Ah, the live album. It can capture and forever preserve a musical moment.
Aside from actually seeing a band live, which is of course the best way, the live record is a true testament to how good a band or artist really is. There is no faking it, no hiding in a padded, sound proof room and getting multiple takes. It is as pure and naked as you can get.
That sounds good!
Some bands are great in the studio… some bands are great on stage… and the rare band or artist is great on both.
Sting – Bring On The Night
Special shout outs to all my new and wonderful friends in the Sound Backstage group. I think Robert wanted this one, which is one of my faves, too!
I have seen Sting and The Police live several times and they were all excellent shows. The Police at the Hollywood Bowl on their last tour was a little odd… and Sting seemed to be going through the motions, but the music is just so good.
No concerts will ever be on the same plane as Bruce, which for me, will always be the litmus test. Those shows just move on a whole other, ethereal plane. They just do. It is music and power and energy and something truly spiritual.
When it comes to Sting, it is more about the music. This album features some amazing talent, like Darryl Jones on bass… He has played with The Stones since 1993 when Bill Wyman’s left the group… the brilliant Branford Marsalis on sax… Kenny Kirkland on keys… He sadly died in 1998 of heart failure at the young age of 43… and Omar Hakim, the drummer for Weather Report and Dire Straits on Brothers in Arms (to name just two!)
This is a dynamo band who give Sting’s solo songs and those of The Police quite an amazing workout.
This was a big college record for me and one of the first CDs I ever owned… This one got lots of play in my frat house.
From the opening mash-up of “Bring on the Night/When the World Is Running Down You Make the Best of What’s Still Around” to the sublime closer “Tea In The Sahara”, I get some of my favorite songs.
In between are some awesome live versions. Just listen to the horns on “Moon Over Bourbon Street”… gorgeous… or on “Children’s Crusade”… stunning and wild and just amazing! That is some of the best jazz sax you will hear!
This is a great way to start our live album week… Thanks also go out to The Sound for the inspiration and for actually playing live albums on the radio.
No matter how many times a band goes on tour… or how many times they play the same song, there is always a little something… a little unique spark that can change and ignite. Sometimes it is a huge spark… and the fireworks that follow are moving and awe-inspiring.
Each concert has a different audience and a different reaction… and it is just possible that you may see some true magic… you may bear witness to something that has never happened in that particular way before… and may never happen like that again.
So if a friend asks you to go to a show or see a band in concert, do it damn it… It is always better live!