Brand New Day
Munich, DEOlympiahalle

King of pop got the crowd really going...

To kick off his German tour, Sting, the king of pop, got the Munich crowd really going. Even though temperatures outside of the sold out Olympiahalle were way below zero, the 48 year old englishman melted his audience from the first bars on.

As always, thematically, the 'Brand New Day' - tour revolves around love, passion and the many facets of life. Without a warm-up act or any special effects, the former leader of the Police gets right down to the point. Accompanied by an excellent band and enhanced by a subtle but effective light show, Sting gives to his more that 10,000 fans in the auditorium what they like best. All the oldies - from 'Moon Over Bourbon Street and 'Roxanne' up to 'Englishman in New York' - make the crowd cheer, wave lighters and sing along.

Recently, Sting, who was born in Newcastle as Gordon Matthew Sumner, said in an interview that he had ''no more ambitions in life, except for the wish of being happy.'' Still, it seems as if he has kept the ambition to make good music, and in Munich, he instantly made the fans of his more straightforward songs, as 'Every Breath You Take' or 'All This Time' happy.

On an non-musical level, the communication with the Bavarian audience remained very limited. ''Wie geht's, gut ja (How do you feel, good, right?)'' was everything Sting had to say. Instead of many words, the once fighting socialist and radical environmentalist turned family father presented his many-sided music - from rock to jazz elements - that made the 110 minute concert pass like in a flash.

Apparently, the 48 year old musician and songwriter has also learned how he should treat the ears of an audience in a sports arena. The volume of the sound and the sound itself was well adapted to the constraints of the venue in a way that we've rarely heard.

Of course, also a few bars of ethno-pop are present in the repertoire of the former English and P.E. teacher. A mixture of north African-oriental sounds with the trademark Sting guitar sound. Surely, this wasn't to everybody's liking. At the end of the night, a cheering crowd saw the impressive finale with sparklers, lighters and 'Message In A Bottle' from ten thousand sore vocal chords.

(c) BZ auf Drahtby author unknown/translated by Michael Podvinec

Hearing and feeling straight away - Sting at the Olympiahalle...

No question, Gordon Sumner aka Sting also has Munich in his community. And Sting, who's nickname survives from his long gone period with Police and relates from the fact that when perfoming live he used to wear an extravagant black-yellow crossed jacket, can resign such outward appearances. He has long since belonged to the Megastars of the biz - and it wouldn't fit with his music anymore: this mixture of rock-reggae, jazz-pop and british chanson.

Without an opening act and without any extravagancies, he appears, a little late though, with his band of seven proficient-musicans. With two keyboards, trumpet, drums and backing vocals they cautiously make the carpet of sound which carries Sting's dominating clear voice throughout the Olympiahalle - the rumbling bass of course, provides Sting himself.

Sting's music is first of all made for hearing and feeling. Each song consists of one or two repeating melody phrases, which suddenly end up in thrilling, unusual almost weird harmonies. It's no McDonalds-music you can swallow quickly, you have to get into it, listen to it and only then let yourself carry away from it.

But despite all that, Sting is never hard to digest. He lets the stomach feel it, and also makes the rhythm hard and exact and so gives his fans something to clap and dance to. Rock music with high demands, like it's mostly done only in Europe, with influences of jazz and nowadays also rap. But it should make the son of a milkman and a hairdresser from Newcastle think that also the Munich Olympiahalle especially while the rock-classics from Police-times shakes and bawls: 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Roxanne'. But Pop concerts are widely degenerated to pure events, where the main thing is to temporary feel well and let off steam.

But Sting, who left the three man band The Police in 1984 - because he was absolutely right when he thought he had reached everything with their popular music - sticks to himself and is yet successful. He continues writing haunting tunes such as 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' and 'Brand New Day'. At the same time he is activly involved in protecting the Rainforest and Amnesty. Thanks to this mixture he offers both melancholy and the pleasure of living. A desperate hope, simply - just like in his much too early last encore after roughly 100 minutes: 'Message In A Bottle'. A beautiful evening with the legal alien, the Englishman in Munich.

(c) Suddeutsche Zeitung by Michael Birnbaum/translated by Jake from Vienna