It was a mild night in the Thousand Palms area of Riverside County, but a storm was brewing and set to hit the region’s newest diamond. Opened in December of 2022, Acrisure Arena is an impressive and majestic structure worthy of great events. This night, Sting was ready to deliver on his My Songs Tour.
The crowd was there early to catch the show at the multi-purpose 10,000-seat indoor arena. Built to accommodate the most rabid of hockey fans, Acrisure was easily converted to support a legend of the world of music.
For his fans of a certain age group, they have followed him since his days with The Police. But his musical accomplishments after that epic band are equally as important and equally as impressive. That is why he has sold out venue after venue after venue of this tour.
The 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was born Gordon Sumner, we know this 71 year-old magician of guitar and song as Sting. The crowd that entered immediately flocked to the merch booths to get close to the living legend.
Opening for this legend was his son, Joe. It was eerie how much his sonic delivery sounded like the elder Sumner. The high and low notes came easily to him and impressed the entire crowd. Playing songs off his just released album, his performance entertained us all and was impressive.
The re-configured Arena was prime and ready to go after a short intermission. The legend finally took the stage to a roaring ovation from the legion of fans that showed up in earnest. The range was incredible, every age group was represented, all nationalities were in attendance. It was a living testament to the power of music proving it has no boundaries engulfs no bias.
Utilizing a headset mic, Sting took his fans on a musical journey 45-years in the making. Opening with “Message in a Bottle,” and as-if he had a magic wand, he turned his older fans into teenagers again.
Like a true showman, Sumner utilized the entire stage. Walking back and forth, font to back, back to front then side-to-side so everyone got a great view of him as he delivered his music. Whether the crowd was dreaming of blue turtles or one Sumner’s tale, the catalog kept everyone on their feet from beginning to end.
With a video of the New York City skyline as his backdrop, the Englishman transported us to the Big Apple as he segued to “Englishman in New York.” It felt like taking a mid-summer’s eve stroll through Central Park.
Then without reservation or pause, he picked it up and rolled into “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic,” then another mega-hit, “If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free.”
Like Springsteen, Sting did what all the greats do; he gave context to the music with a story that drew you into the life and development of each song.
Through his back stories, we came to know that “Fields of Gold” was inspired by the barley fields that surround Sting’s home at his beloved English countryside.
The band was incredibly good. It featured two dynamic and engaging backing vocalists, a harmonic player extraordinaire, a keyboardist, drummer, and guitar god.
With a wink and a smile, Sting led us into “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You,” another crowd favorite, which featured a slight jab at today’s political environment which got a smirk from just about everyone.
Like Bono and U2, his band also featured mastery of the harmonica. Shane Sager killed it to the delight of the crowd. Joe joined the band for “King of Pain,” and the night was perfect as the emotion-felt delivery warmed the hearts of all in the arena.
The band was in full swing by now – “Invisible Sun” was masterfully delivered, while other noteworthy moments included “Walking on the Moon,” and “So Lonely.”
With a skew of hits under their belt, the arena was taken to an even higher plane with “Every Breath You Take.” As he walked off the stage, everyone knew he was not done. The crowd did their part and coxed him back onstage.
He ended the night with an encore that brought down the house with “Roxanne,” followed by “Fragile.”
Everyone in the arena sang long as the night ended as it started, with the energy and emotion that only a true showman can deliver.