Monday, March 11, 2013

The Music That Hockey Arenas Forgot

A good song at a game can amp a crowd up (Pennywise's Bro Hymn), send them running for the exits (Baha Men's - "Who Let the Dogs Out"), or cause the opposing goalie to mentally break down (The Fratellis - Chelsa Dagger).

Most arenas are playing tracks from the same Pandora station (although when I searched "NHL Arena" I got Tina Arena, which was slightly disappointing but fits with my theory on how music is selected).

We've all heard songs in the past that resonate as being totally hockey but have never heard live at a game.   Here's some songs that, despite their age, genre, or lyrics, would fit in at hockey arenas around the world with or without some re-mixing.

Intro Music - AFI's "Strength Through Wounding" and "Porphyria Cutenea Tarda"

Picture a playoff game with arena darkened with this music playing starting at around 42 seconds.  On the video board is a montage of video clips showing players hitting, fighting, and ensuing injuries (in slow motion and/or black and white) with interspersed shots of the players intensely staring at the camera.  As the song ends and quickly jumps into the second track "Porphyria Cutanea Tarda" (named for a disease that results in the sun blistering your skin) with four quick high-hat hits the home players would jump out on the ice for warm ups.  The break neck tempo and frantic chorus of this song raises the energy of any building. 

Why this works:
  • Creepy Chant about being one through bleeding
  • Rising intensity until the players rush out onto the ice
Why this doesn't:
  • It's also pre-pop punk AFI which generally scares the young and the old alike.
  • Americans have a hard enough time with simple song names let alone one that someone who owns a medical dictionary came up with. 
  • You are basically asking for a goalie to pull a groin if they're stretching out to this.
Intermission Music - Ministry "Jesus Built my Hotrod"

We all love the Zamboni's "I Wanna Drive the Zamboni"or at least we put up with it being played during at least one intermission.  Or both if the sound guy is mailing it in that night.  But, much like how I, sacrilegiously, don't like the late Stompin' Tom Connors' version of "The Hockey Song" I feel the same way about the Zamboni's most famous number.  I feel the song is too lethargic and would prefer something that gets people amped up. 

But not with Nickelback.

Random 30 to 60 seconds of energy songs:

1. Exodus - "Piranha" (Live)

2. Sepultura - "Ratamahatta"

3. Shadows Fall - "Redemption"

4. Bad Religion - "Change of Ideas"
Uh, not suggesting that last one get played in Phoenix when a certain Commissioner is in attendance or anything subversive like that.

Metal music compliments hockey extremely well.  Unfortunately the post glass gargling sounds of many of the vocalists tend to not go over very well with the general population.  This is something, along with the wholly unfortunate experiment called "glam metal", has pushed heavy metal to the fringe of popular music. But the precision of attack and intricacies of the music parallel hockey very well.  And what punk often lacks in technical precision is made up for in the frantic energy of a goal crease scrum and the dying seconds of a one goal game.

Another time - I'll look into post goal and post game songs.  And probably some more songs that I wish they'd play at games instead of this year's arena playlist soundtrack sent out by the league.

No comments:

Post a Comment