Chris Botti, Sting and David Gray at the Dubai Jazz Festival February 2016

Sting and Chris Botti live in concert and visibly in awe of each other.
I don't have to write this blog post. No one sent me complimentary passes. I bought them like any other die-hard music fan. In fact four friends from various parts of this country got together and booked them a month in advance to avoid missing out on this once in a lifetime experience.

Guess what, it was totally worth it. Admittedly I hadn't heard much about Chris Botti till I booked my ticket for the show. It was a chance to watch Gordon Sumner live and I wasn't going to give that up for anything. Watching the two musicians collaborate on various songs online, gave me goosebumps. But that was nothing like seeing their energy on stage. No video clip can do justice to it.

After a mind boggling set of songs with an outstanding jazz band that has been together for 12 years, Botti told the crowd that he played for Frank Sinatra. Naturally one's respect for the musician grew ten fold. He went on to tell us that in 1998 at the passing of Sinatra, one of music's biggest icons, Botti called up Sting's assistant to request if he would collaborate on a Sinatra tribute piece.
A few days later Sting called and agreed only to ask Botti to work with him on his next album, 'A brand new day.' The rest of course is music history and Botti said, "I'm still figuring out who got the better deal there."

On February 25, 2016 I'd like to think that their fans got the best deal ever. We arrived at the venue early enough to soak in the ambience of good food, music and positive vibes. From out of the blue, a girl with wrist bands came up to us and asked if we'd want a free upgrade.
Now, I don't drink so I was wondering if my ears were already popping. Turns out the organisers decided to give a few early entries a chance to go closer to the stage. So that's your tip for next time.

Deciding that karma had played its part we entered the covetted, 'Golden circle,' and started our journey with David Gray who sang with precision and style. He bobbed his head from side to side to most of the tunes and it was charming to say the very least. Before leaving the stage he took a moment to thank the Dubai audience and told us to enjoy listening to Chris Botti and the magnificent Sting.

I always believe that no matter how famous or successful an artist is, their humility to share the stage and admiration of fellow artists speaks volumes. Its bigger than any award or accolade one may attribute.

Gray, Botti and the legendary Sting did just that. All of them were shining in their own way and throwing the spotlight on each other equally. Song after song from Gray's 'Babylon' to Sting's 'Field's of Gold,' brought back memories from the soundtrack of our lives. Train rides, break ups, friendships and longing of the years gone by. All of it a bouquet of memories that only music can describe. Pure magic.
So yes, I'm writing to gloat, and say I saw the hottest guy in music, and at 65 he can still Sting.
Message in a bottle. Vintage music at its best. 
David Gray sang 'Let go your heart, let go your head. and feel it now.'

Chris Botti engaged the audience throughout with an outstanding band that had an award winning violinst,
drummer, piano and cello player.

Still rocking out a tune as good as if he were in the Police. 

All images and text copyright of Abigail Mathias.


  1. Fabulous piece thrilled that you got to see Sting live!!!

  2. So well written...I felt like I was there. Sadly I wasn't.... xoxo Yogita

  3. Thank you Valencia Z Fernandes.
    Yogita, I hope we both get to attend a live music gig soon.


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