Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Sting at Chastain Park - Concert Review

As you may know, I have had a difficult time judging whether Sting is Advanced. I wrote about it in my book and included one of his songs in a song list I did for the New York Times. But I had never seen him live before, which I thought might be the reason why I felt it so difficult to judge him. So I was excited to find out he was bringing his "Symponicity" tour to Atlanta's Chastain Park. As you will see this concert experience did little to clear up the matter of Sting's Advancement.

I had arranged to borrow my brother's car to get to the show because my wife was out of town with ours. I printed out my ticket at work, put it in my bag, and raced to my brother's house, catching both trains just in time. A perfect start. I got the keys to the car from my sister-in-law, then went out to the back of the house, where the car was parked. His car doesn't have a trunk, so I was worried about leaving my bag in it during the concert, so I cleverly hid it behind a post in the back yard, under the deck, then headed off to the show.

I got there about 35 minutes early, so I was feeling good. As I pulled into one of the last free parking spots, I realized that my clever idea with the bag was actually stupid, because that is where my ticket was. It was going to take me at least 45 minutes to get to the house and back, but I figured he wouldn't start exactly on time. I realized on my way that the car was low on gas, so low that I would have to stop. Five more minutes down. I put $10 in, got to the house, grabbed my ticket, and headed back to Chastain Park.

When I got there again, almost all the parking was taken up, so I drove around and around, killing another 10 minutes. As I drove by, I heard a snippet of "Englishman in New York," which sounded fantastic. As an aside: why do DJs always cut off the end of that song before the "it's a big enough umbrella" line? Anyway, I found a ($15) parking space and ran up a huge hill in the sweltering Georgia heat.

When I arrived at the gate, he was just finishing a beautiful version of "Roxanne." I gave the woman my ticket and asked how long he had been playing. She started to say "not long," but then stopped, looked at my ticket, and revealed to me that it was for the next night's show. I didn't know there were two shows, so I didn't even bother to check. People at the gate all got a good laugh.

The next morning, I woke up feeling a little funny, and by the time I started to go to  work, I realized that I was too sick to drive. There would be no Sting concert for me, and my frustrating relationship would continue.

My rating of the 38 seconds I heard: 4 stars

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