Soul Cages
Dortmund, DEWestfalenhalle
With Kennedy Rose, Vinx

Sting: full of surprises...

This man doesn't need much more than a stage, his guitar, a three-piece band and his incredible voice to drive crowds wild.

And aside from a few colorful spotlights; that was all Sting brought to his concert Sunday when he played Westfalenhalle in Dortmund, Germany.

Almost 20,000 fans were present to pay homage to the star - and Sting didn't disappoint them. Clad in black from head to toe, he took the stage after two warm-up acts and started his show with 'All This Time' from his new album 'The Soul Cages'.

He surprised the crowds by almost completely avoiding material from his previous solo albums, The Dream of the Blue Turtles and Nothing Like the Sun. Instead, he concentrated on songs from his latest release, such as 'Island of Souls', 'Mad About You' and 'When The Angels Fall', and oldies such as 'Roxanne', 'Tea In The Sahara' and 'Message In A Bottle' from his Police days.

In addition to this interesting mixture of the old and the new, he gave his version of Jimi Hendrix's 'Purple Haze' and Bill Withers' 'Ain't No Sunshine'.

It's hard to put a label on Sting's, music. Just when you think it's rock, he jazzes it up; and then you've gotten used to the jazzy sound, he surprises you with a soft ballad. But maybe that versatility is what makes him one of the most successful musicians of this century.

Just one sour note rnarred an otherwise perfect and enjoyable performance: At the end of his less then two-hour show, Sting refused to perform more than one encore.

(c) Stripes Magazine by Regina Kirkendall