Sacred Love

Vienna, AT
Castle Shonbrunnwith Unknown
Alte Hits und zähe Klumpen...

Die Zuschauer, die am Sonntag zum Sting-Konzert vor das Schloss Schönbrunn gekommen waren, hatten mit dem Kauf ihres Tickets einen Vertrag unterzeichnet. Der Deal lautete: Ihr ertragt die Songs meines neuen Albums, dafür gibt's zum Schluss 'Englishman in New York' und 'Every Breath You Take'. Das Warten gestaltete sich mühsam.

Der einstige Kopf der Reggae-Punks The Police betreibt seit Jahren Selbst-Recycling. Die Ideen, die Stings Melodien und Riffs bisher zusammenhielten, sind beim aktuellen Album 'Sacred Love' jedoch fast völlig verloren gegangen. Als notdürftigen Kitt verwendet der 52-Jährige orientalisch-exotische Melodien und Dance-Beats, die Stücke wie 'Desert Rose' und 'Send Your Love' zu monströsen Klumpen werden lassen.

Klassiker wie 'Synchronicity II' oder 'Fragile' machten den Unterschied deutlich: Reichten früher wenige Worte, um klare Bilder zu zeichnen, so brauchte das neue Material üppige Videos, um noch irgendwie zu einer Botschaft zu gelangen. Die Bomber, die zum Song 'This War' über die Bildschirme flogen, sagten allerdings nur, als dass es in dem Stück um Krieg geht - und was Stripperinnen mit 'Sacred Love' zu tun haben, war bis zuletzt unklar. Übrig blieben Hits, die teilweise von Stings Esoterik-Trip stark in Mitleidenschaft gezogen waren (z. B. das dröge 'Roxanne'). Für ein wenig Nostalgie hat es gerade noch gereicht.

(c) Die Kurier by M Huber

'Welcome to my Palace!'

The concert took place within the front courtyard of the palace. The stage was located directly in front of the magnificent 2000 room building in which Napoleon had lived in the early 1800's and Mozart played his first concert.

I had already taken a walk around the evening before whilst the stage was still being prepared so that I knew where to head the following day. Having taken a walk along the Danube in the morning and checked out the stadium in which Elton John was playing that very same night I headed for the palace early afternoon. This was to be my first standing gig since the fan club one in NY last October and so the 'early get there' tactic needed to be employed to ensure front middle position. Shortly after arrival I met Lydia from Italy and within an hour or so both Stepanka, from the Czech Republic, and Luuk, from Holland, had arrived to join us.

The general public were kept away from the immediate concert area by railings but we could clearly see through them at everything that was going on inside and were eagerly awaiting the sound check. Danny came over to talk to us for a while which was nice. And both Joy and Donna entered the arena right by where we were standing so I was able to say hi again, having met them before.

We became quite concerned when a ring of barriers began to be placed in an arc in front of the stage. What was this for? we wondered. We tried to establish by asking several people, all of whom gave conflicting reasons ranging from its for VIP's only, It's only for people with wrist bands to its merely a crowd breaker. I must admit we were all getting very concerned as T-Mobile were in strong evidence and Stepanka told us that a section at the front of the stage was reserved for them at the Hungary show. But surely not for a paying concert?

At about half past four Kipper emerged onto the stage and began performing his sound check. Jason followed shortly afterwards and then Dominic took to the stage and upon hearing our cheers he looked across and waved. Kipper was trying out some of his loops and the band played snippets of several songs including 'Hounds of Winter' which drew a big cheer from us all. Unfortunately is was the only performance of the song we were going to hear that day as Dom has still not convinced Sting to put it back into the set.

At 6pm we were asked to move back to where the tickets were to be checked. Despite a queue having already commenced we naturally joined it at the front. (Have you ever tried telling Lydia to go to the rear of a queue!).

We managed to find out that the first 500 people to get in would be given wrist bands to enter the barriered off section. When it comes to Sting I can do a mean impression of Linford Christie to ensure I get to the stage first!

When the gates opened we rushed towards the stage. At the entrance to the 'inner circle' the wrist bands were put on us and sure enough I got stage middle. A huge sigh of relief could now be enjoyed. A five hour wait but mission completed.

Having woken up after Rufus Wainwright's set it was time to get excited in anticipation of the main man's entrance. 'A Thousand Years' began playing and one by one the band took to the stage waving at the crowd. Then under the beam of a bright light from the middle of the stage came Sting with no bass guitar and dressed in Brown jacket and trousers. He walked to the front of the stage arms out wide and using his hands to increase the crowd's excitement. Once he had soaked up the adulation he stepped towards the mike and burst into ''Send your love, into the future, send your precious love, into some distant time... encouraging us all to clap along as if we needed any encouragement.

The jacket was dispensed with to reveal the black shirt with white cuffs. Danny brought on his bass and Sting through the strap around his shoulders. He was now complete and ready to put on another superb show.

A surprise came early on in the set as 'Synchronicity II' was moved to be the second song. It had the required effect though as it got the crowd going early on. After playing inside he greeted the crowed by saying ''welcome to my palace''. I wondered due to the setting whether he would play 'After the Rain Has Fallen' as It would have been quite apt but he didn't. The set was much the same as it has been for the European leg albeit with the omission of 'Stolen Car' and 'Walking On The Moon'.

As it was the night England played France in Euro 2004 I had taken my St George's flag with me so I waved it patriotically during Englishman in New York. Unfortunately it didn't do any good as we let in two goals in the last 3 minutes.

Oh well at least I had enjoyed my night seeing my hero in another new country for me.

(c) Andy Finch for