Brand New Day
Leipzig, DEMessehalle

A perfect balancing act...

The organizer of the concert has advertised Sting as the master of the balancing act, and Sting proved himself to be one on Saturday at the Leipzig Concert Hall 7. With a sure instinct he balanced between the primary reason for his tour - advertising for his newest album 'Brand New Day' - and the obvious desire to delight his fans with the proven hits.

Stylistically, Sting (alias for Gordon Matthew Sumner) has been wandering between different worlds since the beginning of his solo career. His new album is a tribute to that tradition, so it brings in elements of world music as well as pop; sometimes it sounds jazzy, sometimes ethno-inspired. Sting and his musicians offered this material live with equally impressive perfection. The whole affair was served to around 7,000 fans with the sound quality unheard of at the Concert Hall. Sting's engineers brought to life a work of art for the evening - they conjured up an almost optimal sound quality in the ugly block of concrete with its grotto-like acoustics. Whether a guitar riff, background vocals, a trumpet solo or a rap interlude by the drummer, nothing went misdirected. Loud, luscious, clear tone - if only it could always be that way here...

Even without these technical preparations Sting's filigreed songs could hardly fail to deliver their effect. The music goes very far on its own merits. No fireworks, videos or other such trifles, just a little fabric and discreet lighting. The English understatement characterized not just the reserved star, but also his show.

A couple of friendly German words, a piece of the ballad 'Moritat' for Mackie Messer right before 'Moon over Bourbon Street', and other than that just engaging and engaged music-making. This alone was not enough for the far-reaching arrangements of the newest songs to bring total relaxation and the ability to stop for minutes at a time to the audience. On the other hand, the tight numbers from Sting's older collection - 'If You Love Somebody, Set Them Free', 'Englishman in New York' - and the Police classics, such as 'Roxanne', brought the pure music into focus. The clever mixture of the old and the new guaranteed that Sting did not fall off the tightrope. Thanks to the successful balance between assertion and expectation.

(c) Sachsische Zeitung by Andy Dallmann/translated by Irina Telyukova