This year's NHL All-Star Game in Tampa will have a real country flavor.
The league has enlisted a handful of up-and-coming country artists to sing national anthems and perform during pregame festivities at Sunday's game at Amalie Arena. Chase Rice (Ready Set Roll) will perform during player introductions and Brett Young (In Case You Didn't Know) will sing the American national anthem. Lindsay Ell (Waiting On You) will sing the Canadian anthem and perform during a private league party following the game on Sunday night.
Rice, Young and Ell join another quasi-country-flavored star, Kid Rock, who will perform between the second and third periods, and Nashville dance-rock band Moon Taxi, who will serve as the afternoon's house band. Moon Taxi will also join Fitz and the Tantrums for a free concert at Curtis Hixon Park on Friday. Flo Rida will perform during the NHL All-Star Skills Competition and an invite-only league party on Saturday.
And that's not all! A handful of Tampa Bay artists are getting in on the fun, too. Joshua Cruz and the Experience will be the house band at the Skills Competition on Saturday. And all weekend, local bands will take the stage at the 2018 NHL All-Star PreGame, a free fan fest in Cotanchobee Fort Brooke Park outside Amalie Arena: UNRB on Friday; Tribal Style, Dean Johanesen and Ella Jet on Saturday; and Have Gun, Will Travel and Cliff Brown on Sunday.
— Jay Cridlin