John Labatt Centre, London, Ont. - July 21, 2010
From rock 'n' roll to Latin soul, Sting kept fans guessing Wednesday night at the John Labatt Centre.
And the former Police front man wasn't alone.
''I've got the biggest band I've ever had in my life,'' the UK artist said, before jumping into his solo hit Englishman in New York.
Backed by the famous Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra (RPCO), Sting played a wide range of revamped tunes spanning his early Police days to his more recent solo ventures - and more than 4,000 fans piled into the JLC to watch.
Starting the show off on a slower note with 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You', things quickly picked up when Sting took fans back to 1977 with the Police hit 'Everything Little Thing She Does is Magic'.
Conducted by Steven Mercurio, the RPCO jazzed up the punky pop tune with its sweeping string arrangements and punchy brass section.
Indeed, the RPCO breathed new life into many of Sting's famous hits Wednesday night, raising the multi Grammy winning artist's music to a new level. His 1993 solo single 'Shape Of My Heart' was given a Latin-infused makeover, opening with a sultry guitar solo by long-time friend and guitar player Dominic Miller. With the stage lights dimmed red, the orchestra swept in a short time later with a sexy salsa sound, while Sting dolled out lyrics about a lone card player.
A group of women sitting near the front of the stage leapt to their feet after Sting, looking demure in tight black pants and tuxedo jacket, finished 'When We Dance'.
''I think there are only two kinds of love songs. There's the 'I love you and you love me' song, but that's kind of boring. But then there's the 'I love you, but you love somebody else' song, and this one is the latter,'' Sting said before diving into the sultry ballad.
The RCPO and the 58-year-old Englishman kept spicing things up, from the country-inspired' I Hung My Head' - which Sting said he was honoured to have had covered by the late Johnny Cash - to the spunky Police number 'Next to You'. With Sting playing guitar and swinging his hips like Elvis, the early Police classic brought out the energetic young star who fans fell in love with more than 30 years ago.
The highlight of the night, though, had to be the politically charged song 'Russians', which Sting wrote in 1984 after watching a Soviet Union early-morning children's cartoon. The stage lights glowed a deep crimson, and black and white images filled the video screens above the stage, as the orchestra played a booming, heart-racing interlude, which became so intense it felt like the JLC might explode, before Sting began to sing.
Fans sang loudly and danced wildly to Police classic 'Every Breath You Take' and solo effort 'She's Too Good For Me', before leaping to their feet to bid the rocker adieu at the end of the show.
''It's great to be here in London - Ontario,'' Sting told the crowd.
(c) Jam Showbiz by Alex Weber