Feb
21
2004

Des Moines, IA, US (Civic Center)

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With Chris Botti

SHOW REVIEW

Sting in Des Moines...

Here's another fan club member who was at the Des Moines concert last evening. It was my very first Sting concert, so I was not at all disappointed. Having tired of the football stadium concerts I've attended by other performers, I was so happy that my first live Sting experience was in this intimate theater setting where I actually could see Sting and not have to watch him on a projection screen!

I applaud Sting for doing so many songs from the new CD - it truly is the 'Sacred Love' tour! While I would have loved to have heard more of my favorite songs in person, I have my CDs and DVDs of those to enjoy.

The audience singing the entire first verse of Roxanne before Sting kicked in was great fun.

I agree that ending with 'A Thousand Years' was not a wise choice. The audience was so pumped after 'Desert Rose' and 'Every Breath You Take' that I didn't feel we were leaving the theatre with the adrenalin still pumping. But there was no way that I was going to be disappointed in my first Sting concert. It was everything I had hoped for. I was glad that I knew the set list in advance so I was prepared not to hear some of my favorite songs.

Chris Botti was wonderful - on stage and off. After the show, I slipped by the merchandise table to take a look at things (I'd already ordered my ''souvies'' from Sting.com before the concert so I wouldn't have to drag it all around with me). Chris was sitting on one of the tables signing CDs, so of course I bought one immediately so I could get a signed copy. He was very gracious to everyone and thanked people for coming out for the show. Chris is going to be around for a very long time.

Since I'd purchased tickets during the fan club pre-sale, I really expected that everyone in my section would be fan club members. As you mention, I didn't get the impression there were a lot of fan club people in my area. I guess I figured that if there were club members present, there would be some chatter about it, how and when they got their tickets, etc.

I drove from Nebraska for the show and I noticed a few other Nebraska license plates in the parking garage afterwards. Having passed on Sting's show in Ames four years ago, there was no way I was going to miss him when he was this close to home. I was determined that I was going to see him sometime on this tour!

People have asked how I would describe the concert and I've replied: excellent, professional, classy, perfect! For me the venue was perfect - people were enjoying themsevles and standing on their feet during the rocker numbers, swaying, dancing, singing and having a good time. But I was also glad that we sat down for much of the show also! It was a nice change from the obnoxious fan behavior one encounters at stadium shows. Maybe Sting just has a classier group of fans!

However, now that I've seen Sting, I realize that once is not enough! I'm sure this is the first of what will become many Sting concerts I attend.

(c) sumaree for Sting.com



Sting: This slick pro can still surprise us...

Sting is too much of an old pro and a health nut to seriously falter on stage at this point in his post-Police career.

The seven-piece backup band he brought with him Saturday night to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines was his own hand-picked A-team from around the globe - England, Morocco, Argentina, etc.

And he didn't have to beg the worshipful, sold-out audience of 2,700 to sing 'Roxanne' for him; they belted out the words to Sting's oldest hit as if they were a room full of overeager contestants on ''American Idol.''

Even half-sick he's a smoothie. Sting was still recuperating: It was just his third gig back after a bout with the flu that forced him to scratch a handful of concerts last week. He sipped a cup of tea throughout the night but otherwise appeared robust.

No, what one listens and looks for in a Sting concert at this late date is whether this lithe and charming pop star can reinvigorate himself for his upteenth tour. How does he adapt the heavily produced songs from his latest album, 'Sacred Love', for his live band? What Police and prior solo material does he decide to dust off?

The short answer is that Sting performed all but one song from 'Sacred Love', and most of them did benefit from the looser vibe in concert. He used many of the same musicians who helped record the album, including guitarist Dominic Miller and keyboardists Jason Rebello and Kipper (the man responsible for much of the heavy producing).

One of Sting's two female backup singers, Joy Rose, stepped forward to nail a duet with him on 'Whenever I Say Your Name' - the song whose recorded version with Mary J. Blige won a Grammy earlier this month.

Sting chose only a couple quirky gems from his back catalog: the jaunty 'Englishman in New York' and 'Synchronicity II', which was delivered with a refreshingly direct wallop. He took pains to include the biggest Police hits. He appeared on stage plucking an upright bass to open his set with 'Walking on the Moon', and an easygoing version of 'Every Breath You Take' closed the first encore.

A trio of high-tech video screens hanging at the back of the stage displayed eye-popping visuals throughout the night, from kaleidoscopic patterns to the outlines of naked, writhing bodies.

Sting introduced the title track from 'Sacred Love' as ''a song about religion and sex.'' That could sum up most of his solo career as well as Saturday night's concert - except for the brief anti-war segment.

(c) The Des Moines Register by Kyle Munson

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