Sting shows why he is an iconic superstar with a sold-out show on his 57th and 9th Tour. He is accompanied by his son, Joe Sumner.

When rock royalty performs, the venue sells out quickly. Both loyal and curious fans fill the Verizon Theatre to see Sting and are treated to an amazing evening of classic rock music.

Sting walks out to open the show and sings “Heading South On The Great North Road.” It is a personal song about leaving his hometown with $5 and the phone number of Stewart Copeland. The rest is music history.

He then introduces his son, Joe Sumner, who plays a short acoustic set. He has his father’s passion and drive for performing.

After a short break, Sting then walks onstage and dives straight into “Synchronicity II” to a standing and cheering audience. The roar keeps on going for another Police song, “Spirits In The Material World.”

Mr. Sumner plays his hits with The Police, his solo hits, and several songs from 57th And 9th, the latest of his 17 top 25 albums. He is just as comfortable playing his new songs as he is singing songs from earlier in his career.

The fans love “Englishman In New York” and “I Can’t Stop Thinking About You.” Some have not yet heard “Down, Down, Down” or “Petrol Head,” but they instantly take to the well-written songs. All have the distinctive musical beat that he has made his own. The songs include phenomenal guitar and bass solos by the father and son team of Dominic and Rufus Miller, respectively.

A few more Police songs, many of them staples on classic rock stations, thrill the crowd. He turns “Message In A Bottle” into a long jam after the audience sings the refrain with him. Joe then returns to the stage for a David Bowie tribute and delivers a stirring version of “Ashes To Ashes” to honor the late Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Joe’s father comes back to center stage and leads the crowd on “Walking On The Moon” with its fan-friendly singalong lyrics. “So Lonely” is another fan favorite and is punctuated by fierce guitar licks and a driving beat by drummer John Freese. The 16-time Grammy Award winner then orchestrates the audience like a maestro for the Arabic beat of “Desert Rose.”

The sold-out theatre patrons respond as soon as the lighting turns red as they know “Roxanne” is next. He uses his entire vocal range as an instrument and the crowd become a unified chorus for the hit song. The red light changes to blue and he segues into “Ain’t No Sunshine” before the light and the song revert back. Sting waves to the cheering crowd as he leaves for a short break.

Everyone quickly comes back to the stage to give the fans what they came to see and hear. “Next To You” takes the crowd back to the 80s with its rocking vibe and takes off when Sting starts the “repeat after me” addition to the song.

The eruption for “Every Breath You Take” is monstrous. Every person knows every word and sings it with all the enthusiasm they can muster. Although he has sung it countless times, Sting seems to enjoy singing it again and obviously enjoys entertaining his loyal fans. It turns into another jam session that lasts several minutes and has the crowd singing, dancing, and playing air guitar.

The 2003 Hall of Fame inductee (with The Police) comes back for a second encore by himself. He talks of the inspiration for the next song, the beheading of journalist Jim Foley, from a father’s point of view. The Oscar-nominated “The Empty Chair” is intense and the crowd give it the reverence it deserves.

The show is over much too soon, but it shows why Sting has sold over 100 million albums in his career. The 21-song set includes many of his 27 top 25 singles. He couldn’t sing them all, but he performs an ideal blend of old and new.

Sting will continue his tour, nationally and internationally, through the end of July. If possible, catch the superstar when he comes to a venue near you.

Special thanks to Ryan Brandon at Verizon Theatre for his help.

Joe Guzman was on hand to record the event for National Rock Review.

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Joe Sumner
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Verizon Theatre
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Event Date: 20-FEB-2017