Sting is notorious — or maybe renowned — for a certain hauteur, and it was on full display during his socially distanced performance of the currently-lockdown-themed 1980 Police hit “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on “The Tonight Show” Thursday.
Among other things, the performance showed that sheltering in place has led the Roots to become even more creative with their choice of instrumentation: Questlove played scissors and forks, Black Thought plucked a hair pick, Kamal Gray made Connect 4 into a percussion instrument and Dave Guy did the same with a pair of kicks.
But what we’re trying to figure out is why Sting, who sang the song quite well, looked annoyed through the entire thing — he scowled at Fallon, who was located to his immediate right and gave String a thumbs-up after a particularly arch sneer, and even facepalmed at the end (defying CDC advice about touching one’s face).
Granted, Fallon was in full ADD-addled puppy-dog mode, singing loudly and bouncing around like a 10-year-old who’s been schooled-at-home by his parents for the past six hours, but even though they appeared next to each other on the Zoom screen, they were clearly in different locations — and unless Sting has suddenly turned into a left-handed guitarist, his image appeared to be reversed, which would have meant he would actually have been looking in Gray’s direction?
Unless, of course, the whole thing was all in fun and Sting was, contrary to image, was playing it up and not taking it all too seriously — and neither are we. Stay safe and don’t stand too close, everyone!