SHOW REVIEW

Noble pop for employees - Sting not in good voice, even so fans were pleased...

A quite considerable part of the attention of Mr. Sumner from Newcastle is meant for love and the physical activities, which are inevitably connected with it. The clever pop star can devote himself, as people are saying, to the play with the opposite sex up to 5 hours. However, at his concert in the sold out ''Seidensticker hall'' Sting didn't spend much time on the curtain-raiser.

After the atmospheric opener 'A Thousand Years' from the current album the cosmopolitan with a weakness for the rescue of the environment turned quickly to longer gone decades : 'Set Them Free' from the probably agilest creative phase of the British man. Skilfully complicated metres of jazz music meet melodies, which have got what it takes to become really popular. A not always creative alliance.

Sting's presence on stage is tremendous, but the current songs of the ex-teacher become a bloodless exhibition of high-calibre songwriting. That's why it's not quite surprising that the audience certainly applauds properly, but they don't respond wholeheardedly. Sometimes it's just the tasteful sets of gliding material and perfectly placed lights, which lend the songs spatial deepness.

The first time everything passes off well is when Sting plays 'Fields of Gold', 'Moon over Bourbon Street', 'Roxanne' and of course 'Englishman in New York'. Now and then there's amazing craft, an experienced band (maybe too experienced?) and single Sting highlights. To top it all he's not in good voice. His head voice is not clear and songs from jazz, rock, popmusic and algerian Rai peter out in calculated playfulness.

But playing 'Brand New Day' or older songs he puts everything together to a springy unity, the audience sings along and has visible fun. 'The Message in a Bottle' becomes a little triumph of the past, when Sting reaches the apex, just with a croaking voice and his melodious acoustic guitar.

Finally 'Fragile' - it was as expected, not overwhelming. And for the loveplay Mr. Sumner probably takes more time...

(c) Lippische Landes Zeitung by Thomas Hagen

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