The pros and cons of having Sting as your dad: Eliot Sumner sizzles at ACL

The actor Pierce Brosnan watches Eliot Sumner perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park Friday September 30, 2016.  JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

The actor Pierce Brosnan watches Eliot Sumner perform at the Austin City Limits Music Festival in Zilker Park Friday September 30, 2016. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Being the child of a legendary artist is surely a blessing and a curse. Let’s pretend for a minute your father is one Gordon Sumner, a musician who goes by the name “Sting.” What are the ups and downs of being dealt such a hand?

Pro: Your old man, who has made millions creating music and is one of the most influential recording artists alive, is probably going to be totally cool with you choosing to pursue music over, say, accounting.

Con: Anyone’s CliffsNotes version of you and your own art is going to inevitably include a mention of daddy dearest. (Sorry to be part of the problem…)

Pro: Who better to coach and shape those teenage garage band rockstar aspirations into actual musical talent than man who’s got more hits than Barry Bonds?

Con: The shadow of your dad hangs over you, colossal and as inescapable as the sky above.

Pro: Your DNA gifts you with human being-building code containing many of the more desirable attributes of your maker.

The pros have it. And, bonus, if you happen to be Eliot Sumner and band, it turns out you’ve got more than enough talent to warrant more than a cursory, celeb-obsessed rubber-necking listen.

Eliot Sumner returned to Austin Friday for an early afternoon ACL Fest, after appearing at South by Southwest back in March.

Statuesque and stony-eyed cool, Sumner is a confident and captivating singer and does double duty plucking driving, punchy bass from a battered old Fender bass. At this first day of ACL Fest 2016, Eliot wore an oversized black sweatshirt and big black leather boots with shorts. Sumner channels that androgynous rock ‘n’ roll cool that calls to mind David Bowie (or Sting). Her three-piece backing band provides glimmers of John Carpenter ’80s synths and drum machines alongside dreamy and sometimes menacing, muscular electric guitar (see: the band’s outstanding “Halfway to Hell.”)

Random celeb note (even after kind of judging such obsession above): Equally unfairly attractive/talented human being Pierce Brosnan was in attendance and seemed to dig Eliot.


View Comments 0

%d bloggers like this: