Marianne Meyer
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When the Stanley Cup Finals began last week in Las Vegas, the Vegas Golden Knights put on quite the show before puck drop, a veritable Medieval Times dinner show, complete with flaming arrows, sword fights, and a live performance by native sons Imagine Dragons on night two.

Since Vegas almost literally threw down the gauntlet for pre-show spectacle, the Washington Capitals are counter-programming with two free, pre-game, outdoor mini-concerts as the Caps host the Knights in the nation’s capital. The first, by Sting and Shaggy, took place at the top of the entrance steps to the National Portrait Gallery, just around the corner from Capital One Arena, at 6.p.m. Saturday (June 2).

Why Sting and Shaggy? Good question. The pair’s association to DC and/or the Caps seem to go way back to the fact that the duo have an album and tour to promote and, while Sting rocked a little red on his striped shirt, neither performer said much about the team or the historic nature of the sporting event that was about to take place. (The Capitals haven’t been in the Cup Finals since they were wiped out by the Detroit Red Wings in 1998.)

Let’s be honest - this was strictly a promotional appearance; for real DC cred, call the Foo Fighters or Fugazi. And while the audience happily danced in the muggy DC weather to “Every Breath You Take” and “Roxanne” (turn on that red light, girl! It means a goal was scored!), they also heard the single “Gotta Get Back My Baby” numerous times, both in rehearsal and in multiple takes for the camera. The final repeat even solicited a few boos.

Okay, so maybe Sting and Shaggy were using the sea of red-clad fans as props in a new TV clip, but since the Caps won the game, 3-1, and the show revved the crowd up for the huge watch party to come, worse deals have been made.

Fall Out Boy will perform an outdoor show ahead of Game 4 on Monday, June 4. Let’s hope they opt for “Champion” or “Immortals’ on the setlist instead of “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down.”