Brand New Day
Murcia, ESPlaza de Toros
With Distrito 14

Roxanne's spirit...

Gordon Mathew Sumner no longer wears his bee-like striped black and yellow t-shirt by which he obtained his nickname. He now shows his worked-out muscles with a black sweatshirt, to prove that although time goes by the years don't weight on him. He started screams of passion yesterday when he removed his shirt after the first song and wore the tight sweatshirt for the rest of the gig.

In the ''La Condomina'' bullring two generations congregated last night: the one who grew up with The Police and who later checked that Sting as a solo artist gave a lot of himself; and the other one that knew the singer committed with the Amazon cause (and the many headaches that caused him) and his collaboration in different movie soundtracks: 'Leaving Las Vegas', 'Demolition Man' and 'The Thomas Crown Affair'.

But at the Murcian gig, with almost 6,000 people clapping and singing, the spirit of 'Roxanne' was flying - the love song that Sting left till almost the end of the show and which made the British band he shared with Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland famous throughout the world. The new songs, from 'Brand New Day', were mixed with his old songs from The Police days and from his solo career, so no one was short-changed, for he offered a long version of 'Englishman In New York' (from 'Nothing Like The Sun') and 'Every Breath You Take' - which he played in the encore - together with songs like 'Desert Rose', from his last album, and as brilliant as the album title.

On the stage, very simple images were appearing according to the songs. In the song dedicated to Bourbon Street, the New Orleans Street where music and bohemia reign, big lamps and a big full moon were projected over the curtain, while skyscrapers with lightened windows illustrated the chords of 'Englishman In New York.

Sting the actor, who acted in movies like 'Dune' and 'Quadrophenia' (when he was not a celebrity), also made some acrobatic movements on stage, until almost crawl while he played the strings of his bass. He only talked to the audience to introduce his musicians and to say hello in very few words, in Spanish (''Hola, estoy muy contento de estar aquĆ­'' - Hello, I'm very happy to be here).

During the concert, some of the audience was upset because hundreds of seats located in the central part of the Bullring, and in a privileged location in front of the stage, were booked and surrounded with advertisements for Telefonica and Onda Cero, the sponsors of the event. Many of these seats remained empty and those in the audience who had paid 3,500 pesetas for their tickets couldn't reach them, and so they made their displeasure with that plain.

The concert started in time at 22.30, after the performance of the Zaragozan band Distrito 14, and at 00.10 the encores began. The trumpet sounded metallic and nostalgic in the warm spring night, with a bourbon and jazz club flavour. Sting plays with rhythms and introduces Algerian pop and American country music.

Although he is now living in peace and luxury in a palace in the Italian countryside, together with his large family, and despite being the object of mockery because of his political statements, Sting showed at Murcia that he is still the same singer that excited audiences when he was in front of The Police. He still has something in his eyes and voice and his image has not lost even a bit of freshness over time. Maybe he has gained more.

(c) La Verdad by Maria Knife/translated by Matias Pirolo