''A musical feast with Sting'' - reports Trojmiasto of Sting's performance in Gdansk, Poland...

June 18, 2011

A musical feast with Sting... Sting did not need any embellishments on stage. The audience were won from the opening notes of the first song.

It is not common belief that the stars performing concerts with symphony orchestras are cashing in on their former glory. Sting's concert with the Gdansk Philharmonic showed, that no unnecessary embellishments are necessary to provide a musical feast on stage at the highest level.

Sting played the greatest hits from his 40-year career. Both the songs of The Police, as well as tracks from solo albums. It was another sold out concert of the stars in the Ergo Arena with around ten thousand people.

Saturday's concert in the Ergo Arena took place as part of the 'Symphonicity' tour, with which Sting has spent months touring the world. Accompanying the British singer on stage was a symphony orchestra, several dozen of the Polish Baltic Philharmonic led by conductor Sarah Hicks. Symfonicy acquitted themselves brilliantly, but the hero of the evening was of course the legendary musician formerly of The Police.

Sting began strongly. The first sounds of one of his biggest hits "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" provoked a storm of applause with the audience singing loudly at the first chorus. With a standing ovation in the first rows of after the song, Sting for a moment gestured for fans to sit down. But he soon had to get used to such a reception, because the audience responded enthusiastically to almost every song throughout the two and a half hour concert.

The setlist had no surprises - Sting played the greatest hits from his 40-year musical career. The audience heard both the hits of The Police (with modestly brilliant acoustic versions of 'Roxanne' and for the final encore a solo version with guitar of 'Message In A Bottle' and perhaps unknown to each artist's solo songs (arranged for orchestra very well, 'If I Ever Lose My Faith in You', 'Englishman in New York' and ' Desert Rose').

Although of course it was the rock numbers that resulted in the most energetic responses from the audience raised pieces of (no small part played in the phenomenal vocalist Jo Lawry and the onstage rapport with Sting's taciturn guitarist Dominic Miller), it was the ballads that showed the full potential of the Gdansk Philharmonic. A great example of this was the vampire story, 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' that Sting sang to the accompaniment of the orchestra only. It is worth noting that this was also the only time gig, during which the musician used a prop (a black cloak). For most of the other works the artist limited himself to modest gestures or a grimace on the face to show his emotions. But it was easily enough - music at this level needs no unnecessary embellishments.

The concert organisations was also good. The acoustics of the hall were a big plus, which showed it would be suitable for recording a show. For the future though thought should be given to the matter for the seating in the hall. They may want to separate space for the audience needing to dance under the rails. Many such people were sent back by security to their seats.

Sting's was the first concert here since Lady Gaga's performance - a great spectacle in the Ergo Arena concert organized by the agency Live Nation. Tickets for both events sold out for many days before the event. It is worth noting that planned on the horizon are two more events of similar importance - August 9, in a hall on the border of GdaƄsk and Sopot will play Ozzy Osbourne, and on November 14, Rammstein. It seems that the Tri-City is finally becoming one of the regular stopping off points for major tours of world famous stars.

© Trojmiasto (translated with the aid of Google)



Jun 16, 2011

A decade into her career as a conductor, Sarah Hicks '93 had ''the first of two turning points.'' She was conducting a Minnesota Orchestra program featuring the group Pink Martini, the first pops show she'd ever done. Some classical musicians look at such work as slumming, but Hicks found it a revelation: ''I thought, ‘Wait a second. This is legitimate, well written, evocative. I'm having fun, the orchestra's having fun. What's not to like?''' Sarah Hicks interviewed in Harvard magazine

Jun 13, 2011

Sting managed to cross rock with the classical. The singer sang his own biggest hits and those of The Police with classical musicians. And he did it perfectly. This tour has stopped here in the city for the second time. Sting is touring with a program of symphonic treatments that, of course, is an order of magnitude more difficult. The first concert he gave at the Crocus City Hall last autumn left a positive feeling, and it was very interesting to see what has changed in the show nine months later...