14-05-1993 / Las Vegas, NV / Sam Boyd Silver Bowl / USA
• Support act for: The Grateful Dead.
• Attendance: 30,000.
In a period of six weeks Sting played support to The Grateful Dead at 11 stadium shows in six different cities. The idea for this odd combination of acts came about after Miles Copeland and concert promoter John Scher had dinner together. Scher mentioned that the Dead was looking for an opening act and Sting's name came up. Miles recalled: "It was just something that popped out, and I thought, 'Hey, wait a minute, there's something interesting there.' As strange as it sounded at first, there was something intriguing about it."
Scher checked with the Dead, who accepted the idea, and Copeland called Sting. "The first thing he said was, 'What did you say?' Then about five seconds later, he said, 'That sure is a nutty idea, let's do it.'"
Ever since it was announced in February that Sting would open for the Dead, music industry observers have been abuzz. Some saw the pairing as a clever move for Sting, an attempt to tap into the fiercely loyal audience that has made the Dead rock's biggest concert draw over the last decade. Others warned of danger in an industry where perception is often everything.
The Bowl was almost three-quarters filled as Sting walked on stage with his band at 2.00pm. Wearing black overalls with a Deadhead sticker on one leg, he performed the highlights of his usual set.
After opening with If I Ever Lose My Faith In You he said: "This is my first Dead show. Seems fine to me so far."
Until Heavy Cloud No Rain the sky was clear and blue and the heat was blistering. Simultaneously with the song, a cloud cover appeared over the stadium and, within minutes, rain and lightning followed, cooling off the crowd.
Backstage afterward, Dominic appeared relieved: "My worst scenario was there wouldn't be anyone out there. The next was they would just stare and not react. But we felt at home right from the start." Sting, too, was pleased: "I'm surprised at all the talk about why we agreed to do the shows," he said. "They're a great audience. I'm looking forward to the remaining shows." (Los Angeles Times; 17-05-1993).