Brand New Day
Caen, FRLe Zenith

Sting, between great show and memories...

Saturday night, close to 4,000 people attended Sting's concert at the Zenith. His second tour date after Lille, Caen was able to confirm that this exceptional musician still retains, in spite of his approaching fiftieth birthday, the same energy to the point of transcending some revivals from the Police era. Variations of style and feeling.

The great Sting very rarely makes way for a debut act. To be precise, for Lais, three young and charming Belgian singers, 'a chance to interpret unaccompanied some pieces from their first album written with dream and stress. Stress is essential. That makes you want to be the best on stage.' Some songs in Flemish, a cover of Sinead O'Connor and one other, marvelously interpreted, of Jacques Brel (the great Jacques) sent shivers through the hall.

For the sequel, ever so effortlessly the first intimate bars of 'A Thousand Years' flowed through the Zenith. This first of the 21 songs performed allows a gradual introduction of the ensemble of musicians, Not surprisingly, it's very much a matter of Sting's usual confederates, the ones who collaborated on the whole of his latest album. It's a meeting with quality. Long wall-hangings and coloured beams of light are the stage-setting for the eight musicians.

For the record, Dominic Miller plays a guitar from Caen. The responsible party, of Bonnaventure, Cold Street, very happy to participate in this way in this evening's concern, had to lend him a Fender as an emergency measure.

Manu Katche, the 'Frenchy' of the group, leaves his drummer's seat to take hold of the microphone. He replaces on short notice Ste, the rapper, who performs the French words of 'Perfect Love', an unlikely song from the former leader of the Police.

Sting, who holds down the bass most of the time, also sings. The man is in great form, to the point of winning the duel which pits him musically against the trumpeter. Seven extracts from his recent album alternate with moments from an anthology of 'Roxanne', 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, 'Every Breath You Take' and a very jazzy 'Bring on the Night'/'When the World Is Running Down'. This is happiness.

For the pleasure of every member of this public where two generations sit side by side, the older ones rediscover the melodies of the Police rearranged systematically by this 'eternally unsatisfied' musician. The variations of style, tempo, and feeling are strung like pearls throughout the two hours of the concert. Too short a time, to judge by the intensity of the third call for an encore, to which Sting will not respond. In any case, no one could hold it against him. They would only want to wish good luck to this tour.

(c) Ouest-France by author unknown/Translated by Diane Villani