SHOW REVIEW

L'estasi in note di Sting...

L'ex Police ha conquistato i 10mila che hanno affollato Montesarchio con due ore di concerto. Dal rock-reggae al pop algerino tutti i colori della sua musica. Con una band eccezionale

''Come suonare in maniera straordinaria il Rock'': bisognerebbe scrivere un trattato sul live che Sting ha tenuto, l'altra sera, in piazza Umberto I a Montesarchio e farlo studiare a tutti coloro che cercano di affacciarsi sul mondo della musica. Un concerto che, purtroppo, noi giornalisti abbiamo solo ascoltato e visto a malapena attraverso i tubolari della struttura attrezzata per i tecnici ed il banco mixer, vista la scelta poco felice di collocarci proprio dietro questa.

L'ex Police ha dimostrato come il suo standard raggiunto sia altissimo e come, la musica moderna'' sfugga alle regole ed ancora come i grandi artisti siano sempre meno 'ingabbiabili' in generi ed etichette.

Ormai la sua musica non ha corrispettivi o misure di paragone: è la musica di Sting e basta. E questo è uno dei punti di forza solo dei grandi.

Il sound che propone è l'esatta trasformazione in suoni del suo ''mondo visibile'' e del suo universo interiore.

Come pochi altri, negli ultimi anni, Sting ha saputo abbattere i muri divisori tra i generi, senza perdere mai la propria identità.

Così, a partire dalle prime note di '1000 Years', proseguendo con uno degli inni di 'libertà' della generazione degli anni '80 'Set Them Free Il e', 'After The Rain Has Fallen', il 49enne compositore di Newcastle, prende per mano i 10mila presenti nell' area conducendoli in giro per il suo mondo sonoro fatto di reggae'n'roll, jazz, pop''...

Questa è l'essenza del suo 'Brand New Day' (che solo in Italia ha venduto 300mila copie) dove gli echi di Miles Davis e Gil Evans si sovrappongono ai canti gregoriani medioevali, al pop algerino, alla musica country americana.

Il suono è limpido, la band (Dominic Miller, Manu Katchè, Jason Rebello, Chris Botti, Mark Eldridge, Machan Taylor e Darryl Tookes), il suo 'braccio armato, perfetta in ogni sfumatura, genera densità e pienezza sconcertante che cattura, quasi ipnotizzando, la folla umana che ha invaso in ogni centimetro la piazza della cittadina sannita. Il colpo d'occhio è suggestivo ed emozionante. Gente ovunque, ordinata ed educata.

20mila mani alzate in cielo ad accompagnare il ritmo dei brani, quasi a voler catturare brandelli di energia di una serata magica che molti ricorderanno.

'All This Time', 'Perfect Love', 'Mad About You', 'Seven Days', l'emozionante 'Fields of Gold', 'Tomorrow We'll See' (con uno strepitoso assolo alla chitarra in feed back di Dominic Miller) l'applauditissima 'Brand New Day',si rincorrono in una girandola di suoni.

La voce di Sting non è stata scalfita dal tempo, è quella di sempre.

Mancano una manciata di minuti alle 23 e si giunge allo zenith: in aria si librano le prime note di 'Roxanne'.

L'emozione è forte al punto da spezzare il respiro. Il 'fantasma' dei Police riaffiora dai nostri ricordi. 'Every Breath You Take', 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' ci riportano alla mente album come 'Outlandos d'amour', 'Regatta de blanc', 'Ghost In The Machine', 'Synchronicity'... ovvero la storia più nobile del rock.

Peccato che la prevista 'Message In A Bottle' - che doveva chiude la serata - alla fine, forse per questioni di tempo non è stata eseguita.

Due ore di musica.

Troppo poche, perché la voglia di sognare in piazza è ancora tanta così come il voler proseguire insieme, un viaggio che ci ha condotti più volte al di là delle 'colonne d'Ercole del mondo'.

Il suo tour proseguirà in Europa fino al 17 giugno (Nimes, in Francia l'ultima tappa) per trasferirsi negli Stati Uniti dove suonerà solo in anfiteatri e arene.

Il debutto è previsto a Camden nel New Jersey, il 24 giugno; la data finale l'8 settembre, a Virginia Beach, a conclusione di un autentico tour de force fisico.

In Giappone, intanto, sta per essere pubblicato un mini album di remix di brani tratti da 'Brand New Day', mentre domani, l'etichetta Pangaea pubblicherà la colonna sonora del film 'Dolphins' che contiene la nuova canzone 'I Need You Like This Hole In My Head'' oltre a motivi già noti.

Ma il musicista, precedentemente ha trovato anche il tempo per girare il film 'The Living Sea', continuando ad alimentare la sua vecchia passione per il mondo del cinema.

(c) Cronache di Napoli by Carmine Aymone (thanks to Valeria Vanella)



Sting, off on his new tour with send-ups of the star system...

Sting yesterday opened his European tour in a small region of Sanioa. The sole concert for Southern Italy was the one in Montesarchio, a country seat of around 14 thousand souls on the slopes of the Taburno, in the province of Benevento. This evening the ex-Police bassist plays at Pesaro and tomorrow he will be at Casalecchio, in the suburbs of Bologna. A European tour articulated by a series of satiric commercials, where the singer's face appears stamped on toast slices and little pudding moulds.

Yesterday evening 10 thousand youth, who had arrived from every region of the South, filled up the village square for the concert organised by the local government. The mayor of Montesarchio went in January to the Filaforum of Assago to ask the singer personally to play at the regional musical review, which last year had hosted Ray Charles and the preceding year Pat Metheny.

Sting's show is reworked with respect to the preceding tour. The set, with a slight rearrangement, is a lengthy trip through the Police numbers and selections from his latest disk 'Brand New Day'. The band has been adjusted with the debut of a new vocalist. He is one, but worth two, said Sting's son. In the current formation there are Dominic Miller, Chris Botti, Jason Rebello, Mark Eldridge, Machan Taylor and Darryl Tookes.

Sting did not want to meet anyone. He stayed closeted in his dressing-room. The only two exceptions allowed by the singer were a local student, who made him a gift of 10 CDs of Neopolitan music, and a girl about a thesis in English literature on his lyrics.

'But this place is very stimulating,' Sting informed us, 'and I enjoy the idea of playing in this square.' At the end of the final number, Sting rushed to the car which took him at the airport, leaving disappointed tens of fans waiting for him beneath the Vesuvius Hotel of Naples.

The long concert began after a warm-up act of about thirty minutes given over to Niccolo Fabi, who will open all the Italian concerts by the ex-Police bassist. 'The English organisers gave me a 45-minute slot,' said the Roman singer/songwriter, 'but I will perform only for 30, this is not an audience come to listen to me', Sting mounted the stage and opened the show: '1000 Years', 'If You Love Somebody Set Them Free', 'After the Rain has Fallen'.

The concert was a long dolly-ride through the richly evocative twenty-year catalogue and the closing was in honour of the Police. The celebration ended with a series of encores beginning with 'Every Breath You Take' and climaxing with 'Message in a Bottle'.

As of yesterday more than 80 thousand tickets had been sold for the seven dates of the Italian tour which can be considered virtually sold out. After the Pesaro and Bologna concerts the tour will continue on the 10th of May at the Palastampa in Turin, on the 12th at the Bolzano Palaonda, on the 19th at the Park of Le Cascine in Florence, to wind up on the 20th of May at the Verona Arena.

(c) Il Corriere Della Sera by Biagio Coscia / translated by Diane Villani



In the ancient burgh of Montesarchio he carried away 10 thousand spectators...

For Torino, Bolzano and Bologna there are still some tickets available, but not many. At the end of these 7 concerts, it is calculated that Sting will have collected around 100 thousand spectators: not a bad wicket for an artist who does not have very many pieces suitable for singing along, in a concert which nevertheless takes on tour through Italy almost his entire career, from present days back to the time of the Police. Nowadays, Sting's fame is bound up more with his polished persona than with his repertoire: at his pleasure, a little for the appeal of the confessed Tantric-sex exploits; a little for the public-spirited commitment to various and praiseworthy causes; a little because he is handsome (so blond and bronzed), a little because he is always so elegant in his Armani; and a little also because with that property near Pisa where he often lives, nowadays he is considered almost one of our own.

The opening of the tour at Montesarchio - twenty-odd kilometres from Benevento, in a beautiful square of an ancient burgh crammed with 10 thousand people from the whole of Central and South Italy - gave a jolt of humanity to the star, who appeared taken with the unusual setting, with the people in the balconies, some red banners (from Ferrari) and the relaxed country atmosphere. And so the rock came to the crowd: he showed off all his Italian in the introductions and the acknowledgments, and working the bass solidly launched into a series of 22 pieces which never so much as now recall the rhythmic memory of the Police, whose pervading influence reappears when you least expect it, and after the first selections in the set which have nothing to do with that period, the persuasive dirge 'A Thousand Years', 'Set Them Free', then also 'Every Thing She Does is Magic'.

There will be exasperations also in this direction: so much so, that the much-acclaimed 'Englishman in New York' begins to seem like a cry of wolf. For the whole evening, the rediscovery of his roots alternates with the jazzy feel of his second creative period, with the main protagonists the percussion and above all the elegant and edgy trumpet of Christopher Botti, in the much applauded 'Mad About You' as well as in 'Bourbon Street' for which the stage lights up with luminous balls which recall the lamps of New Orleans; often however, to tell the truth, that trumpet tries with good grace to bring distinction to other pieces whose musical durability we have trouble understanding, such as 'Seven Days' and 'Fill Her Up'.

But this is Sting, a man who knows how to cunningly blend the good (Brand New Day) with the pointless (the little march 'I'm So Happy'), who often fills up his disks with grown-up signature pop. The background of the enormous stage is covered vertically at the beginning with white veils; elegant projections of multi-coloured lights emphasise the various moments. Among the most memorable, the audience, which does not seem totally caught up in Sting-fever, fires up with older pieces such as 'Roxanne', which becomes a very long and exciting extended rock that finally gives the guitar and keyboards something to do; and naturally with 'Bring on the Night' and 'Every Breath You Take'. Whoever was hoping for the classic finale of 'Message in a Bottle' was left disappointed: the evening closed on 'Fragile'.

Previously, Manu Katche had rapped briskly on 'Perfect Love Gone Wrong', and the vocalist Russ Irwin had tried in vain to support 'Desert Rose', which without Cheb Mami from the disk loses the delicious Maghreb flavour. While the applause was still going strong, Sting then went back to sleep at home in Tuscany in his Piper, to commute like a poor man.

(c) La Stampa by Marinella Venegoni / translated by Diane Villani



Sting, music is adventure...

From Hawaii to Montesarchio. From the green waters of the Ocean to the foothills of Mount Taburno. Having finished the world tour with an opportune date and a long vacation in the middle of the Pacific, a Sting tanned and even more blond from the sun last night fronted the pit of this small centre of the Benevento region overlooked by a Bourbon tower and a mediaeval fortress.

Passageways through the main square of the village blocked up, crowded with nearly ten thousand spectators. For a show with the standard of a 'must-see', almost an extension of the ex-Policeman's way of being, of dressing and of appearing in public. Hardly any concession to stage effects: on the large bare stage, framed in black and with a few hanging cloths the colour of mother-of-pearl, at the beginning there is only the light-show to give movement to the scene. Then this last, very gently, comes to life: huge white umbrellas which were leaning against the black backdrop, a moon and two illuminated stars, gradually something else. For the rest, the great music speaks for itself, especially the music committed to the recent work entitled 'Brand New Day' (he performed seven of the ten pieces), but also drawing heavily from his previous solo works, and without leaving out a well-deserved homage to the Seventies roots starting with the splendid 'Roxanne' and 'Bring on the Night' in which the catchy rock of the Police could be heard again.

He is winning, Sting, absolutely cordial: he makes his greetings and thank-yous in Italian (learned during sojourns in the 'Chiantishire' of Figline Valdarno. The band (also introduced to the audience in Italian) is well run-in: Sting is accompanied on the drums by Manu Katche, by Dominic Miller on the guitar, Jason Rebello on keyboards, Marc Eldridge on synth, Christopher Botti on trumpet, and the fine Russ Irwin assists on vocals which will leave no one missing Cheb Mami for the compelling and splendid 'Desert Rose'. The concert begins and Sting slings on the guitar for the solid rock of 'A Thousand Years', also the opening piece on the new disk, then imposes a first leap back in time with '(If You Love Somebody) Set Them Free' from the beginnings of his successful solo venture. He lets go the guitar and takes up his bass, not to leave it again. Then come the new song 'After the Rain Has Fallen' and afterwards 'We'll Be Together' from the album 'Nothing Like the Sun', while the musical style slides inexorably towards jazz.

The middle part of the show jogs the memory again with 'All This Time' and 'Mad About You' from 'The Soul Cages' and with 'Seven Days' and 'Fields of Gold' from 'Ten Summoner's Tales'. Afterwards, to leave room for the new album, 'Tomorrow We'll See' and the aforementioned 'Desert Rose' which looks like becoming the most listened-to song of the summer with that meeting between rock and world music a bit unexpected in an artist who had got us accustomed rather more to jazz sorties. The finale is all Police standards: through a medley between 'Bring on the Night' and 'When the World is Running Down'. But especially through the encores 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Message in a Bottle', hits from the golden times with Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers.

At Montesarchio Sting opened the European tour that includes seven Italian dates, in which the concerts will by introduced by Niccolo Fabi's performances. A chance for the singer/songwriter of the 'New Roman School' to expose to the wider public his interesting brain-work on texts increasingly characterised by the theme of identity. Enough to listen to one of the selections offered yesterday night to notice this, or else the piece 'If I Were Marco' from the new album 'Clear Sky in the West' in which the Roman singer/songwriter plays with mistaken identity.

(c) La Republica by Carlo Moretti / translated by Diane Villani

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