The Disney Channel (Sat., May 30, 9 P.M. ET)
The channel is running its annual free summer preview this week (May 28—June 1), when it unscrambles its signal so nonsubscribers can see what they’re missing. One of the featured events is this performance by the former chief of the Police. The concert was originally offered on pay-per-view outlets back in October when Sting celebrated his 40th birthday.
Sting is joined onstage for the last few songs by guitarist and former bandmate Andy Summers. (Stewart Copeland, the third member of the Police, evocatively scored this week’s HBO movie Afterburn.)
The lighting effects are garish. (Aren’t they listening when Sting sings on “Roxanne”: “You don’t have to put on that red light”?) The arrangements of newer material—”Mad About You,” “Driven to Tears” and “Jeremiah Blues”—are, thanks to keyboard player David Sancious, more jazz-inflected than the versions on Sting’s records. And there are also strong renditions of such Police classics as “King of Pain” and “Message in a Bottle.” As always, Sting is a charismatic performer with a great voice.