Brand New Day
Caracas, VEEstadio Olimpico
With Malanga, Invisible Friends, Sheryl Crow

An Englishman in Caracas...

With successes like Roxanne and Desert Rose, the British singer Sting ensured that the first day of the Caracas Pop Festival was a total success. The expectations of the Caracas audience were met last night on the first day of the Caracas Pop Festival, an event that has gathered more than 10 national and international artists. Around 20,000 fans enjoyed yesterday's shows from Malanga, Invisible Friends, Sheryl Crow and Sting, thanks to the excellent work on the part of the organisers.

The event began an hour earlier than planned, something unusual for this country. Starting at 6:00pm were the Venezuelan bands Malanga and Invisible Friends (the latter nominated for a Grammy this year). They played while the Olympic Stadium filled and prepared the crowd for the North American singer Sheryl Crow, famous for her hits 'All I Wanna Do' and a cover version of Guns'n'Roses' 'Sweet Child of Mine'.

The singer was very well received by the Caracas audience, who sang along on her better known numbers. Changing guitar around five times, Sheryl Crow offered a simple show of high quality, and showed great generosity to the crowd, in spite of almost losing a tooth when a huge plastic ball with the logo of RCTV came dangerously close to the platform. Sheryl simply returned it toward the public, saying that she did not want to lose her teeth.

The concert arrived at fever point when the English musician Sting took to the stage, greeted by raised hands, screams and applause as the crowd received the artist who debuted in Caracas over six years ago. More mature, more delighted and with a broader repertoire than last time, Sting offered an impeccable show. With a mixture of his better known songs, including Police hits (the band that he headed in the eighties) and musical pieces only for those true fans, he was able to please every member of the crowd.

His musicians impressed with guitar, trumpet and keyboard. He played the last two songs ('Message In A Bottle' and 'Fragile') alone on stage accompanied by his guitar and the crowd, thus achieving a very special atmosphere, full of peace and excellent music.

With a show of artificial fires he closed the first day of the Festival that will last until Sunday. There is still a lot to see and it is certain this event will transform into something unforgettable for everyone in Caracas.

(c) by Katja Buhl