SHOW REVIEW

Sting, a fine 'Englishman' to the core...

Second date, second crowd of ten thousand spectators: so many were at the beginning of this Italian section of his 'Brand New Day' tour, Saturday in the piazza at Montesarchio, just as many came from all over Italy for Sunday night at the BPA Palas. Where the ex-Police bassist kept them waiting at length before mounting the stage. In fact Sting arrived in Pesaro around 3 pm, after landing at the Rimini airport, and instead of shutting himself up in the hotel room prepared for him, he preferred to go immediately to the little palazzo where he wandered at length among the technicians who were busy putting up the set. Afterwards he waited his turn in the bowels of the 'astronave'.

Niccolo Fabi opened the show, a few minutes after 8 pm, intoning 'Summer wind' while the main floor filled to bursting, to close half-an-hour later with 'To leave one day for Rome'.

When Sting took possession of the stage with his band, the roar, even more than from the Palas, was from the stadium. The set is minimalist, predominantly black, the only concession to spectacle is the widths of white cloth which from time to time take on the form of fans or heavenly bodies and turn to hues of blue, violet, red, orange.

The number that opens the show is 'A Thousand Years', as on the album from which this show takes its name and form. Immediately afterwards, the first leap back in time with 'If You Love Somebody'. The entire concert is characterised by alternation between new and old hits, a see-sawing that is reflected also in the temperature on the floor, cooler at certain moments, red-hot when Sting draws on his great successes of the past, including some dating back to before the Police break-up: the most engaging moments are on 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic', 'Mad About You', 'Englishman in New York' when images of the illuminated skyscrapers of the 'Big Apple' appear on the backdrop.

The highlight, 'Desert Rose', a number which is set to become the track of the coming months, arrives after more than an hour of music in which Gordon Summer [sic] allows ample space to the members of his band and which has snatches of jazzy improvisation, especially from keyboardist Jason Rebello. Sting, on the brink of his fifties, looked in great shape, giving the impression of being almost too bound to the microphone and to his inseparable bass. No sooner can he discharge his energy, earning himself a leave of absence, he wanders to the edge of the stage and bows to the public, which he acknowledges in an Italian with a Newcastle-on-Tyne accent, or duets with the members of the group.

He leaves the stage for the first time and turns, as if according to script, after a few seconds, staying in the black singlet and sporting the fresh tan from the Hawaiian sun. He launches into 'Every Breath You Take' and the public sings with him.

The final encore is 'Fragile', for which Sting swaps the bass for the guitar. He waves to the crowd, takes a bow, and the ten thousand people from the Palas swarm out.

(c) Il Resto del Carlino by Enrico Barbetti / translated by Diane Villani

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