Sting, Paul Simon and Van Hollen’s First Album

Photograph by Andrew Francis Wallace/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Sting and Paul Simon perform at the Air Canada Centre on March 1, 2014.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, escaped what he’s calling the “kangaroo court” atmosphere in Congress to see a Sting and Paul Simon concert last night.

“Simon and Garfunkel was my first album,” he said with a smile, maybe not realizing how the statement dated him.

The British rocker, formerly of the Police, and the folksy Simon did the Strathmore gig ahead of their concert tonight at the Verizon Center, part of a national tour.

Last night’s concert raised a record $1.2 million for the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

“What are you guys doing tomorrow night?,” Sting asked the students who performed with him on classics such as “Englishman in New York” and “Bridge over Troubled Water.”

Sting and Simon, both politically active, eschewed the temptation to get on soap boxes during the show, a usual occurrence when musicians come to town.

Instead, Sting praised Simon as “a teacher and mentor.”

He sang a beautiful rendition of  “America,” saying it made him feel nostalgic about his first exposure to the U.S. in his twenties.

Before the concert, a VIP reception was held in a tent nearly blown away by last night’s rain and wind, sending tables, glasses, and cutlery crashing.

The tent was evacuated. None of the other political guests, including Rep. Jim Moran, a Virginia Democrat, were hurt.

But the cupcakes were demolished.

 

 

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