I have a fever, and the remedy isn’t more cowbell. KAABOO Texas is a month away, and my thoughts keep drifting to all the first-class fun that awaits: chef-driven cuisine, vibrant music and a restorative spa! I am stoked about finally seeing Collective Soul, Rick Springfield and Lionel Richie, all of which span my three beloved decades: 70s, 80s and 90s. And my favorite artist of all time, Sting, as a headliner? Are you kidding? It’s like someone hand-picked all my favorites…just for ME! (Well, and a few thousand of my friends.)
KAABOO Texas rocks Arlington, May 10-12, with a diverse lineup of classic and contemporary artists. But, if you think that KAABOO is just a music festival, think again. This first-class event is an adult escape, uniquely curated to appeal to all five of your senses, with world-class music, hilarious comedy, incredible cuisine, craft libations, inspiring contemporary art, and personal indulgences. But, I digress.
I believe a “good song” has a catchy hook or upbeat arrangement in addition to a lyrical resilience that tickles your imagination. That is why Gordon Matthew Sumner, otherwise known as “Sting,” is my favorite artist. Anyone who has heard his popular hits, like Desert Rose, Brand New Day or Englishman in New York, knows how toe-tappy he is, but one listen to Fragile or Russians reveals his poignancy. That combination of poetry and fun is what has made him commercially successful AND culturally relevant for so many decades. As for me, I am simply excited about singing along with the man who wrote the soundtrack of my life.
Here are some of my favorite Sting songs, which I hope to see live at KAABOO Texas (hint, hint if you are reading this, Sting):
Fields of Gold
One of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard! Interestingly, Sting is quoted as saying that their house in England is surrounded by “barley fields, and in the summer it's fascinating to watch the wind moving over the shimmering surface, like waves on an ocean of gold.” (WIKI) As for me, I am smitten with the passion the lyrics engender as a man pledges devotion to his beloved. “I never made promises lightly, and there have been some that I’ve broken. But I swear in the days still left, we’ll walk in fields of gold.”
Love Is the Seventh Wave
Full disclosure: I have a heart/peace sign tattoo, so of course I dig a song about harmony and love (insert peace-fingers emoji here)! I am an eternal optimist who loves the beach, so the catchy island vibe and the lyrics are like a firehose blast of joy for my soul. This song outlines how love, the seventh wave, is rising in cities, sweeping over land and drowning out war and separation. “All the armies, all the missiles, all the symbols of that fear; there is a deeper wave than this rising in the world.”
Moon Over Bourbon Street
Apparently, I am not the only one who fancies Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles! Sting was creatively inspired for this song one night when he felt that he was being followed in the French Quarter. “Oh you'll never see my shade or hear the sound of my feet while there's a moon over Bourbon Street,” says the character in the song, as he struggles to balance his new vampiric instincts while maintaining what’s left of his humanity.
Never Coming Home
Goodbye is never easy. This isn’t one of Sting’s popular songs, but it is surely the pitch-perfect capture of the angst and indecision that are travel companions with any breakup. We listen as the heroine of the song, at long last, decides to slip away into the rain, leave her lover behind, and find a life that’s better. “In your imagination you're a thousand miles away, too many of his promises got broken on the way.” More interestingly, this song is told from the point of view of both parties involved in the split.
Mad About You
I love how Sting is so expansive with his music profile, toying with cultural influences and instruments. With that in mind, I’m not sure if I prefer the lyrics or the cool string riffs, but either way, this song is legit! Unrequited love is crushing for anyone, but is a broken heart more painful for a King? As he walks through his empire in misery, he ponders the futility of ambition and glory if he is robbed of that which matters most. “Although I claim dominions over all I see, it means nothing to me. There are no victories in all our histories, without love.”
They Dance Alone
Sting wrote these haunting lyrics in protest of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, who killed thousands of people, via his regime, between 1973 and 1990. The video spotlights the mourning Chilean women who danced with photographs of their murdered or missing loved ones. “See their silent faces, they scream so loud.” The only thing more stirring than the lyrics is the slow swooning pipe melody.
If you are daydreaming about a luxurious summer getaway for spa treatments, amazing music, and hip pool parties, join me, Sting and the rest of the lineup, May 10-12 at AT&T Stadium and let KAABOO Texas rock your world!