NEW YORK — At 65, Sting shows no signs of slowing down and he's bringing his show to St. Louis. Sting is scheduled to appear in St. Louis, February 17th at the Pageant, in University City.
The prolific British megastar traversed North America this past summer on a joint tour with Peter Gabriel and reopened the Bataclan in Paris over the weekend, one year after terrorists killed concertgoers and others around the city. Now, he's back with his first pop/rock album in more than a decade, 57th & 9th (out now), which he'll support on a world tour launching Feb. 1 in Vancouver. The three-month trek includes North American, European and U.K. shows, with additional dates in Asia and South America to be announced.
Photos: Sting on stage
Photos: Sting on stage
"I'm a little deaf and I wear reading glasses, but you know, I'm wearing pretty well," says Sting, looking trim in a wine-colored sweater as he lounges in his plush Manhattan penthouse overlooking Central Park. Fresh off a morning swim, he brushes off any qualms about touring at his age because it's actually "very regimented. One of the reasons I like it is because you don't have to do much thinking; it's kind of a holiday from the mind. Then when I finish touring, I have to face the blank page again."
It's a position the former The Police frontman found himself in early this year as he started writing 57th & 9th, named for the Hell's Kitchen street corner near where he recorded his 12th studio effort. "The idea was to make the album quickly and in one place," says Sting, whose manager slapped a tight three-month deadline on the project. "Artificially reintroducing that pressure gave the album a kind of urgency it wouldn't have had otherwise."
After diversions into classical music (2006's Songs From the Labyrinth), holiday songs (2009's If on a Winter's Night...) and musical theater (2013's The Last Ship), 57th & 9th finds the singer/songwriter on the familiar avenue of rock 'n' roll, recalling his blithe Police days with shrieking electric guitars (Petrol Head) and distorted vocals (I Can't Stop Thinking About You). But the album hits its stride on weightier tracks such as One Fine Day, about climate change, and Inshallah, a version of which (included on the deluxe edition) he recorded with Syrian refugee musicians while in Berlin.
With Inshallah, "I'm not offering any political solution to the crisis; the crisis is not going away tomorrow," he says. But "if there is a solution, it can only be rooted in empathy or acceptance. I don't think building walls is in any way effective. It'd be ludicrous to do that."
The most stirring of the record's 10 tracks is 50,000, which he was inspired to write this spring after the successive deaths of legendary musicians including Prince, David Bowie, the Eagles' Glenn Frey, and Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister.
"There's a child in all of us that looks at cultural icons and goes, 'How could they die?' Because we've invested this sort of godlike immortality to them," Sting says. "50,000 is from the point of view of someone who's been there watching his friends die and facing his mortality. Mortality is something that once accepted, it's not morbid. If anything, it makes your life richer — at least, that's the philosophy I'm developing as I speak to you.
"I'm not ready to die at all; I've still got work to do," he continues. "But an acceptance of it for all of us is a useful thing, because that's the reality."
Sting embarks on his 57th & 9th Tour in North America, Europe and the U.K. next spring with supporting acts Joe Sumner and The Last Bandoleros. Pre-sale tickets go on sale to Sting.com fan club members Nov. 15 and Citi cardmembers Nov. 17; general on-sale begins Nov. 18. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit sting.com and livenation.com.
Feb. 1 – Vancouver, Commodore Ballroom
Feb. 2 – Portland, Theater of the Clouds at Moda Center
Feb. 5 – San Francisco, The Masonic
Feb. 8 – Los Angeles, Palladium
Feb. 11 – Rancho Mirage, Calif., Agua Caliente Casino
Feb. 14 – Denver, Fillmore Auditorium
Feb. 16 – Kansas City, Mo., Uptown Theater
Feb. 17 – St. Louis, The Pageant
Feb. 19 – Austin, ACL Live at The Moody Theater
Feb. 20 – Dallas, Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
Feb. 22 – New Orleans, UNO Lakefront Arena
Feb. 23 – Houston, Smart Financial Centre
Feb. 25 – Miami, Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theatre
Feb. 27 – Atlanta, Tabernacle
Feb. 28 – Nashville, Municipal Auditorium
March 2 – Minneapolis, Myth
March 3 – Chicago, Aragon Ballroom
March 5 – Toronto, Rebel
March 6 – Montreal, Metropolis
March 8 – Boston, House of Blues
March 9 – Uncasville, Conn., Mohegan Sun
March 11 – Philadelphia, Fillmore
March 12 – Washington, D.C., The Theater at MGM National Harbor
March 14 – New York, Hammerstein Ballroom
Europe and U.K.:
March 21 – Barcelona, Sant Jordi Club
March 23 – Milan, Fabrique
March 25 – Hamburg, Sporthalle
March 27 – Warsaw, Torwar
March 29 – Stuttgart, Porsche-Arena
March 30 – Zurich, Samsung Hall
April 1 – Luxembourg, Rockhal
April 2 – Brussels, Forest National
April 4 – Dusseldorf, Mitsubishi Electric Halle
April 5 – Amsterdam, Heineken Music Hall (as of Jan. 1, AFAS Live)
April 7 – Manchester, Manchester O2 Apollo Eventim Apollo
April 9 – London, Hammersmith
April 12 & 13 – Paris, Olympia