Sting makes opening of Mark Cuban’s Echo Lounge and Music Hall official – The Dallas Morning News

By Sting’s own estimate, his concert Tuesday night was his 26th performance in Dallas since 1979, when the Police made their local debut at the long-gone Palladium.

That’s a lot of larynx-busting versions of “Roxanne.” But this show had a singular feel, since it marked the grand opening of the new Echo Lounge and Music Hall, a 1,000-capacity venue in the Design District that’s a fraction of the size of places where Sting usually plays.

Fronting a seven-piece band, the former Police chief looked decades younger than his 70 years, and his voice sounded vigorous despite a slight roughness around the edges.

As usual, Sting leaned heavily on the classics, with Police songs making up over half of the show. But he’s still writing strong new material, too.

“We’re going to play the hits tonight, but maybe this will be a hit,” he said, before launching into “Rushing Water,” one of two new tracks he played from The Bridge, his 15th and most recent solo album. With its sharp melody and made-for-COVID lyrics about angst and insomnia, “Rushing Water” fit perfectly on the set-list next to “King of Pain.”

Sting recently finished up a monthlong residency at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, where he’ll return for more shows in June. Yet there was nothing Vegas-y about the way he sculpted some of the oldies into unfamiliar new shapes.

The Echo Lounge and Music Hall, backed by Mark Cuban, holds about 1,000 people. Sting is the biggest act it has drawn in about a dozen shows, and his concert marked the venue’s official grand opening. (Elias Valverde II / Staff Photographer)

“If You Love Somebody Set Them Free” became pliable and jazzy. The melancholy “Englishman in New York” briefly took on a joyous hip-hop beat, while “Roxanne” twisted and whirled into Duke Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).”

Sting spent most of the show playing his battle-scarred 1957 Fender Precision bass, surrounded by the father-and-son guitar team of Dominic and Rufus Miller and drummer Josh Freese, a veteran of Nine Inch Nails and Guns N’ Roses. But the unsung star of the band was a newer member, harmonica ace Shane Sager, who breathed subtle new flavors into a half dozen songs.

For the encores, the band segued from “Roxanne” into a raucous encore of the Police song “Next To You,” featuring Sting’s 45-year-old son Joe Sumner, who also opened the show. They came back for one last tune, the anti-war ballad “Fragile,” but the delicate moment was ruined as a bartender kept screaming “Last Call!” as Sting tried to sing.

That jarring interruption pointed to the main problem of the Echo Lounge and Music Hall: It’s not particularly music-friendly.

Granted, the acoustics are OK, except for reverberation at the back of the main floor. Most of …….


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Google AI Tool Creates Music from Written Descriptions – VOA Learning English

This week, Google researchers published a paper describing results from an artificial intelligence (AI) tool built to create music.

The tool, called MusicLM, is not the first AI music tool to launch. But the examples Google provides demonstrate musical creative ability based on a limited set of descriptive words.

AI shows how complex computer systems have been trained to behave in human-like ways.

Tools like ChatGPT can quickly produce, or generate, written documents that compare well with the work by humans. ChatGPT and similar systems require powerful computers to operate complex machine-learning models. The San Francisco-based company OpenAI launched ChatGPT late…….


Bringing music to the masses… on a tram – BBC

French pianists, Hervé Billaut and Guillaume Coppola, brought a piano on to a tram in Nantes, as part of the opening of the annual La Folle Journée classical music festival.

They played to passengers all afternoon on Wednesday.

Mr Billaut said that they wanted to bring music to places you don’t expect it: “Perhaps someone, a child, a young person or a pensioner will have a musical shock.”