Nothing Like The Sun

St. Louis, MO, US
Fox Theatre
An arresting evening with Sting...

By now even those fans still hanging onto the last hope of a Police reunion must surely concede that Sting is serious about his musical identity apart from his former rock band. The talented singer and songwriter struck out on his own several years ago to dip into the pool of musical experiences previously untouched by the Police. Based on his performance Friday night at the Fox Theatre, Sting is in no danger of finding the well run dry any time soon.

Touring behind his second 'solo' album, 'Nothing Like The Sun', and bac ked by session players even more versatile than those he brought on the road with him two years ago, Sting continues to improve as an all-around entertainer. He not only writes intelligently and sings expressively, but he puts a little more of his personality into every show. That was no more evident than when the singer-turned-movie star acted out the lyrics to a whimsical tale called 'Englishman In New York'.

On the other hand, the new album's more sobering, introspective moods were equally enticing; one in particular could have been the highlight of the show had it not been for its unfortunate placement in the set. The message behind the hauntingly beautiful 'They Dance Alone (Gueca Solo)' - a song about the practice of Chilean women dancing with the photographs of their missing relatives as a symbolic protest against political imprisonment - was lost on many returning late from intermission. Still, the tune was a memorable one, and with the addition of an upbeat ending to soften the lyrical sadness, a popular one as well.

On the whole, the concert was a masterful arrangement of moods, from the seductively subtle 'Sister Moon' to the rock-intensive cover of the Jimi Hendrix tune, 'Little Wing'. The latter song, capped by a daring guitar solo, was such a departure from the show's reggae, jazz and Latin overtones, the audience seemed stunned, unable to rise from its chairs.

For most of the evening, however, the audience had no difficulty expressing appreciation for the music by dancing, clapping and singing along to songs like 'Roxanne' and 'Message In A Bottle.' In fact, in almost every case it was the older material - 'King of Pain' and 'Don't Stand (So Close To Me)', for example - that emerged the biggest crowd pleasers.

It's obvious that Sting's not burning any of his bridges; he's merely building upon them.

(c) The St. Louis Post-Dispatch by Louise King