Mercury Falling
Jul
05
1997
Aachen, DEKultursommer Festival
With Maria Lux, Duncan Sheik
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Punk or Jazz? Sting fascinates with his legendary mix of style...

The 45 year old, dressed in an sleeveless black shirt, playing the old scratched bass, doesn't care about stereotypes like Rock'n'Roll, Jazz or Punk: ''Each music style is a different language and I speak all of them'', Sting, whose real name is Matthew Gordon Sumner (sic), says. 7,800 paying people, and some hundreds outside, were able to decide for themselves whether this statement was true or not.

Legendary songs like 'Bring On The Night' from his band The Police were rearranged with Piano and Horns into endless jazzy variations. Big, heavy arrangements are followed by light passages. When the rhythm became too complicated a band member helped the clapping crowd to find the right beat again. With his unique voice, the father of six is at his most convincing point when playing the old standards: 'Englishman In New York' and 'Every Breath You Take' took the audience by storm.

And then there is the superb sound: the first rows of the place especially were filled with guitar-pickings from the giant speaker towers when ballads like 'Fragile' were played. On the other side bass and drums gave thousands a stomach massage. For Bocelli (who played some days before Sting) and for Sting there had some extra stage work necessary to change those heavy speaker sets from a standing to a hanging position.

Backstage the star praised the venue: ''Behind Verona and a place in Israel this is the most beautiful place I've played.'' The people in the audience who were furthest from the stage could see little. This was due to the stage being only 150 cm high - the view above the heads of the people standing at the front of the stage end was lost in the 500 lights making up the lighting show. The standing audience showed good stamina though as Sting started his concert late at 9.27pm - right after Maria Lux and Duncan Sheik.

The shimmering name Sting was given to the son of a milkman more than 20 years ago by fellow members of a Jazz/Rock band. He played the bass wearing a yellow/brown sweater and looked like a bee. This fits: the guy is fascinating.

© Aachener Zeitung by Robert Esser/translated by Jörg Zimmerman

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