Sting and James Taylor get Rock In Rio off to a gentle start

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Sting and James Taylor

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Sting and James Taylor

The two performers most highly anticipated by the 180,000 people in attendance at

Rock In Rio’s first night were Sting and James Taylor.

The latter, whose heyday must have been, oh, nearly three decades ago, arrived onstage 45 minutes late and provided a romantic mood for the couples

cuddling on the grass with songs well known by the Brazilians, such as ‘Carolina On My Mind’ and ‘Mexico’. Well mellow. So mellow, in fact, that half of the crowd appeared to nap during his downbeat

performance while the other half, mostly couples and families with children, enjoyed the

sheer predictability of old time pals like ‘You’ve Got A

Friend’.

Declaring his love for the city that once put him back on his feet (before playing Rock In Rio I, in 1985, Taylor was seriously considering

retiring) he played ‘A Dream In Rio’, climaxing his set at 1:15am with ‘How

Sweet It Is’

followed by the only new song of the night, Not Fade Away’. He returned later to duet with Sting, on ‘Feel Her Up’.

Sting started his

performance at 2am and, by then, the crowd was already tired and a lot of people preferred to head back home rather than witness a retrospective of Sting’s entire

career including old Police songs

‘Magic’, ‘Roxanne’ and ‘Every Breath You Take’.

Uttering a few phrases in Portuguese, Sting played to the crowd and finished on ‘Fragile’. His set was anything but.

Valeria Rossi and Luciano Vianna