SHOW REVIEW

Sting delivers sweeping set of his hits, personal favorites to appreciative Reno crowd...

Sting, it seems, has a thing for Reno. And country-western music.

More than once, the 60-year-old former Police frontman, performing to a capacity crowd at the Reno Events Center Saturday night, made reference to Northern Nevada's scenic beauty and its ties with the Wild West. These subjects fascinate Sting. Who knew?

Before launching into several country-tinged songs (including 'Love Is Stronger Than Justice' and 'I Hung My Head', Sting described how the hills outside Reno reminded him of his love for the ‘60s television series 'Bonanza', which was partially filmed in nearby Incline Village. Violinist Peter Tickell then delivered a blistering, jaw-dropping solo that conjured Charlie Daniels on 'Justice', drawing the single biggest round of applause of the night.

In a set which blended a healthy dose of radio hits from his 25-year solo career along with a few of his personal favorites, Sting also touched on a few of the monster hits that propelled him to the top of the charts with The Police, including 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', 'Demolition Man', 'Driven To Tears' and 'Every Breath You Take'. Conspicuously missing from the set was 'Roxanne', but with so many hits to choose from, Sting can be forgiven for skipping a few of the songs he's played thousands of times over the years.

The 'Back To Bass' tour is, however, largely a celebration of Sting's solo career. It was on deeper cuts like 'Heavy Cloud No Rain' and 'Never Coming Home' that his six-piece band sounded most mature and locked in.

The biggest surprise may have been how engaging Sting was with the audience. He often took time between songs to talk about what his songs meant to him or describe how they originated. 'Fields of Gold', he said, was inspired by the surrounding landscape near a castle in Stonehenge, England, he bought. 'Ghost Story' is about his strained relationship with his late father. 'Stole My Car' is about a psychic car thief.

He introduced 'Sacred Love' by saying, “there are two things that fascinate me: sex and religion. Why are they so separate?”

Sting performed three encores, including 'Desert Rose', where the 60-year-old pulled out some dance moves that would rival those of a man half his age, followed by a rollicking version of 'Next To You'. He ended the show with a quiet, but upbeat solo acoustic version of 'Message In A Bottle'. The crowd sang along before he graciously bowed and thanked the audience, exited the stage and the lights came up. It was a fitting ending to a pitch-perfect show.

(c) Reno Gazette Journal by James Ball

(1) Reviews and Comments
carol3 - 11.27.11
Awesome Show
Thank you for an awesome show last night! My husband and I haven't been to a concert in 19yrs just before our sons were born. We had alot fun! Thank you for taking us away for a magical evening of couple time! Congratulations on your 30th wedding anniversary! We wish you and your wife many more wonderful yrs together! Married 20yrs, forever strong! Carol & Garrett DeDeurwaerder Reno, Nv