Broken Music

Missoula, MT, US
Adams Centerwith Phantom Planet
Sting rocks Adams Center in Missoula...

Thousands of fans of all ages flocked to the Adams Center in Missoula last Thursday evening to see someone who is perhaps one of the most recognizable people in rock'n'roll history.

Making his first appearance in Montana, Sting, the former Police frontman, delighted a nearly packed house with a high energy set list which lasted nearly an hour and a half.

''This is the first time I've ever been to Montana,'' the bassist proclaimed, igniting the 5,400 fans in attendance.

Starting off with a bang, Sting and his band charged into some old Police hits, beginning with 'Message In A Bottle', followed by 'Spirits in the Material World' and 'Demolition Man'.

His backup band consists of guitarists Dominic Miller and Shane Fontayne and perhaps one of the most talented drummers in all of rock'n'roll, Josh Freese. Freese is currently the drummer for A Perfect Circle and Devo and was referred to as ''the boy wonder'' by Sting during the introductions.

Wearing a black suit with pinstripes and wielding one of the most beat up basses imaginable, Sting paused after a few songs to kiss the instrument.

The band continued to recreate the hits of the past, as 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' was next on the set list, followed by a touching tribute to Johnny Cash in a magnificent cover of his song 'I Hung My Head'.

Known mainly for his unique and incomparable voice, Sting held the crowd in the palm of his hand.

In recent years, Sting has been known for his adult contemporary style, branching his musical range out to a more mellow genre.

But that sound never really made its way into the venue as the 'The Broken Music Tour' is Sting's tribute to his rockin' roots.

He explained to the crowd that it was important to go back to his roots and that he couldn't do that without mentioning the Beatles. And just as quickly, the band played an incredible cover of the Beatles' 'A Day In The Life'.

Hits like 'Fields of Gold', 'Roxanne', 'Every Breath You Take', and 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' followed, among others, as the band played three encores.

At the end of the show, fans in front showered the stage with roses as the foursome bowed three times and left the stage for good.

Putting in their two cents for the evening was California openers Phantom Planet. Touring behind their mega-successful self-titled sophomore album, Phantom Planet entertained the early arrivals offering up jokes and some great music.

They played an intense and exciting set, although it was much too short lasting only seven or eight songs. At one point, vocalist Alexander Greenwald brought a fan onstage and gave her a tambourine to play, mentioning tongue-in-cheek that the instrument is ''the most important instrument for a rock band.''

The group wrapped up their show with their radio hit 'Big Brat', and 'California', which is the theme song for the show ''The OC.'' As soon as the opening keyboard part from that tune was played, a deafening shriek of screams erupted from the younger female fanbase in attendance, no doubt fans of the television show.

Phantom Planet was definitely worthy of sharing the stage and opening for Sting.

Rarely do you see a musician bridge such a large gap between generations and Sting is one of them. After watching his live show, one can't help but realize why he doesn't need a surname.

(c) Great Falls Tribune by Patrick Douglas

No epinephrine kit needed to handle this Sting: Music legend makes first trip to Missoula...

Music legend Sting was halfway through his first set before he launched into his song, 'Fields of Gold'.

The old-school generation held up their lighters in traditional fashion. The younger fans held their picture phones for light and as a sign of appreciation. But the mixing bowl of long-time and new to the scene music fans paid homage to the pop icon as he performed on campus at the University of Montana Thursday night.

''You'll remember me when the west wind moves / Upon the fields of barley / You can tell the sun in his jealous sky / When we walked in fields of gold.''

With the closing words of the song, the crowd roared loud with applause and screams more so than at any other point in the night. About 5,500 people attended the concert at the Adams Center, leaving fewer than 100 unsold.

To kick off the night, opening act Phantom Planet, loosened the crowd with their new-age California sounds. Although lead singer Alexander Greenwald said there might be only five people in the crowd who are fans of the band, they hoped to leave an impression on everyone. They did. But when over 5,000 people are crammed into one building, waiting to see one man, it's tough to be remembered for long when that man takes the stage.

The instant Sting entered the stage, a current of middle-aged womanly love swept through the Adams Center. Married women, single, actually every female in the house seemed to all make a gasping sound upon his arrival.

This was Sting's first trip to Missoula, he said during the show. In fact, it was his cherry poppin' trip to the state of Montana. After just a few songs, Sting gave his approval of this newfound location. ''Hey,'' he said through the screaming cheers. ''I like this place.''

With a pleasant mix of hard-hitting rock and the soothing melodies Sting is famous for, the audience was mellow yet active. It was kind of like listening to your parents' records, but not leaving you feeling like out-of-date.

Guitarists Shane Fontayne and Dominic Miller can play with anybody in the world. The two men, standing parallel to Sting's shoulders, seemed to energize the man singing the tunes. Drummer Josh Freese, too, was consistent with the rest of the band.

Sting told the Montana crowd that his latest expedition around the country, called The Broken Music Tour, was all about going back to his roots. And, he said, it would be impossible to return to his roots without playing a song in dedication to his favorite band, The Beatles. So, Sting played a song called 'A Day In the Life', out of respect for his fellow Englishmen.

Sting's set lasted just shy of an hour and a half. He cranked out most of the well-known classics, including 'Every Breath You Take', 'Message in a Bottle', 'Roxanne' and 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You'.

The lighting for the show was pinpoint and added to the talent Sting obviously possesses.

The audience was hip, even if the some of them were twice the age of Sting.

The cost of admission was $34.25 to $50.25, and even though the set was not exceedingly overdone, it was worth the price to a see a music legend.

(c) The Montana Kaimin by Joseph Friedrichs