|Unknown||It was the moment they had been anticipating.
So, when Annie Lennox reappeared onstage to join Sting in a duet at the Air Canada Centre last night, 14,000 fans shrieked their approval.
And a handsome pairing it was.
They're a perfect complement, you know, this former Police frontman and erstwhile Eurythmics siren, who will bring their show back to the Air Canada Centre on Oct. 17.
It's their maturity and longevity and lithe good looks.
It's their vast repertoires of popular songs.
It's the shared ability to both soothe and incite.
It's a perception of sincerity and graciousness.
It's the relief that somebody is still making music for grown folks.
It was during the fifth song of his 100-minute set, as Sting launched into "We'll Be Together" from his 1987 album Nothing Like the Sun that Lennox emerged from backstage to sing with him.
They started off back-to-back - him strumming bass - and together they swayed and skanked across the stage, she wailing and frenetic, his tenor restrained.
We can't show you what this scene looked like, because Lennox's undue restrictions on media photography caused the Star to opt out of shooting her.
Despite her self-portrayal as a reluctant celebrity, the native Scot retains tight control over her image.
You can't really knock her though, if that's what has helped the classically trained musician (as a flautist) navigate her way through two successful bands, the Tourists and Eurythmics, survive two divorces and raise two daughters.
She has sold more records since stepping out solo in the '90s than she did with either group and earlier this year won an Oscar and Golden Globe for the song "Into the West" from Lord of the Rings: Return Of The King.
And based on last night, the short-cropped blonde, who turns 50 this year, is at the top of her game.
She opened the show clad in jeans and a sequined top and strutted across the stage like a diva, swung the microphone and kicked up her heels like a rock 'n' roller in an hour-long set that included Eurythmics hits as well as songs from her three solo albums.
Even when she slowed it down, tinkling the ivories on "Here Comes The Rain Again" and caressing each note, a growl lingered nearby.
Sting's portion was a retooled version of his March show at Massey Hall - buffed just enough to make you wonder how that smaller venue ever accommodated him.
He coasted through much of his set, technically sound, but uninspired on tracks like "Send Your Love" and "If You Love Somebody Set Them Free."
But the 52-year-old Brit came alive on the crowd-pleasing "Englishman In New York" and an extended, overwrought version of "Roxanne."
|Toronto Sun||TORONTO -- Sting and Annie Lennox on the road together. It makes perfect sense in hindsight, doesn't it?
The two mega-pop stars from the U.K., who pulled into the Air Canada Centre last night, are three years apart in age, neighbours in London, still dead sexy, and not only hugely successful solo artists but former singers for big '80s bands -- Sting with The Police and Lennox with The Eurythmics.
So it was no surprise that their collective fan base snapped up the 15,000 tickets for the ACC show so fast that they added a second date at the same venue on Oct 17. (For which there are still tickets.)
Even more impressive, Sting very recently played two sold-out dates at Massey Hall in March so he obviously still has major drawing power. (Lennox was last here in April 2003 for a show at the Toronto Centre For The Arts.)
Technically, the vocally blessed Lennox was first up last night, although the 52-year-old Sting made a brief appearance during his guitarist Dominic Miller's opening set to sing The Shape Of My Heart.
Lennox wasted no time getting to solid solo material like Have Mercy and Little Bird and her gorgeous cover of No More "I Love You's".
Looking a good decade younger than her 49 years, the Scottish-born Lennox eventually ditched a striking purple satin blazer -- which matched her suede boots -- to reveal her lithe form in a sleeveless leopard-print shirt, jewelled, ripped jeans and some major diamonds around her neck.
Astounding looks aside -- athough she kept a pair of sleek sunglasses on until the sixth song of her hour-long set -- the big-voiced Lennox sounded amazingly soulful, especially on the devastatingly powerful Cold, a slowed-down reworking of the Eurythmics hit, Here Comes The Rain Again, which saw her seated at a piano, her utterly cool cover of Waiting In Vain, and her own Walking On Broken Glass and Why.
Other standouts included three revved-up Eurythmics numbers, Missionary Man, I Need A Man and Sweet Dreams -- the latter got the crowd finally on its feet. Helping Lennox out mightily was a tight five-piece band and two female backup singers.
But Annie, who later returned for her encore in a short, black fitted leather jacket that set off her short, blond hair, was the undisputed star of the night and Sting certainly had his work cut out for him following such a powerhouse talent.
Luckily, he brought a bigger production -- a large video screen split into smaller parts, his talented seven-piece band, and his bass, which he strapped on about halfway through the opening dance track, Send Your Love, from his latest album, Sacred Love.
Sting was smart, keeping the mood uptempo for the first few numbers, and following up with The Police classic Synchronicty II, which found him wailing "Many miles away."
Just as he was hitting his stride, however, show-stealer Lennox returned to the stage to belt out We'll Be Together alongside him.
Thankfully, he still had some major hits up his sleeve in the form of the beautiful Fragile and Fields Of Gold -- which both featured some extraordinary guitar playing by Miller -- the crowd-pleasing Englishman In New York, Desert Rose, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, the merged Police tunes Roxanne/King Of Pain and Every Breath YouTake, even if newer songs like This War and the title track from Sacred Love only dragged down his hour-and-45-minute set.
New tracks faring much better proved to be of the more rhythmic and soulful variety, like Whenever I Say Your Name, which featured an exquisite duet between Sting and one of his female backup singers, and Never Coming Home.