On Sunday, June 13, I saw Sting in concert with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Chula Vista. When I heard that Sting was on tour I could not pass up this opportunity to finally see him. I have always been a fan of his from his days as frontman for The Police and throughout his solo career. I saw him with The Police during their reunion tour at the same venue in 2008, but now I would get to see him as a solo artist. His unique and varied music style has always appealed to me and I seldom get tired of listening to his music.
Not only was I going to see one of my favorite musicians, but I had very good seats as well. My seats were in the wheelchair section closest to the stage. To get to my seats I had to take an elevator down to them. It was a very close fit for my wheelchair inside the elevator, but they were able to close me in and lower me down. It was a little bit claustrophobic being closed in this metal box. I couldn't help thinking about what if it broke down while I was in it and how they would get me out if this happened. It was a relief to reach the bottom and be let out of the metal box. Next time, I will try to get seats on the side where there is a ramp instead.
It was a unique experience to hear Sting play his music to the accompianent of the forty-five piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (conducted by the energetic Steven Mercurio) and his five man band, led by his long-time guitarist Dominic Miller. The show started off with If I Ever Lose My Faith in You and was then followed by the upbeat song from The Police, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic. He introduced the orchestra by saying, "I have the biggest band I've ever had behind me." He also quipped, "They're called the Royal Philharmonic because I borrowed them from the queen."
During the concert he performed many songs from throughout his solo career and some memorable songs from The Police. Quite a few of his songs were reworked for the orchestra (some of these reworked versions of his songs will appear on his upcoming album Symphonicities).
He performed songs such as Englishman in New York, Straight to My Heart, Tomorrow We'll See, Russians, Shape of My Heart, She's Too Good for Me, Why Should I Cry For You?, Next to You, Roxanne , King of Pain, Every Breath You Take, Moon Over Bourbon Street, I Hung my Head, End of the Game. Fields of Gold, Mad About You, Fragile, Desert Rose.
I had a very enjoyable evening under the stars, listening to some great music. Sting did not disappoint. I liked his selection of songs and the way they sounded with the expansive, and sometimes powerful music of the orchestra. Most of his music was complemented very well by the orchestra. Sting's voice still proved to be very good. He also created a more intimate atmosphere by prefacing many of his songs with the background and inspiration for them, as well as anecdotes from his life growing up in the working-class area of Newcastle in Northern England. This added an interesting aspect to the show. When the show was over, I came away feeling upbeat and wishing for more. I was not disappointed. It was well worth the ticket price.