Brand New Day
Jun
06
2001
Copenhagen, DKTivoli
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Sting secured a working victory in Tivoli...

Sting has become a musical safety airbag. But he remains a sympathetic songwriter and performer, and the singer became the hero of the day in a crowded Tivoli. We were a few concertgoers wanting to see the national football team limp towards a victory against Malta, before going in express-speed to Tivoli.

The result was obviously enough complete chaos in the old garden of Mr. Carstensen, where the evenings main attraction - the British Sting - for many appeared as half a man, who from time to time appeared under the stage roof far, far away.

A few of the attendees even had to settle for listening to the music from behind the stage, and the music was even drowned out in roaring Roligans (Danish soccer-fans, Red) with tributes to Ebbe Sand on their vocal chords, loud talking - for instance in mobile phones - or constant ''sorry, coming through''.

It's safe to say it wasn't the optimum setting for a musical appreciation, and it's even tempting to see the whole thing as an example of a carnivalisation of rock and pop, where the music becomes an excuse for having a party and letting the beer flow.

But Tivoli is still a fantastic place for an open-air concert. And Sting did his. Even though the concert itself could from time to time remind us of the working victory of the national team earlier in the evening. As always he was surrounded by a technically brilliant band, and they started out with party version of 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free' from the 1985-masterpiece 'The Dream Of The Blue Turtles'. Despite a lot of solo-albums, Sting has never surpassed that chapter - or a memorable Police album like 'Synchronicity'.

There is too much comfortable airbag-safety and musical repetitions in the expression of the romantic, who still, with his poetic ambition and melodic genius, remains a meaningful character on the music scene.

In Tivoli the romantic had a home court advantage, and we were reminded of his song writing qualities in the oddly cut chorus of 'Seven Days', the poetic 'Fields Of Gold' and the orientally humming 'Desert Rose'. All of them songs from Sting's 1990s-period, but songs like 'After The Rain Has Fallen' are less sparkling from the British songwriter, who could also have left the tame country of 'Fill Her Up' at home (both numbers from the 1999-album 'Brand New Day').

The old Police-hits were of course particularly appreciated, and the audience got a beautifully ascending rendition of the good old Red Light District-romance 'Roxanne', plus the immortal 'Every Breath You Tak'e with a fat bass groove.

'Message In A Bottle' was also strong in a stripped-down acoustic version, where a united Tivoli-audience sang along with a song with loneliness as its subject - and it was both a curious and moving moment. 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' was a good nostalgic trip, but the main attraction was to be the dramatic vampire-tale in 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' - here in a frisky jazzy rendition - plus in particular, the closing number 'Fragile'.

This acoustic ballad from the solo-album '...Nothing Like The Sun' (1987) sounds like a modern evergreen with its colossal melodic strength and a reminder of life's frailty.

So despite all the confusion, pushing, noise - and the onset of an almost pure greatest hits-show - Sting provided a great soundtrack for a midsummer nights dream Wednesday in a crowded Tivoli.

(c) The Internetavisen Jyllands-Posten by Anders Houmoller Thomsen/translated by Carl Gjerdrum

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