by The Last Bandoleros. You’ll find the complete track list below.

As a fan of Sting going all the way back to his early days with The Police, it’s been awfully nice to see him return to his pop/rock roots with music that recalls his early solo career. For one thing, 57th & 9th is easily Sting’s best album in years. Moreover, he actually looks like he’s having fun on stage here supporting it. The result is a concert experience that’s both relaxed and lively, not to mention musically engaging, and as deftly performed as ever.

TRACKLISTING (MAIN CONCERT):

  1. Synchronicity II
  2. Spirits in the Material World
  3. Englishman in New York
  4. I Can’t Stop Thinking About You
  5. One Fine Day
  6. She’s Too Good for Me
  7. I Hung My Head
  8. Fields of Gold
  9. Petrol Head
  10. Down, Down, Down
  11. Shape of My Heart
  12. Pretty Young Soldier
  13. Message in a Bottle
  14. Ashes to Ashes
  15. 50,000
  16. Walking on the Moon
  17. So Lonely
  18. Desert Rose
  19. Roxanne / Ain’t No Sunshine
  20. Next to You
  21. Every Breath You Take
  22. Fragile

STING & JOE SUMNER (BONUS)

  1. Heading South on the Great North Road

JOE SUMNER (BONUS)

  1. Looking for Me, Looking for You
  2. Don’t Change the Love
  3. Jellybean

THE LAST BANDOLEROS (BONUS)

  1. Maria
  2. River Man
  3. Take Me to It
  4. I Don’t Want to Know
  5. Where Do You Go?

- Bill Hunt

(You can follow Bill on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook)

 

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