Despite cultivating the look of a hoary old sea-dog (perma-tan, salt and pepper beard, piercing blue eyes), Sting remains a very good advert for yoga and graceful aging. Not many 56-year-olds can wear a tight T-shirt and look that good. Oh, and he can still sing.
Sting and his Police cohorts, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland, gave a great concert last night. Their music (damningly described by one friend of mine as “all those slow dances”) doesn’t always rock everyone onto their feet, but they are all such superb musicians and the songs off their five albums are so strong, that the Mannheim audience were happy to sit, sway and let Sting’s voice wraith around them.
Did I mention the piercing blue eyes?
A couple of songs did get me dancing: Message in a Bottle, Walking on the Moon, Roxanne and Lonely. But it was fabulous to hear other anthems of my teenage years like Wrapped Around your Finger, Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, Don’t Stand So Close to Me and De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da. There is something about the purity of just three musicians – two guitarists and a drummer – on stage giving their all in their last-ever tour (The Police will play their final concert in New York in May) that gave the concert an added dimension. Compared to many contemporary bands that need backing singers, dancers, additional instruments and distracting videos on the screens in order give good concert, their show is simple, straightforward and dedicated to the music. Also, Sting is a great lyricist and is not scared of words with more than two syllables.
Someone in the crowd behind me described it as “minimalistich, aber supergeil” which pretty much sums it up. It’s minimalist in that they do nothing else but play great songs for one and a half hours, but supergeil (a word I struggle to translate into English – my inadequate offering is “mega-hot”) because (a) it’s the Police, (b) that’s Sting, right there on stage in front of you, (c) the music does remind you of a hundred teenage slow dances, (d) the songs are fabulous, and (e) my God, that really is Sting, isn’t it?
It was supergeil! And Sting really does have lovely blue eyes.