There was a lack of middle age white men roaming around Los Angeles last night. They were all at Sting’s second performance as part of the CITI Sound Vault series at The Palladium, Hollywood.
All jokes aside, Sting was awesome — in fact, anyone who can sing for another 30 years after his ‘peak’ and still have an impressive voice is pretty cool. Although, he stood in the same place for the whole show, only to sit down for the last song…
Pulling up to The Palladium, the line was not only out the door, but it continued for two full city blocks. T-shirts were (of course) already being sold outside the doors to people in line and street performers were blasting various songs by The Police in hopes to get extra tips.
The first opener was a guy that so closely resembled Sting that audience members may have thought that they arrived late for the show. However, it turned out to be his son, Joe Sumner. It was a one-man show for Joe — just him and his guitar, serenading us with his voice. The audience got excited when he hit the high notes, while the rest of the time, they got their buzz on waiting for Sting.
The second opener was a high energy Tex-Mex group; they even featured an accordion player in their band. Sting loved them. For their last song, he even came out and performed as a guest vocalist…very casual and surprising.
Opening his set with “Synchronicity II,” Sting came on stage to a medium tempo, reggae-inspired hit. Being super supportive of his opening bands, he brought them on stage for his whole set to perform as back up vocalists. He even brought the accordion player out again as a guest instrumentalist on “Spirits In The Material World.”
Between songs, Sting did not hesitate to touch on relevant political topics such as climate change and Toby Keith, while he hinted at poor governmental leadership without mentioning any names. All attendees of the show also received a surprise history lesson on 19th century British pop. According to Sting and his research, music at that time commonly discussed cross-dressing with women dressing as men to get into the army. He was so compelled by this idea that he wrote a song about it: ‘Pretty Young Soldier’.
Of course, Sting performed the big hits (“Roxanne” & “Every Breath You Take”), but to everyone’s collective surprise, he did not end with these songs. Instead, he chose to end on “The Empty Chair,” a song off of his new album 57th & 9th nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song. After this solo performance, Sting took one final bow with his band.
All in all, it was a great night and a great performance. It seems as if we have not heard the last from Sting.