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Critics' Choice
STING TAKES MANHATTAN WITH iHEART
11/10/16

Sting took his 57th & 9th songs across town to Irving and 15th for an hourlong set Wednesday night at his iHeartRadio album release party. Playing bass throughout the night, Sting and his stripped down band played eight of the album’s 10 songs, three Police tunes and an obvious selection—“Englishman in New York.”

The performance at Irving Plaza was broadcast across iHeartMedia AAA, Classic Hits and Classic Rock radio stations throughout the country and  video streamed on iHeartRadio’s website.  It will be televised on DirecTV’s Audience channel and AT&T’s U-verse ‪on 11/18 at 8pm ET and PT, 7pm CT.

57th & 9th, released 11/11 on A&M/Interscope/Cherrytree Records, represents a return to more upbeat, traditional rock songwriting for Sting, who explained that he created characters for each of the new songs: “50,000” is a about a rock star and “the rarified feeling” of performing for massive crowds and how “intoxicating that feeling” can be; the waltz “Pretty Young Soldier,” set in the 19th century, is about a young woman dressing as a man to find her lover; “Inshallah” is about a migrant family in a boat in the waters off Europe. You get the picture.

The Police songs—“Message in a Bottle,”  “Next to You” and “Every Breath You Take”—received inspired performances by the band that included father-son guitarists Dominic and Rufus Miller and the ace drummer Vinnie Colaiuta.

At a second show—for fan club members—Sting got out the acoustic guitar to perform "The Empty Chair" with one of his two backup singers, Jerry Fuentes. (Diego Navaira is the other one; both are members of The Last Bandoleros). Sting wrote "The Empty Chair" with J. Ralph for the film Jim: The James Foley Story.