September 02 2023 words by Dan Rozman, photos by Mark Raker

Under the beautiful moon and illuminated trees of Wolf Trap Filene Center, Sting delivered an energetic 20-song set on September 2nd as part of the North American leg of his My Songs Tour. As usual, the total experience including the sound at Wolf Trap, the only U.S. National Park dedicated to the performing arts, was excellent both in the Filene Center and on the lawn. 

Kicking off the second of two sold-out shows, opener and son Joe Sumner primed the crowd with his own blend of rock and electronica, including his new song “Love Life” set for release on September 8th.

Joe Sumner opened the show

At 8:45 PM, Sting took the stage and transported the audience back through decades of hits alongside guitarist Dominic Miller, drummer Zach Jones, and keyboardist Kevon Webster.

Launching with the iconic The Police track “Message in a Bottle,” Sting had the crowd on their feet instantly singing along. He kept the energy up with staples like “Englishman in New York” and a rousing rendition of “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” that harkened back to his heyday with The Police. 

Check out the full gallery of photos from this show here.

Sting displayed impressive versatility, easily shifting from reggae-tinged jams to soulful ballads. Standout moments included Melissa Musique who shined during solo parts of “Heavy Cloud No Rain,” a smooth “Shape of My Heart” where Gene Noble showed off his vocal range, and a stirring version of “Fields of Gold” that showcased Sting’s unparalleled voice as he reminisced about the barley fields near his home that inspired the song. The setlist deftly balanced classics like “Walking on the Moon” and “King of Pain,” the latter featuring Joe Sumner, with newer tracks off his album The Bridge.

Before “Brand New Day,” Sting playful ribbed harmonica player Shane Sager that he couldn’t match the proficiency of Stevie Wonder’s original playing, but Sager, with 15 years of experience, impressed the crowd with his talent. The Filene Center was filled with fans on their feet dancing during the uplifting track. 

Sting entertained all night with stories, like dedicating “Why Should I Cry for You” to his father who told him to make something of himself and see the world. For the encore, Sting joked he never knows what the crowd wants to hear and then played a blistering rendition of “Roxanne” which left the crowd buzzing. Though decades into his career, this concert proved Sting remains a riveting showman and a true legend. While he ended the show with “Fragile” which he described as something quiet and thoughtful, it’s likely the audience was still rocking out to classics like “Roxanne” all the way home.


Message in a Bottle
Englishman in New York
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
If You Love Somebody Set Them Free
If I Ever Lose My Faith in You
Loving You
Fields of Gold
Brand New Day
Heavy Cloud No Rain
Shape of My Heart
Why Should I Cry for You?
All This Time
Mad About You
Walking on the Moon
So Lonely (With Snippet of No Woman No Cry)
Desert Rose
King of Pain (with Joe Sumner)
Every Breath You Take


From the video channel of Clubdoc

Check out the full gallery of photos from this show here.

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