Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Come to Cruzan

Some claim that since jettisoning the Police, Sting's music has lost its, well, sting. After all, here's an artist on the front lines of the new-wave rebellion in the late '70s who gradually acquiesced to a mellower template comfortably nestled in adult contemporary.

Like Elvis Costello, another seasoned survivor of that age of insurgency, Sting successfully reinvented himself and expanded his ambitions in the process. When Costello embraced Americana and teamed with Burt Bacharach and Allen Toussaint, Sting roamed alone, freely cherry-picking from jazz, folk, classical, and even vintage music-hall tradition to extend his reach. The news that he's playing with a symphony orchestra may concern those stuck on the former Gordon Sumner's earlier efforts, but the fact that he's now an elder statesman of sorts suggests these sophisticated trappings may suit him well.

Besides, the members of the Royal Philharmonic can hardly be termed slouches, so credit him for going to the expense of bringing them in tow and keeping the ticket prices relatively modest. More important, the billing promises to deliver "his most celebrated songs," so even though it doesn't offer the luster of another Police reunion, it will hopefully be an arresting performance.


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