Monchengladbach, DE
Warsteiner HockeyParkwith None

Sting enchanted the Hockey Park...

With 23 world-wide hits and an over two hour concert, on Wednesday evening Sting electrified around 8,300 fans in The Hockey Park with his 'Symphonicities' program. He delivered songs like 'Every Breath You Take' and 'Roxanne' together with the Bochum Symphony Orchestra in a classical style.

The world star stands there listening almost taken, while Christine Fischer-Eisenbrand played her violin. Her delicate tones forming the intro to a worldwide hit, sung by the superstar.

On Wednesday Sting was on the stage of the Hockey Park but he was not alone there. The Bochum Symphony Orchestra accompanied the songs of the British singer. The songs were rearranged for this tour from scratch.

About 8,300 spectators listened to 'Roxanne', 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' and 'Fields Of Gold'. ''We have seen the DVD of the Symphonicity-Tour several times'', said Ernst Humpert, who together with his wife Mrs. Petra Köhnen, had come to the Hockey Park. ''For us it was obvious that we had to attend this concert.''

One of the fans in the audience had even been standing on the Hockey Park stage himself on Saturday. The cabaret artist Dieter Noor bought a ticket after his own appearance. And he did not regret it. ''A great concert'', the Sting fan later praised.

The first song surprised the audience. Many viewers were not yet in their places, when dressed in black and white Sting opened up the concert at 7.50 pm with 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic'. One could hear that the sound engineers had problems with the sound, a symphony orchestra under the open sky is just one challenge. ''Guten Abend'' a good-humoured Sting called out to the Gladbacher audience. They were not his last words in the national language, because Sting made almost all his announcements in German. Also: ''Ich bin sehr glücklich, hier zu sein.'' ('I'm very happy to be here.'')

That afternoon he had looked rather sceptically towards the sky. Because for more than than two-hours it was pouring with rain - similar to Bryan Adams last week. "Greet Sting from me," Adams had asked the Gladbach people, ''And if it rains again, get him a raincoat. His favourite colour is purple.''

But Sting did not need a raincoat. Just as the first concert-goers appeared so did the sun over the Hockey Park. Sting observed both from of his dressing room, which he lit solely with candles, and in which he had requested a ''Loom Chair'', a very comfortable chair.

Also on stage Sting likes it simple. On a stage show the musicians waves, the show are the 46 orchestra musicians. More and more they are show why they are there. While Sting in 'I'm An Englishman In New York' remains close to the original recording, is it at least clear to everybody in 'Roxanne' that this concert is quite different. The song is completely rearranged.

The songs should sound more open and romantic, Sting himself said to the idea of a symphony orchestra performing. With 'Roxanne' this succeeded. It is clear that Sting wanted to do this world tour. Anyway it is no longer necessary for the superstar.

Obviously he enjoyed 'Russians'. At the intro of the Russian composer Sergei Prokofejev the musicians showed what is hidden in their instruments.

In 'Moon Over Bourbon Street' his five-member band do not accompany him - support for 59-year-old musician is only from the Symphony Orchestra. The problems with the sound at the beginning are by now completely forgotten. When playing 'Every Breath You Take' the sun sets. It is full of atmosphere and the audience now also accompanies Sting - the star and the crowd sing together. Sting's band and the Bochum Symphony Orchestra played three encores. In the end, Sting is back out there alone. For the fourth encore 'Message in a Bottle', he accompanied himself with just a guitar. And with a chorus of 8,300 happy concert-goers.

(c) RP Online by Andreas Gruhn and Jennifer Koch (very kindly translated by Inger Aarbu)