Review + Photos + Setlist: Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Power Through the Heat, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis, June 23, 2010

Jun 24, 2010 at 3:42 am

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click to enlarge Review + Photos + Setlist: Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Power Through the Heat, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis, June 23, 2010
Annie Zaleski

Peronal Bias: Big fan of Sting solo and the Police since the early '90s.

Notebook Dump: The stage setup was minimalist, but effective. Three large square panels separated into tinier squares by a grid hovered atop the stage. When they weren't featuring the musicians on stage, they projected works from ten video artists, including noted director Michel Gondry. The lighting was tasteful and subtle; color emerged when needed - for instance, deep red on "Fields of Gold" - and never overwhelmed.

Sting often explained the origins of songs, Behind the Music-style, which added further levity and humor to the night. Before "I Hung My Head," he noted a love of TV westerns (his favorite: Bonanza), and lamented, "I tried to write country songs but I don't look good in hats." ("This Cowboy Song" was not mentioned.) He told a touching anecdote about his late father, who was a milkman and bucked the familial trend toward the sea, before "Why Should I Cry for You?" Meanwhile, "The End of the Game" is based on the end of a couple of foxes; Sting had a fox invasion at one point and grumbled that they "killed all of my goddamn chickens." And he prefaced "Tomorrow We'll See" with a long story about how the song came to him and it was "extremely disturbing" - it was about a "male transsexual prostitute." Writing the song, and exploring this darkness, taught him tolerance, he said.

click to enlarge Review + Photos + Setlist: Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Power Through the Heat, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, St. Louis, June 23, 2010
Annie Zaleski

Overheard in the Crowd: "Don't put on more clothes!" - the woman behind me, toward Sting, right before "Moon Over Bourbon Street" (Incidentally, Dominic Miller's rakish look - an unruly mane of hair and a V-neck shirt just one button shy of demure - pleased many in the crowd as well.)

The Crowd: As a reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat pointed out, the crowd was extremely polite -- they even stood in single-file lines to get into the venue and seats.

Setlist: (thanks to Rudiger for help!) "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You" (1993) "Englishman in New York" (1987) "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" "Roxanne" "Straight to my heart" (1987) "When we dance" (1994) "Russians" (1984) "I Hung My Head" (1996) "Shape of My Heart" (1993) "Why Should I Cry for You?" (1990) "Whenever I Say Your Name" (2003) "Fields of Gold" "Next to You"

Set Two: "A Thousand Years" (1999) "Tomorrow We'll See" (1999) "Moon Over Bourbon Street" (1984) "The End of the Game" (1999) "You Will Be My Ain True Love" (2005) "All Would Envy" (1999) "Mad About You" (1990) "King of Pain" "Every Breath You Take"

Encore one: "Desert Rose"

Encore two: "She's Too Good For Me" (1993) "Fragile" (1987)

click to enlarge Jo Lawry and members of the orchestra - Annie Zaleski
Annie Zaleski
Jo Lawry and members of the orchestra