Brand New Day
Stockholm, SESkansen Museum & Park

The man of coolness...

Welcome to the cultural site Sting. This is where you belong, together with the band: Manu Katche, Mark Eldridge, Chris Botti, Dominic Miller and Jeff Young. All brilliant musicians.

I am sick and tired of reading standard phrases written by bored Swedish rock-journalists. So here is an homage.

The record company and the agent won't like it much. They are more interested in getting attention for Sting in other places then the million dollar pop.

Rock-critics usually hits Sting over the head with words like pretentious and teflon and boring, and I will be the first to apologize for their misery.

Stings hard-to-categorize music, pretty melodies, intelligent, never random chord-sequences, refined rhythms, literary lyrics, and raspy, soft, high, clean tenor voice don't make it home with the people who have worshipped Bruce Springsteen or Rolling Stones since their childhood. And the frustration is old, it materialized itself already with punk, which was the start of The Police, whose members were a few years older then the guys in Sex Pistols, Clash and The Ramones. The Police could play more chords and rhythms then the three - and thus made songs which went against the garage philosophy of punk.

Sting also ran around with his electric bas singing hysterical white punkreggae about a canary in a coalmine and Andy Summers electric guitar bounced spiteful while Stewart Copeland pounded on the drums. The Pistols drove over the Queen, while The Police sang ''De do do do, de da da da that's all I want to say to you.''

When The Police broke up, Stings lyrics got deeper and the songs became more melancholic. But also jazzier and funkier. He grew to his best surrounded by black musicians only on the 'Bring On The Night' tour in 1986. It sounded like Weather report and Stevie Wonder, only better - and it rested on an incredibly swinging jazzfusion.

And how did it sound last night on Skansen? Great, of course. With professional musicians as usual and Sting in the singing-top and rocking bas-bottom. And songs like 'Seven Days', 'Fragile', 'Desert Rose' and 'Bring On The Night'. Actually, only 'Every Breath You Take' felt a little awkward, a dowry for the top-ten-chart part of the audience.

But everything else is beautiful, humorous, musically and sensually swinging. It's just not rock'n'roll. Sweat isn't always equal to experience.

Music can be perfect - like love. And all that's left is to get chills of pleasure.

(c) Expressen by Gunilla Brodrej/Translated by Carl Gjerdrum