On the slopes with Sting...
After a sunny 7 hour drive we arrived Ischgl in Austria! Gosh, we sang the whole drive, so we were in a very good mood. We arrived on Sunday 2:00 pm, the day before the concert, the weather was great and we were very excited to be seeing Sting and band on top of the mountains, 2350m high. What a special event!
Fortunately, we stopped at the right hotel and so we had the opportunity to meet Sting and the band at 5 pm. After Sting and Kipper checked in, they came out again and we shook hands and talked a little. Both were on their way to the sports store, opposite the hotel. Sting told us that they want to go skiing the next morning before the concert and that they had no stuff!
We all had presents for Sting, chocolate from Italy, CDs, etc. and we asked him where Chris was, as he hadn't arrived yet. Sting told us that there had been an accident on their way from the airport to Ischgl in front of a tunnel and that Chris, Dominic and Manu were in the traffic jam.
They then went into the store to go shopping while we were waited outside, but we could see through the windows, and we could see Sting shopping alone without being recognised. It was nice to see Sting in such a normal situation. Sting came back with a pair of cool sunglasses and a big bag and Kipper with a red carving ski...
Both gave us a big smile! An hour later the rest of the band arrived. Chris was a little bit shocked, because the motorcyclist had died before his eyes in that tunnel crash. Chris talked about his upcoming new solo album and about his time in LA with Kipper and Dominic... and we learned that they had a great time together!
The next morning together with Lydia and Marco we both took the first lift to the Silvretta Arena, 2350m up the mountain. It was really amazing to see the stage in the snow! There were a lot of people but no one else was interested in going to the stage so early, so we were alone, like so often, but it was 10:00 am, 3 hours before the concert! Sting and Kipper had told us the day before the concert, that they would not be holding a sound-check. So, Danny, Phil and the other crew members played a little bit more on the instruments.
Right on time at 1:00 pm Sting entered the stage wearing dark grey ski trousers, ski-shoes and a very tiny bright grey shirt... he looked great, as always! Sting played his festival set-list as they started with 'Set Them Free'. No 'A Thousand Years', no 'Tomorrow We'll See', but nevertheless it was a great concert, because the whole band were in a good mood and had lots of fun on stage. Chris and Kipper were laughing a lot during the whole gig!
They sang with wide open mouths to each other and smiled a lot to us, because we had a big party in the first row, clapping, singing, screaming and so we took a lot of action into the crowd. We always start and the other rows followed. That was really FANtastic!!!
Jason is no longer a member of Stings band, so Russ Irwin and another black keyboardist called Jeff took Jason's part. They changed the positions often. Sometimes Russ played on the keyboard and Jeff was singing and the reverse.
They played together on the keyboard during the Bring On The Night solo. Wow. That was quite good!
Some other highlights of the show: The strange and very funny trumpet solo during 'Englishman', Chris played on old favourite between the song! We were laughing our heads off, while he turned the song into the funniest part of the show for us. Even Sting was looking behind himself, to look what Chris was doing there!
Not only that Chris was ''flipping out'', no, Chris debut as a background singer during 'Every Breath' was way too funny and of course Sting's outfit during 'Message' and 'Fragile'! He was coming back in his complete yellow, black Ski-suit, with mirrored sunglasses, very cool and sexy! He rocked.
He said that he will be playing two more songs and then go skiing again! During the last encore it began to snow a little bit. It was a strange and very nice atmosphere on the mountain. Sometimes we thought that the crowd was a little bit overcharged by Sting's jazzy and intellectual music but at least they knew every line of 'Message In A Bottle', and after 'Fragile' the concert was over of course. We had all stood on the snow during the concert and it was funny that it began to melt under our feet! The band left the mountain on a big snow-caterpillar! They had to reach Innsbruck airport!
So, we had great days in Austria... again a trip to remember!
(c) Berit & Jutta for Sting.com