Thanks Wendy, Dave and Tina for another remarkable gift to Sting.com members! Marym, my BFF, was a lucky winner of a pair of tickets to see Sting in Newark last night and she took me as her "date." We were sooooo happy to be there! Sting was with his band mates, Dom (of course), Vinnie, Jo, and a rather gray David Sancious. Sting is now sporting very short hair - shorter than we like (you aren't bald yet, sweetie), but looked amazing, as usual - those blue eyes! He also sounded quite great, as you have read. We'd describe the night as "The Best of Sting and the Police," with great renditions of songs like "Englishman in NY," "Seven Days," "Bring on the Night" and "If you Love Somebody, Set them Free," (which Mary and I had not heard live before, so very cool) as well as "Wrapped Around your Finger," "Synchronicity II" and "King of Pain."
While our male Sting.com counterparts have apparently become a bit obsessed with Jo's skinny jeans, I have to say that Mary and I were rather focused on the jeans or lack of jeans worn by Dom. In another of "firsts" for Mary and me, Dom was not wearing his tried and true black jeans, but rather loose-fitting grey pants of some sort. Has anyone ever seen Dom in anything other than black jeans? Well, he must have been feeling cheeky last night - or have forgotten his own clothes (like the time during the Sacred Love tour when Dom's clothes were missing and he donned Sting-brand Yoga attire, later to learn the items were actually from the women's clothing line). Dom was his usual great self, though, and played a great guitar riff during "King of Pain" that Sting just loved. Funny moment of the night was when our dear ( "you gotta love him") Sting introduced "I'm So Happy" with the same line he (normally) uses to introduce "Hung My Head, by talking about the "late, great" - (not Johnny Cash but) Toby Keith! Sting caught himself, though by saying Toby is quite still alive!
All in all, the show was great. We would love to have a "Stingchronicity" show just llke it for months to come. Hear that, Sting? Huh
Best part of the evening - hanging with our fellow Sting.com friends in our box. We could - and did - sing, stand and dance, all night long and no one told us to sit down. We rocked the joint! None of us needed Suite food and beverages - Sting is Soul Food! Great to see JohnnyJumpstart, Tommie, Wanda, Luuk, Sue and Carter, as well as others. Thanks, Sting.com for being the best Fan Club - EVER!
Margie (Gertie7) and Mary (Marym)
It's the mark of any great performer that they can play a two hour set full of great material, hits and rarely played gems and not only leave you wanting more, but have the capacity to deliver it. Last night's set was one number shorter than Cleveland's but how can you complain? Those of you who managed tickets through your membership with Sting.com and those of us who lucked out through other resources got to see a spectacular evening of music for free! Not only was the show itself free, but a visit to the concession stand for anything on the menu didn't leave our wallets any lighter. How often does that happen? Did anyone try any of those cleverly named drinks? Not being a fan of the hootch, I stuck with the Heavy Cloud, No Rain Medium Pepsi. So, it's been a few years since most of us have seen Sting strap on the bass and rock our collective socks off. It's been even longer since we've heard him pull out gems like 'The Hounds of Winter' and 'Seven Days'. The lineup of last night's show was stellar. While I may often seem to focus on Jo Lawry's looks amid the constant posts on chest hair, I hope you won't begrudge me that diversion, as the woman does make my eyeballs feel nice, she brings far more than window dressing to the stage. Her vocal work clearly complements Sting's efforts, and it was great to see that holds just as true in a rock setting as it does in the more sedate Symphonicities and ...Winter shows. Whatever the reason, perhaps through new vocal training techniques, I'd say Sting's own voice has improved since Jo has joined the proceedings. Vinnie's drumming - modest, but powerful. Adventurous, but precise. Dominic's guitar work - what can be said that we haven't been saying for years? and David's work on the keys? Phenomenal. If one has an inclination to complain about anything witnessed last night, it'd be the crowd. Is it really that difficult to hold your bladder for two hours and watch the event you're there for and not constantly get up and go to the bathroom? Are we Americans falling behind the Japanese on that front as well? Is it too much to expect that you watch and listen to the concert and not converse throughout? Granted, people go to concerts for different reasons, whether it's to watch and listen to our favorite band or dance in the aisles, but I don't think those reasons should include having loud and annoying conversations about nothing. Ok, I'm feeling a bit catty this morning, due in part to lack of sleep, so I too will shut up. Looking forward to reading what other folks thought about the show.
Sting was REALLY trying last night. I think with David and Vinnie in the band he was inspired to put on a great show, which he certainly did! I believe part of the problem with the American Express crowd was that everybody feasted on free food & drink before the show. I've never seen so many people in my life walking around with french fries! It was a different type of seating for us fan clubbers last night in that instead of being close to the stage, our seats were in 2 luxury boxes which made you feel a bit isolated from the rest of the crowd. It staggers my mind as to how much money American Express shelled out to rent Sting, the venue & cover all the alcohol & food at this event. 'Houndss Of Winter' was a standout for me in the setlist, and it was a treat to see 'I'm So Happy' get dusted off again. Sting thanked American Express for the opportunity to get "his band" back together for the first time in a long while. I wish this band lineup were doing the gigs coming this summer. Thanks to our steller Sting.com team for making the night possible!
Thank you sincerely to Tina Dave and Wendy. Your names were toasted with gusto in the post-show bar party in an assembly of very grateful Sting.com pals, including Erin, the lovely Sheila from Chicago, Maria, Pam, Phyllis, Susan, Wanda, Marjorie, Mary, Luuk, Susie Sue, and the inimitable Carter. To you, Tina, Dave and Wendy, for your ongoing dedication to ensuring we have a great night of Sting music, sharing stories and memory, we remain grateful.
"Saw my lawyer...Mr Good News, he got me... free admission... & lux accomodations..."
Thanks to sir Johnny of Jumpstart, the great counselor from New York, I had a blast, last night. Huge thanks to you, John. I cannot wait to repay your kindness.
With the "hounds of winter, howling in the wind" outside, we met near the Prudential Center, had a moment to say hello to Shawn, and found our way to what seemed like the only open restaurant nearby called "Brick City."
So: would we have a pre-show burger? Would AMEX spring for food and drink for a crowd more than twice the size of Cleveland? Would there be a local guest sharing the stage? And finally, with nearly 20,000 seats, would we be off the stage, a few rows up, to the right of left?
Answers: Yes, yes, no, and no.
After a quick meal, we hit the box office, again running into Shawn, who said "Section 2"
I had forgotten that he scored these seats through some suit's recycle bin, and thought we'd be sitting near him...
Johnny's tickets said, "Section 139. " Sounded "high" and "far." And it didn't appear on the venue map.
"That's because it's a luxury box," said the usher.
I guess we can deal with that...
Our pace quickened, looking for our box, especially as we peered into the 120s and then 130s: Trays and trays stacked and covered in plastic. Steak. Sandwiches. Sushi. Snacks. Sodas. Stoli to Stella stacked to the nines. Each box had its own assortment of food and drink. What would we find in ours?
Zip. Empty and dry, but for a sink and some plastic cups.
"You were given a free ticket. You're not really thinking about COMPLAINING about this, are you? Did you pay in ADVANCE for any food, like the ACTUAL OWNERS of the luxury boxes did? And besides, you just ate dinner!" -- I said to myself. Count your blessings, bro...
The other winners sat in box 103, directly across from us, where I met the great and powerful Carter. His box had similar accommodations, except I learned later that they were able to score some steak and deserts from the empty box next door(!) Can you imagine what must have happened to order food in a luxury box for a Sting concert -- and not show up? I hope that all is well with that unlucky crew...
A few minutes Luuk arrived, and we realized the box would end up being a golden ticket of sorts: unobstructed sightlines from wide, cushy leather seats. We'd be hanging together with other Sting.com-ers. Best of all: We'd be able to stand, sing, and dance, with plenty of room, and without any guilt or fear of people yelling us. This was huge, and added a great amount of enjoyment to the night. This is a close second to being in the front of a venue.
So we headed down to the free bar. That's where there was ample free food and free drink. We met up with Erin, Sheila, and some AMEX-ers.
As far as the music, the band was as expected: great, and seemed to inspire the best artistic side of Sting. Voice was in perfect form. "Bring on the Night" -- he sounded as good as he's ever sounded, as he hit all the high notes, the way he did when the movie came out. And a nice surprise was "Set Them Free" at a funkier, slower pace. Johnny and I led the backup-crowd during "Heavy Cloud, NO RAIN!" More than once, Johnny said, "There's only 2 boxes of fans that really know these songs..."
Shawn's description of the music captured the night's tunes better than I could.
The only down point for me I didn't get to "buy" Angie a free "Roxanne." I didn't even see the "specialty" drinks. Hope Angie got to enjoy one.
Johnny had a long drive so he bolted right away.
Lastly the remaining Sting.com-ers ended the night back at Brick City, where we shared a few drinks and good tales of our hero. Special thanks to Erin, who saved me a trip on NJ Transit and dropped me off on her way home.
Sting fix: complete.
Thanks again for the chance to connect with the best fans of the best artist through the best website run by the best trio.
Thank you very much to Sting.com, Tina, Dave, Wendy for another great night of Sting! Loved the show... can't add much more to what others have posted. I thought the band sounded great! I was the lucky one to get the setlist from the stage and just wanted to say that everything was played exactly as shown on the setlist, except 'Fragile', which was supposed to also be played, as the last song and this was not the case. Someone mentioned 'Desert Rose', but it was not on the setlist. Highlights for me were 'Heavy Cloud, No Rai'n and 'When We Dance'. I also agree that the audience was kind of blah, but again, most of them were probably not hardcore Sting fans, so, while not ideal, it was understandable. Also wanted to say it was great to meet other fan club members and swap Sting stories at the Brick City Grille after the show! Hope to see you all again at the next show!