Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Black Lillies at the Loft at City Winery

Cruz Contreras
After three albums, Cruz Contreras and Robin Ella Bailey divorced and dissolved their band, Robinella & the CCstringband. As part of his healing process, Contreras gathered a few musicians in Knoxville, Tennessee and wrote, arranged and recorded songs in his living room. He released these songs as the debut Black Lillies album in 2009, receiving immediate accolades from the Americana community. Since then, the Black Lillies annually has been ranked as the "Best Americana Band" in the Metro Pulse "Best of Knoxville" poll. In 2010, the band was the first artist selected and announced to participate in the new Americana Music Association's Festival & Conference. In 2011, the Black Lillies became the first independent artist from the Knoxville area to be featured on the Grand Ole Opry, and made history again by being invited back multiple times; the band has appeared on the show more than 35 times, a record for an independent act. The Black Lillies lineup presently consists of Contreras on lead vocals, guitar, keyboards, and mandolin, with guitarist/vocalist Dustin Schaefer (formerly of Mickey & the Motorcars), bassist Sam Quinn (formerly of the Everybodyfields), and drummer Bowman Townsend. The Black Lillies' fifth and most recent album, Stranger to Me, was released on September 28, 2018.

Following another foundational change in personnel, the Black Lillies juggled its old sound with a new sound tonight at the Loft at City Winery. The band still favored country rock, but with the former six-member unit now reduced to four members, the catalog forfeited the earlier male-female vocal interplay. Contreras led most of the singing with the band members assisting with lush and layered  three-part harmonies. Contreras' pensive and articulate lyrics largely hinged on hope and growth, giving the set an upbeat dynamic. With so many country bands leaning heavily on crossover pop and rock these days, the Black Lillies pleasantly performed a set that positioned country melodies at the forefront.

Visit the Black Lillies at

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Beacon Theatre

Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks met in 1999 when she was the opening act for the Allman Brothers Band, in which Trucks was a guitarist. Tedeschi and Trucks married in 2001 and began performing together regularly as Soul Stew Revival in 2007. In 2010, Tedeschi and Trucks announced a hiatus for their individual bands and formed a new group called the Tedeschi Trucks Band, based in Jacksonville. The band's debut album won the 2012 Grammy Award for Best Blues Album. The band's most recent album is Live from the Fox Oakland, released on March 17, 2017.

The Tedeschi Trucks Band's eighth annual Beacon Theatre run again consisted of six concerts over nine nights. On the third night, the 12-member band played a slower and softer set than usual, consistently loaded with jams and reinterpreted cover songs. Tedeschi led most of the vocals, and her bluesy, gutsy singing embodied the very soul of her songs. Trucks' bluesy guitar leads were the standout of the performance, Tedeschi's guitar work was knock-out impressive, and spotlighted contributions from the keyboardist and the horn section made the songs definitively a collaborative band effort. This united front was founded on roots music, hooked on vintage sounds and arrangements, and reinvigorated for a timeless delivery.

Visit the Tedeschi Trucks Band at

  1. Anyday (Derek and the Dominos cover)
  2. Don't Know What It Means (>) The Letter (The Box Tops cover)
  3. In Every Heart
  4. Sailing On (Toots & the Maytals cover)
  5. Key to the Highway (Charles Segar cover)
  6. Lord Protect My Child (Bob Dylan cover)
  7. Still Your Mind
  8. Drum solo (>) Let Me Get By
  9. High & Mighty
  10. Show Me (Joe Tex cover)
  11. Don't Think Twice, It's All Right (Bob Dylan cover)
  12. Shame
  13. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free (Billy Taylor cover)
  1. How Blue Can You Get? (Johnny Moore’s Three Blazers cover)
  2. Had to Cry Today (Blind Faith cover, with bass & drums jam)

Friday, October 5, 2018

Jorma Kaukonen at City Winery

During his childhood in Washington, DC., Jorma Kaukonen and his family also lived in Pakistan, the Philippines and other locales following his father's career in the State Department. The young Kaukonen was devoted to rock-and-roll in late 1950s and early 1960s, but soon afterwards developed a love for the blues and bluegrass. He learned to play roots music on guitar and with his guitarist friend, Jack Casady, formed a band called The Triumphs. Kaukonen then learned to play fingerstyle on his guitar in the style of Reverend Gary Davis. Kaukonen relocated to New York City, then traveled overseas, settling in 1962 in San Francisco, California, where he performed in coffeehouses until he joined the new band Jefferson Airplane in 1965. When the band's original bass player was fired, Kaukonen recommended his friend, who still lived in Washington D.C., and Jack Casady joined Jefferson Airplane. In 1969, Kaukonen and Casady formed a side band, Hot Tuna, which outlasted Jefferson Airplane's demise in 1972. He also led a hard rock band called Vital Parts from 1979 to 1982. All along the way, Kaukonen also performed solo, and began recording solo albums in 1974. His 12th and most recent solo album, Ain't in No Hurry, was released in 2015.

At City Winery tonight, Jorma Kaukonen played acoustic guitar like few can. Accompanying himself only with six strings for two full sets, he finger picked his axe like the old-time blues players prior to the age of electric rock and roll. On every song, most of which were cover songs at least a half century old, he played lick after impressive lick, not in an attempt to discover something new but to explore more deeply something vintage and classic. Hardly looking up, seated on a chair for the entire performance, there was no flash or posturing, just a collection of the best obscure roots songs and some mighty fine guitar picking. To appreciate the great young guitar players of today, one might investigate the road going back to the origin, and there is not better study of old times blues than watching Jorma Kaukonen song and play acoustic guitar.

Visit Jorma Kaukonen at

Set 1:
  1. True Religion (Hot Tuna song)
  2. Been So Long (Hot Tuna song)
  3. Hesitation Blues ([traditional] cover)
  4. Wolves and Lambs
  5. River of Time
  6. Barbeque King (Vital Parts song)
  7. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here (Reverend Gary Davis cover)
  8. How Long Blues (Leroy Carr cover)
  9. Another Man Done a Full Go Round (Roy Book Binder cover)
  10. Sea Child (Hot Tuna song)
  11. Watch the North Wind Rise (Hot Tuna song)
  12. Winin' Boy Blues (Jelly Roll Morton cover)
  13. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning (Blind Willie Johnson cover)
Set 2:
  1. Ain't in No Hurry
  2. San Francisco Bay Blues (Jesse Fuller cover)
  3. Come Back Baby (Walter Davis cover)
  4. Serpent of Dreams (Hot Tuna song)
  5. In My Dreams
  6. Oh Lord, Search My Heart (Reverend Gary Davis cover)
  7. Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (Jimmy Cox cover)
  8. Sleep Song (Hot Tuna song)
  9. Trial by Fire (Jefferson Airplane song)
  10. Good Shepherd (Jefferson Airplane song)
  11. Trouble in Mind (Richard M. Jones cover)
  12. Water Song (Hot Tuna song)
  13. I Know You Rider ([traditional] cover)
  14. Genesis (Jorma Kaukonen with Tom Hobson song)

Mondo.NYC 2018

Mondo.NYC, the music industry conference created by CMJ Music Marathon founders Bobby Haber and Joanne Abbot Green, returned to New York City for its third annual series on October 2-5, 2018. Far deeper industry oriented than its predecessor (CMJ catered more to band representatives and DIY-businesses), Mondo.NYC retained a heavy focus on tech-related panels and demonstrations, much like the similar Northside Festival in June.

This year, Mondo.NYC conference relocated its headquarters from the Lower East Side to Williamsburg, and consequently added more venues in Brooklyn. Mondo.NYC presented more than 150 technologists, investors, artists, and industry leaders from many countries. During daylight hours, participants attended panel discussions on a myriad of topics, many focused on the projected effect on the music industry of blockchain, cryptocurrency and other new technologies and economies. In the evenings, participants attended live performances by international emerging artists at Arlene’s Grocery, Berlin, Bowery Electric, Brooklyn Bowl, Coco 66, Coney Island Baby, the Delancey, DROM, Hank’s Saloon, Niagara, NORD, Pianos, Rough Trade, the Well, the White Eagle Hall in New Jersey, and even the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The performing artists included Our Lady Peace (Canada), the Darbies (USA), iskwe' (Canada), Jae Luna (USA), DJ Shub (Canada), Rosie Crow (UK), Kingswood (Australia), Ivan & the Parazol (Hungary), the Last Moan (Switzerland), Crosa Rosa (UK), FRANKiiE (Canada), the Immigrants (Hungary), Lord Esperanza (France), Castle Black (USA), Oak and Ash (USA), Queen Esther (USA), Girl Skin (USA) and many more.

Mondo.NYC has announced its next conference for October 15-18, 2019. Ticket sales and band submissions will open in November 2018.
Daytime conferences at the Williamsburg Hotel Ballroom
Phat A$tronaut (Connecticut) at Pianos
John Jacob Magestry (Canada) at Arlene's Grocery
Elinda (Sweden) at Pianos Upstairs Lounge
Crosa Rosa (England) at Pianos
Goolis (New York) at Arlene's Grocery
New Myths (New York) at the Delancey
Rench (New York) at Arlene's Grocery
Greg Farley (New York) at the Bowery Electric
The Artisanals (South Carolina) at the Bowery Electric
The Late Bloomers (New York) at Pianos

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Aligns at the Map Room at the Bowery Electric

Vocalist/guitarist Jacques Barbot formed Aligns in 2010 from a studio project he began in 2009 as part of his sound engineering studies. In order to perform his music live, Barbot recruited bassist Soshi Uchida and drummer Mark Bell. The band, based in Brooklyn, New York, played local rock clubs and at Union Square. Uchida returned home to Japan in 2014, and the trio became a duo.  Forging forward, Aligns was among the winners of Afropunk's "Battle of the Bands" in 2015. Aligns' fifth and most recent album, Brooklyn, was released on April 29, 2017.

Performing at the Map Room at the Bowery Electric tonight, Aligns was more than simply vocals, guitar and drums. Aligns performed raw, aggressive music that sourced metal, classic rock, grunge, shoe gaze, funk and more. Barbot erupted with wild energy, raucously playing dirty riffs and gritty leads replete with fuzz, reverb and other effects, and to his right Bell pounded relentlessly, viciously and explosively. Together, they locked into muddy grooves that were abrasive yet magnetic. This music may never make it to the mainstream, but there is quite likely a larger audience eager to embrace this innovative duo.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Willie Nile at City Winery

Willie Nile (born Robert Noonan in Buffalo, NY) came from a musical family -- his grandfather led a local orchestra and was a vaudeville pianist, his uncles played boogie woogie, and two older brothers played piano. The youth learned to play the piano at age eight and took classical music lessons until he was a teenager, when he wrote his first rock and roll song. While in college, he wrote poetry and started to take guitar playing seriously, and during the summers he frequented New York City's hootenanny clubs. After college, Nile took an apartment in Greenwich Village in order to immerse himself in New York City's singer-songwriter circuit, but he also gravitated to the emerging punk rock scene on the east side of town. Inspired by both folk and rock streams, his early albums yielded comparisons to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen. Nile's career soon was abruptly curtailed when contractual complications prevented him from releasing new music for the next nine years. Nile's recordings have become more frequent in recent years, and he released his 12th studio album, Children of Paradise, on July 27, 2018.

Willie Nile is confident about the value of his new album. In a daring move, he started his set at City Winery tonight by performing all 12 tracks, then followed with seven older songs and three covers. Indeed, the risk paid off. Backed by lead guitarist Matt Hogan, bassist Johnny Pisano, and drummer Jon Webber, Nile performed a blistering set that was perhaps his finest New York gig in several years. The new lyrics struggled with a complicated new world: some of the lyrics clearly rattled with unrest, others were more obtuse, but they fueled with a raging fire and guts deluxe. The older songs drew out the essence of Nile's New York-based character, and the Velvet Underground and Ramones covers at the end accentuated that dynamic. Throughout, the band played a muscular and energetic backing, driving the rocking songs to their summit. Willie, come back and do it again.

Visit Willie Nile at

  1. Seeds of a Revolution
  2. All Dressed Up and No Place to Go
  3. Don't
  4. Earth Blues
  5. Children of Paradise
  6. Gettin' Ugly Out There
  7. I Defy
  8. Have I Ever Told You
  9. Secret Weapon
  10. Lookin' for Someone
  11. Rock N' Roll Sister
  12. All God’s Children
  13. Forever Wild
  14. This Is Our Time
  15. Heaven Help the Lonely
  16. House of a Thousand Guitars
  17. Magdalena
  18. Sweet Jane (The Velvet Underground cover)
  19. One Guitar
  20. You Gotta Be a Buddha (In a Place Like This)
  21. I Wanna Be Sedated (The Ramones cover)
  22. Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (The Ramones cover)

Monday, October 1, 2018

Tom Morello at le Poisson Rouge

Born in New York City and raised in Libertyville, Illinois, a 13-year-old Tom Morello sang in his first band, a Led Zeppelin cover band, and purchased his first guitar. Around 1984, Morello started studying the guitar seriously and formed a band called the Electric Sheep, featuring future Tool guitarist Adam Jones on bass. After high school, Morello moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked as a stripper named Tom "Meat Swinger" Morello, and played in a band called Lock Up. In 1991, Morello met vocalist Zack de la Rocha, and the two founded Rage against the Machine. In 2000, after four albums, de la Rocha quit the band. The remaining members formed Audioslave with then-former Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell and released three albums. Rage against the Machine reunited in 2007 and 2011. In the meantime, Morello developed his solo folk project, the Nightwatchman, and briefly led a hip-hop collaboration called the Street Sweeper Social Club. Most recently, he formed Prophets of Rage in 2016 with members of Rage against the Machine, Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill. Morello released a solo album, The Atlas Underground, on October 12, 2018.

Perhaps many anticipated a concert when Tom Morello brought The Atlas Underground Experience to le Poisson Rouge tonight. Instead, Morello promoted his forthcoming album with a nearly three-hour program that had no band and very little live music. The evening began with an animated and eloquent Morello passionately sharing his journey chronologically in an interview setting with the help of vintage photographs and demonstrations of how he developed his riffs. Afterwards, Morello introduced the audience to the first-ever listening of his new album, as he introduced each song with commentary on its origin. Finally, Morello strapped on a guitar to play three songs. The night ended with much of the audience on stage with him, providing the vocals as he shred on Rage against the Machine's "Killing In The Name." Morello fashioned a career introspective into a unique and immersive experience, a personalized, inside look at one of rock's most exciting rock guitarists. The presentation was thoroughly interesting and engaging, leading the listeners to crave more deeply a full concert by Morello.

Visit Tom Morello at

Guitar demonstrations during the interview
  1. The Garden of Gethsemane
  2. Like a Stone (Audioslave song)
  3. Mr. Crowley Jam (Ozzy Osbourne cover)
  1. The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen cover)
  2. This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie cover)
  3. Killing in the Name (Rage against the Machine song)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Global Citizen Festival 2018

Major musical acts are the main draw at the annual Global Citizen Festival, a concert and political rally that started in New York City's Central Park in 2012. Organized by Global Poverty Project, the original focus of the event was to encourage citizens to take actions designed to end extreme poverty around the world by the year 2030, but has since expanded to increase awareness of environmental and social justice causes. Those who perform designated activism, including writing letters or signing petitions, earn free tickets to the event. The Global Citizen Festivals are live-streamed in order to make them global. Chris Martin of Coldplay became the events' curator in 2015.

The 2018 festival, held in Central Park's Great Lawn on September 29, followed a week of U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York. The concert and rally drew 60,000 music fans to see performances by the Weeknd, Janet Jackson, Shawn Mendes, Cardi B and Janelle Monáe, with John Legend listed as special guest performer. Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, hosted the event, which included presentations by Chris Martin, Naomi Campbell, Dakota Johnson, Robert DeNiro, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and dozens of other entertainment and political leaders. Cable television's MSNBC broadcasted the festival live.

This year's festival in Central Park was interrupted for about a half hour about 7:30 p.m. by a stampede in the right pen by the stage. Hundreds of attendees, unsure of what happened but following the rush, ran out of the area leaving behind shoes, blankets and other personal belongings. Police charged into the area and discovered no danger. The promoters and the police initially attributed the cause of the panic to a fallen metal barricade but later determined it to be someone standing on and exploding a soda bottle, making a sound that was mistaken as an active shooter. No explanation or appeal for calm came from the stage for almost a half hour, as medics attended to those injured in the melee. Some attendees who fled among the panic and confusion were unable to re-enter the park for their possessions.

Highlights from the Global Citizen Festival 2018 in New York
Janelle Monae
Janelle Monáe supported survivors of sexual assault
Combating sexual assault was a prevalent theme at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival. Janelle Monáe cited Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh two days earlier. "I dedicate this to Dr. Ford, I dedicate this to Anita Hill, I dedicate this to anyone who is trying to make this place a better world," Monae said between songs. "This past week was a brutal, brutal week for a lot of us women," she said. "It was an especially hard week for survivors of sexual violence, so I want to start out today's festival by telling any survivor here in this audience right now, any survivor watching from your home that I hear you, I see you, and I believe you." She led a call and response chant of, "We hear you, we see you, we support you, we believe you."
Robert DeNiro
Chris Martin of Coldplay
Katie Holmes
John Legend
John Legend introduced a social action-inspired song
Billed as a special guest, John Legend performed only three songs, solo at the piano, including his biggest hit, "All of Me," and a cover of Bob Marley's "Redemption Song." Before debuting a new song, "Preach," Legend said "We have a lot of politicians here talking the talk, and we're going to follow up with them, right? We need legislation passed — we better follow up with you, Governor Cuomo. All our governors around the country: We're going to follow up with you. We're paying attention, and we're voting. It's not enough to talk." He prefaced the song by adding, "in the song we talk about how frustrating it can be to look at your phone, read the news, see what's happening, see how senators treat women who come forward with sexual abuse claims, see how people ridicule young people who  march for their right to go to school without getting shot up, see how people denigrate those who would make the very simple claim that Black Lives Matter." Although those particulars were not named in the lyrics, he concluded, "We've got to make the world a better place. We can't just preach."
Rami Malek & Mark Ruffalo
Hugh Jackman & Deborra-Lee Furman
Shawn Mendes & John Legend
Shawn Mendes invited John Legend on stage for a duet
Shawn Mendes invited his audience to take action for the 264 million youth around the world who are unable to get an education. Mendes brought John Legend back on stage for a duet on Mendes' "Youth." Mendes and Legend alternated verses, with Legend taking the parts that were sung by Khalid on the original track, and harmonized on the chorus of "You can't take my youth away."
Forest Whitaker
Keala Settle & the New York City Gay Men's Chorus
The Greatest Showman's Keala Settle sang with the New York City Gay Men's Chorus
Host Hugh Jackman introduced Keala Settle, his co-star in the 2017 musical film The Greatest Showman. Settle performed the Oscar-nominated "This Is Me" backed by members of the New York City Gay Men's Choir. The lyrics embraced the value of inclusivity.
Amber Heard & Bridget Moynahan
Cardi B
Cardi B's ad-libbed and introduced a video message by Michelle Obama
Bronx-born Cardi B returned to the stage following a four-month maternity leave, rapping and twerking her hits. She said, "I'm nervous, I'm sweating, I had a nervous breakdown today, but it's fine and I'm here and trying to change the world." Towards the end of her set, she was supposed to read from a teleprompter, but Cardi ad-libbed instead. "We need to vote, especially us, the millennials, under 25 and over 18, we need to vote. Last election, everybody took it as a joke, even me. I'm not even gonna' front…I thought 'that person ain't gonna win' and look where we at now." She then introduced a video message from former First Lady Michelle Obama.
Naomi Campbell
Janet Jackson with Q-Tip
Janet Jackson offered tributes to Joe and Michael Jackson
Janet Jackson was the first performer after the security scare. Like several other performers, Jackson spoke about abuse. "Like millions of other women out there, I know about bullying. I know about verbal abuse. I know about physical abuse. I know about abuse of authority. I'm sick, I'm repulsed, I'm infuriated by the double standards that continue to threaten women as second class citizens," she said as the crowd cheered. "Enough, guys, enough. Enough injustice. Enough bigotry. Mistreatment and mindless prejudice has to stop, and stop now. Equality is our demand. Action is our answer. Let's go."
Jackson performed many of her best-known songs. In an unanticipated moment, Jackson introduced rapper Q-Tip, who performed "Got 'Til It's Gone" with her. As she has done on other stops on her tour, Jackson paid tribute to her late brother, Michael Jackson. She shouted, "Let's go, Mike!" and sang along to a video of the late pop star singing "Scream." During "Together Again," she paid tribute to her late father, Joe Jackson, projecting photographs of them together. "I miss you," she said. "I love you, both of you."
Dakota Johnson
Sho Madjozi
The Weeknd
The Weeknd comforted the audience
The Weeknd's closing set was cut short due to the festival's temporary evacuation. "Fortunately no one got hurt tonight, but you know I love you," he told the audience. "I had to cut it short, but I still feel the love." He later tweeted "so grateful we got to perform at @GlblCtzn tonight after the whole mishap earlier. wish we could have done the whole set but curfew at Central Park is serious and thankfully they gave us extra time! fortunately no one got hurt! Thank you New York!"

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Supersuckers at Mercury Lounge

Eddie Spaghetti & "Metal" Marty Chandler
As a child in Tucson, Arizona, Edward Daly chose his career path the minute he first heard the Knack's "My Sharona." Foregoing the country music he heard everywhere, he turned to heavy metal and punk rock. In 1988, he formed the Black Supersuckers, in which he played bass. He became Eddie Spaghetti and the band shortened its name to Supersuckers. The Supersuckers' aim was to strip away some of the pretense of late 1980s metal and inject showmanship into the punk scene. In 1989, the band relocated to Seattle, Washington. Spaghetti became the band's singer, while still playing bass. In 1995, Supersuckers went on a brief hiatus when Spaghetti was diagnosed with stage 3 oropharynx cancer and underwent surgery and radiation treatments. Supersuckers presently consists of Spaghetti, guitarist "Metal" Marty Chandler and drummer Christopher "Chango" Von Streicher. Supersuckers' 11th and most recent album, Suck It, was released on September 21, 2018.

Supersuckers is on a 30th anniversary tour, and much of the 33-song set at Mercury Lounge was comprised of songs from the band's first two albums. The band members may have looked like a outlaw country musicians, but the largest chunk of the nearly two-hour set was a tornado of hard-banging, punk-inspired rock and roll. Lyrics were often humorous, even when politically incorrect, accentuating the straight-forward message that this was a rock and roll party. Spaghetti's vocals were lighter now post-surgery, but he has lost none of his rock and roll animus or bravado, Chandler often played extended solos at the lip of the stage, and Von Streicher pounded the drums to keep the machinery pumping at adrenalin speed. After 30 years, the self-professed Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World stills puts on a super show.

Visit Supersuckers at

  1. All of the Time
  2. The History Of Rock 'n' Roll
  3. Dead Inside
  4. Breaking My Balls
  5. This Life (Would Be a Whole Lot Better If I Didn’t Have to Share It) With You
  6. Roadworn and Weary
  7. Holdin’ the Bag
  8. Non-Addictive Marijuana
  9. Let’s Bounce
The Smoke of Hell album
  1. Coattail Rider
  2. Luck
  3. I Say F*ck
  4. Alone and Stinking
  5. Caliente
  6. Tasty Greens
  7. Hell City, Hell
  8. Hot Rod Rally
  9. Drink and Complain
  10. Mighty Joe Young
  11. Ron's Got the Cocaine
  12. Sweet 'n' Sour Jesus
  13. Retarded Bill
  14. Thinkin’ ’Bout Revenge
La Mano Cornuda album
  1. Creepy Jackalope Eye
  2. Seventeen Poles
  3. High Ya!
  4. On the Couch
  5. Sugie
  6. Mudhead
  7. Gold Top
  8. How to Maximize Your Kill Count
  9. She's My Bitch
  1. 'Til I Die

Sting & Shaggy at the Rooftop at Pier 97

Gordon "Sting" Sumner, from Newcastle, England, and now living between New York City and Malibu, California, has won 16 Grammy Awards as bassist of the Police and as a solo artist. Orville "Shaggy" Burrell grew up in Raetown, Jamaica, and is a reggae artist with 13 hit albums. Sting and Shaggy first performed together publicly at the 2018 Grammy Awards. Their joint CD, 44/786 (named after their respective country codes), was released on April 20, 2018.

Sting and Shaggy's tour brought them to the Rooftop at Pier 17 tonight, where threatening storms prompted the promoters to begin the show 15 minutes early. Sting sang and played bass for most of the set, Shaggy sang and toasted Jamaican style, and as they traded vocals and harmonized, they were backed by longtime Sting guitarists Dominic Miller and Rufus Miller, and drummer John Freese, plus Shaggy's keyboardist Kevon Webster and backing vocalists Melissa Musique and Gene Noble. From the start, Sting and Shaggy traded lyrics on Sting's "Englishman in New York" (with "Jamaica" subbed in a few times), and several times did mash-ups of their hits. The set also included eight songs from their collaborative album, including "Crooked Tree," during which Shaggy wore a judge's robes and wig and Sting wore a black-and-white-striped shirt representing a prisoner. The show was a departure for both Sting and Shaggy, with Shaggy toasting as Sting's hype man and Sting's distinctive tenor as backup on some of Shaggy's ribald lyrics, but somehow the chemistry clicked majestically for nearly two hours. The rain finally fell towards the end of the set, with many in the audience fleeing but many others soaking up the musical sunshine along with the rain, chanting the lyric "I dream of rain" during the encore of "Desert Rose."

  1. Medley: Englishman in New York (Sting song)/Jamaican in New York (Shinehead cover)
  2. 44/876
  3. Morning Is Coming
  4. Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic (The Police cover)
  5. Medley: Oh Carolina (Shaggy song)/We'll Be Together (Sting song)
  6. If You Can't Find Love(Sting song)
  7. Medley: Love Is the Seventh Wave (Sting song)/One World (Not Three) (The Police cover)
  8. Message in a Bottle (The Police cover)
  9. Fields of Gold (Sting song)
  10. Waiting for the Break of Day
  11. Gotta Get Back My Baby
  12. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (Sting song)
  13. Don't Make Me Wait
  14. Dreaming in the U.S.A.
  15. Crooked Tree
  16. Medley: Walking on the Moon (The Police cover)/Get Up, Stand Up (The Wailers cover)
  17. Medley: So Lonely (The Police cover)/Strength of a Woman (Shaggy song)
  18. Medley: Roxanne (The Police cover)/Boombastic (Shaggy song)
  1. Desert Rose (Sting song)
  2. It Wasn't Me (Shaggy song)
  3. Every Breath You Take (The Police cover)