A Sting Concert Travelogue: The Englishman Who Came to a Concert and Left a Strip Club
[Redactor's Note: This is a truthful account of an event that took place on 26 July 2000. Everything you are about to read actually happened. Facts can be verified with the author's wife.]
My wife, my sister, and I leave home to pick up a friend on our way to the Sting concert.
Return home to pick up forgotten tickets (my fault).
Arrive at friend's house, who lives near venue and will give us directions to the concert.
Unintentionally arrive at airport due to friend telling story about the wedding she attended the night before and hence forgetting to say, "turn left" six blocks earlier. At the venue (where we are not) the concert is beginning. k.d. lang (who insists on not capitalizing her name) is opening for Sting. My wife is excited to see her.
Finally get back on freeway and mindlessly follow crowd of cars we can only assume are also going the concert.
Before finding a parking space, drop off my sister who will pee in the car if she does not get to a bathroom immediately. Also drop off my wife, who wants to catch as much of k.d. lang's show as possible. An interesting phenomenon has taken place: My wife's desire to see k.d. lang as well as her anger toward me for missing that turn have both increased in direct proportion to how late we are for the concert. I mention this phenomenon to my wife and regret it for the rest of the night.
My sister's friend (who deserves a name at this point in the story — it is Kristen) and I wait in line to get into the concert. Once inside, Kristen immediately gets in another line, this one for the women's bathroom. I briefly wonder why the men's bathroom never has a line. At this point, I am unaware that I am about to enter a pornographic show. k.d. lang (who is still not capitalizing her name) finishes, my wife having heard a little less than two full songs. She informs me that she will now conscientiously not enjoy the rest of the concert.
I see a friend who has seats near ours, and he warns me of "the dancing girls." He also complains to me about "Siren Man" seated next to him who screams not like, and I quote, "WOOOOOO," but like a police siren: "WoooooooooOOOOOOooooooooo." Friend's allusion to "Police" siren does not fall on deaf ears.
Sting Comes on Stage
I crawl like a dog across the seats on my row (everyone is standing). I am still unaware that I am entering what could be legally classified as a strip club. I stand in a pool of beer and who knows what else. It is, I believe, eating through the soles of my shoes.
I become painfully aware of "the dancing girls," who occupy the two seats in front of me. Neither is older than 12 — okay, 15 maybe, but at oldest, 16, and that's it, no older — and both are dressed in what they would probably call "hippie" attire. They dance to songs that were written before they were born. I notice that they know the words to "Every Breath You Take" and the chorus of "Roxanne." Stay tuned: their part in the night's drama is not over.
Sting comes over to crowd (I am in the third row) on our side of the stage and a lunatic man hands him what appears to be a half-empty bottle of shampoo with a yellow sticky-note attached to it. The man is immediately beaten by yellow-jacketed security guards, and he cowers back into his seat.
A sixty-year-old woman, sitting directly behind the now-beaten lunatic just mentioned, decides that the stage is a coat rack, walks up and sets down her purse and other various belongings on the corner of the stage. She also is immediately accosted by security. In less than two songs, the same woman will pull off her bra and throw it to no one in particular on the stage — just glad to have the bra off, I surmise.
We are now all wading through a pool of beer and, very possibly, the vomit of a drunken man. A non-drunken man, who, I am assured by my law-school friend standing next to me, is a court bailiff, agrees to buy beer for the dancing girls, but is quickly talked out of it by his wife. He brings them a Coke and a Dr. Pepper.
Maybe Sixth or Seventh Song
Sting shakes his tantric hips at the crowd for the thirtieth time, and raises his outstretched arm — palm up, fingers extended — which the crowd interprets as the cue to go hysterical. My wife screams in my ear as Sting begins to play one of her favorite songs. I am now completely deaf in my right ear, but remain unaware that a porno show is about to begin. In retrospect, I should have guessed it when the bra came off of the sixty-year-old woman.
About Halfway through Concert
Sting curiously picks up the bottle of shampoo, looks at it in wonder, and sets it on top of one of the speakers. Kristen suggests the sticky note on the shampoo is possibly a "message on a bottle." Kristen's allusion does not fall on deaf ears (except my right ear). Sadly, the purpose of the bottle and the attached note is never discovered.
Nearing the Final Songs of the Concert
The adult entertainment begins as the old woman, now braless and dancing on the front row, hikes up her skirt for Dominic Miller, Sting's guitarist. My wife claims that the woman is completely without undergarments, but for my sanity's sake and to prevent permanent emotional scarring, I will forever refuse to believe her. Near this time, the taller and more fully clothed dancing girl, not so much dancing as she is bouncing, makes an unfortunate bounce and ricochets off the chair in front of her and then the one behind her before falling into the now bubbling pool of beer on the floor. She will sit out most of the rest of the concert. We are not displeased. The shorter and less fully clothed girl, however, takes the site of the old woman's bare flesh as her cue to show everyone her chest, which she will do approximately five more times before the night is over.
The First Encore
Sting and the rest of the band run off the stage and then almost immediately back on. It is already clear that they plan to do two encore sets. As is always the case these days, the encore is not a reward for an enthusiastic crowd, but merely a warning that the show is about to end.
The Second Encore
Sting again returns to our side of the stage, only this time he is met by a pair of immature, fifteen-year-old breasts. Fortunately, during these flashings, the girl is directly in front of me and I can only see her getting ready to flash, her hands holding onto the bottom of her midriff blouse, and then the face of the flashee. Sting's expression is one of utter surprise, followed by a look that a disappointed father would give his fifteen-year-old daughter upon discovering her disgraceful behavior. I actually feel sorry for Sting — he has daughters about the age of this girl and I'm sure he hopes they aren't stripping in front of large crowds. At that moment, Sting ceases to be a rock star and turns into an aging father. I recover from this feeling only as he begins to play "Message in a Bottle" by himself on stage (possibly inspired by the shampoo bottle — we'll never know).
Sting plays "Fragile" and my sister's life is complete. We leave for home — scarred and saddened.