Rock 'n roll legend Sting will be lighting up the 2016 NBA All-Star Games with a special halftime performance. On Sunday night at Toronto's Air Canada Centre (Feb. 14), the former Police frontman will be polishing up his classic catalog while also maintaining the element of surprise for both newcomers and his hardcore fan base.
His manager, Martin Kierszenbaum - who previously served as his publicist during the early stages of his solo career at A&M Records - revealed that Sting would be playing with The Last Bandoleros, a Tex-Mex/ rock/pop band from San Antonio that he recently shared the stage with for The Tonight Show. "It’s a whole different energy,"
Kierszenbaum says. "We're going to have a lot of urgent kind of dynamic sounding renditions." Kierszenbaum adds that Sting -- who embarks on the forthcoming Rock Paper Scissors tour with the musician's longtime collaborator Peter Gabriel -- has been experimenting in the studio so he may just stick to the classics instead of introduce new material for the halftime set. "He’s probably going to give people a sampling of the classics at the NBA [show]," he says. "He may sort of do some theme and variations, he may sort of contemporize them but I think he’s going to stick to some of the songs people know the best for now just because some of the new material isn’t fully flushed out yet at the time he’s performing."
Still, he notes that Sting likes to keep his audience on their toes. "Sting is the master of surprise - never know what he’s going to do next. Even us close to him don’t know what he’s going to do next - that’s what keeps him so interesting and that’s why he’s been so relevant for so many years." The Last Bandoleros' guitarist/ vocalist Jerry Fuentes echoes that sentiment, describing his studio sessions with Sting as a new experience every time. "It’s been awesome because I never know what I’m stepping into,"
Fuentes says. "I just know it’s probably going to kick ass." Fuentes continues, "Sting's ’s a musician's musician so in the middle of something, he could be like, 'Yeah we were going to do that but now we’re not going to do that anymore [and] try this' and you just go on a different tangent."
So are expectations of Sting potentially bringing Toronto's hometown hero Drake - who'll be coaching the Canada team against Kevin Hart and Team U.S.A. for Friday night's All-Star Celebrity game - out for, say, a new rendition of "Every Breath You Take" completely out of the question?
"Who knows, it could happen," Kierszenbaum says. "One never knows. I mean there’s going to be a lot of people there and Sting's known for collaborating. Nothing that I can confirm, nothing planned really to be fully transparent but the thing about Sting is he’s an incredible musician and he’s playing with incredible musicians from The Last Bandoleros so that makes him completely nimble and extemporaneous so if he feels inspired to do something at the last minute... he can implement it."
(c) Billboard by Adelle Platon