Sting on Royal wavelength at masterful Red Rocks stop reports the Denver Post...

June 10, 2010

At the first of his two Red Rocks concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Sting was a consummate showman and a willful storyteller Wednesday night.

Dressed in black and holding court at the center of Red Rocks' mammoth stage, the rock artist made sure the sold-out audience felt special at this showcase stop of his Symphonicity tour.

Touring with 40-plus musicians from one of the world's most respected philharmonics, he kicked the evening off with an 'If I Ever Lose My Faith in You' that took full advantage of his mammoth backing band - strings, brass, timpani, harp and all. Cable network A&E was in the house with obnoxiously glaring audience lights and plenty of cameras for a later broadcast.

Pairing Sting with the orchestra is brilliant synchronicity on multiple levels. Sure, it sounds great. But the aesthetics of Sting in 2010 backed by a vaunted symphony is a brilliant way to please his audience, which has aged along with him. It also helps justify the ticket cost - $50.50 to $180.50, before fees.

The many Sting fans in the house were treated to a show that impressively covered his hits along with some unexpected album tracks. Outside of 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', his first set was front-loaded with ballads - understandably, given the presentation.

'Englishman in New York' had a gorgeous clarinet throughline and a beguiling, song-ending, amphitheaterwide sing-along of "Be yourself no matter what they say." 'Roxanne' had Sting on acoustic guitar, and the pop hit sounded like a minor-key lounge dirge. Sting didn't flex his upper register too much in the familiar song, but the arrangement - by Rob Mathes, who handled many of the evening's orchestrations - was understated, nuanced and quite pretty.

"There's a reason they're called the Royal Philharmonic," Sting quipped early in the night, acknowledging the musicians behind him. "I borrowed them off the queen."

The orchestra added a certain class to the joint. Sometimes Sting would step aside and into the dark, giving the players a deserved spotlight.

"Russians" took advantage of the bombastic percussion section. 'When We Dance', an overwrought ballad already, didn't benefit much from the orchestra's presence. But 'I Hung My Head' was a stunning study in contrasts with a more traditional Sting-drummer-guitarist moment blooming into a full-blown symphonic bash.

© The Denver Post by Ricardo Baca

See photos at The Denver Post


Jun 9, 2010

We are pleased to announce that Sting's long-time percussionist, Rhani Krija, has been added to the Symphonicity Tour starting tonight, June 9th at Red Rocks in Denver, Colorado...

Jun 8, 2010
Neda Agha-Soltan was a young woman living in Iran - a student, who was shot in the street by government militia for participating in peaceful protests against the disputed election of Mahmoud Ahmadenijad. Our goal is to tell this story to the world and to make a statement of solidarity with the people of Iran in favor of the human rights that Neda has come to represent. Please join me along with Amnesty International and view the video that was created for this project...