6:30 p.m. Friday, June 25, at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, 2005 Lake Robbins Dr., The Woodlands, 281-363-3300 or www.woodlandscenter.org.
Platinum albums, screaming fans and three decades' worth of critical and popular acclaim are nothing compared to a show accompanied by an honest-to-God Royal Philharmonic. Of course, Sting's entire career has been on a trajectory to play "black tie and tails" shows just like this, full of pomp and circumstance, oozing seriousness. As the years have passed, Sting's work has shaded out a lot of what brought him fame with the Police — punk angularity and pop immediacy — in favor of mellower arrangements, a sort of sonic austerity and more serious themes. Still, Sting has managed to balance his clear desire to be taken seriously with an equally clear talent for pop songcraft. This tour finds Sting breathing the liveliness of the latter into the rarified air of the former, and this is your chance to see those forces balanced as perfectly as possible. The only question is whether to wear Chucks with your tux.