NHL 2011-12 Kickoff: The Ultimate Hockey Fan Playlist
The NHL season is under way, and I'm sure that if you're anything like me, you've already arranged your schedules to ensure that you can watch your favorite team and have made it very clear you are not to be bothered on certain days and times.
But here's another question about how ready you are: Have you updated your iPod (or music player of choice) with all your favorite hockey songs?
For me, there's nothing like a good song to get me pumped up for game day. It gets me excited to watch my team to take the ice or to go sit in an arena.
Over the last 10 years, many of the songs I've heard at games or watched videos of have made it into my iPod. Not only do the songs get me excited for a game, they also help me hold me over during the offseason, keeping my favorite sport in the front of my mind 24/7.
With this in mind, I decided to create the ultimate hockey fan playlist. Now, while we all have varying music tastes, these songs are my must-haves, and I hope you agree.
If you don't, or you think I missed something, let me know what songs get you in that hockey mood!
Blow Me Away: Breaking Benjamin
Breaking Benjamin got their start in my hometown, so for a while, their songs were staples at our team's hockey games. I fell in love with this one and decided I should download it right away.
The song starts off quietly and then goes right into a head-bobbing drum and guitar riff. The lyrics talk about survival of the fittest and running right off to a new adventure. They even mention that if you stumble, you should just shake it off and keep going. It speaks perfectly to what your team is trying to do every night on the ice.
Boys of Winter
Pens fans will appreciate this song more than most. When we're in Consol Energy Center waiting for our team to come to the ice, Boys of Winter starts off quietly and slowly while the lights are still down. Then the music picks up and the team races on to the ice, causing Pens fans to go wild.
This is an instrumental piece that really gets you excited to see Sidney Crosby and company score a lot of goals. If you're one of those people that doesn't openly dislike the Penguins, you'll fall in love with this song.
If you were a Hartford Whalers fan back in the day or you just love hockey history, you'll want this song. This was used to welcome the Whalers on to the ice and is still in use today, as the AHL's Connecticut Whale play it after every goal.
There are no lyrics, but the beat gets stuck in your head fast, especially when it's played six times in one game. And trust me, I would know.
Chelsea Dagger: The Fratellis
The Chicago Blackhawks goal song became a love it or hate it anthem for hockey fans during the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, as we heard it quite a bit.
The only part of the song worth knowing if you want this on your playlist is the chorus. The lyrics in that part are really easy to learn, and you can clap your hands or snap your fingers along. I bet it's really fun after you have a few drinks, too.
Crowd Chant: Joe Satriani
Crowd Chant starts out on a beat with guitar and drum sounds meant to get everyone clapping along. The two lyrics it has also make it a good goal song or just one to help fire up the fans during a stop in play.
Cum on Feel the Noize: Quiet Riot
Who doesn't love a little 80s rock mixed in with their hockey?
This song will get you in a partying mood, and you'll be drawn right to the idea of going to a game and letting loose. This is another good stop in play song that almost everyone knows and will get into when it blares over the speakers.
Don't Stop Believin': Journey
Nothing like a classic Journey song that is usually played when your team is trying to pull off a come-from-behind victory.
The Detroit Red Wings especially love to play this so their fans can yell a certain part when the music stops (guess which one). For other teams, it's a crowd pleaser that everyone gets into, even if it's not played when the team is losing.
If you don't have this one, what are you waiting for?
Enter Sandman: Metallica
This is another well-known classic that can be used for a variety of purposes at a hockey game. The guitar introduction draws everyone right in and helps the crowd get loud as the team enters the ice or a fight breaks out.
Like it or not, hockey wouldn't be hockey without some form of hard rock music. Metallica gets the job done here.
Game Day: RBK Productions
Even if you don't like the Canucks, their song still beats the awful original song it was based on. It gets you ready to get down to the arena and cheer your favorite team to the Cup. Replace Canucks with whoever you cheer for if need be.
And the debate about who will play on what line is miles better than wondering if you should sit in the front seat or the back seat. Don't you agree?
Get Ready for This: 2 Unlimited
We've had 80s rock and a parody of an awful pop song from 2011. Why not throw in some 90s pop?
Just admit it. You like this song and it gets you pumped up at a hockey game.
Bonus points to anyone who will comment and say they do the spirit fingers dance.
Hey Baby (If You'll Be My Girl)
Sadly, I've only ever heard this song at one hockey game out of the hundreds I've been to over the years. I've heard it's popular at soccer and high school and college football games, though.
I think we need to hear this great crowd participation song in NHL arenas more often. It's easy to learn, and if you like any of the sports I just mentioned, you can be the one to lead the fans in it.
Hit Somebody: Warren Zevon
Hit Somebody tells the story of a boy who grew up in rural Canada, as many NHL players do, who wanted to be a goal scorer. But he didn't have that goal-scoring touch, so he was encouraged to become an enforcer. The player comes to embrace his job, but he still dreams of getting that one career goal.
The story has a happy ending, as Buddy, the player who the song is about, gets his first goal during the final game of his final season.
In an age where it feels like the sport is discouraging less and less hitting, it's nice to hear this song and remember part of what we love about the game.
Hockey Night in Canada Theme (AKA Canadian Gold by Colin Oberst)
Hearing this song makes me wish I lived in Canada and could hear it every week.
Alas, I live south of the border and have to settle for the YouTube...and a spot on my playlist.
When you hear this song, it can only mean one thing: hockey time on Saturday night. There's nothing better.
I Gotta Feeling: Black Eyed Peas
This is a great song to get the party going before your team takes the ice for warmups. You can play it before you leave your house or try to ask if it can be played in the rink. It may be a bit cliche to use it at this point, but it just never seems to lose its luster.
Back in 2010, students at Plum High School in Pittsburgh, Penn. used the classic to make a lipdub in preparation for the Pens' playoff run. The video has over 300,000 views to date.
I Wanna Drive the Zamboni (Zamboni Song): Gear Daddies
Normally, hockey and country music just don't mix.
But the Gear Daddies' song about one of the most well known symbols of the hockey culture just works. Who doesn't want to at least get on the Zamboni and go for a ride around the rink?
I Wanna Rock and Roll All Night: Kiss
The chorus of this song is great for crowd participation. There's so much that can be done: fist pumping, clapping, singing along...it's an instant classic.
Bonus points if you paint your face before rocking out, whether you look like a member of Kiss or an ardent supporter of your favorite team.
Kernkraft 400: Zombie Nation
While this song has also become cliche in recent years, we just can't get away from it, whether it's used as a goal song or during a stop in play.
Plus, it gets the crowd going. It's cool to imagine thousands of fans waving rally towels as this song plays in celebration in the background.
Let's Get It Started: The Black Eyed Peas
The Black Eyed Peas make their second apperance on this list with another song that will get everyone going.
Once you hear this at warmups or before the team comes out for the start of the game, you'll be ready to take in hockey in style.
Living on a Prayer: Bon Jovi
The ultimate song to play, besides Don't Stop Believin' (see earlier slide), when your team is looking to squeak out a win. No one wants to give up until the final horn, so this song reminds us that it can be done.
Plus, everyone's probably sang along with this one at a party or a karaoke night, making it an easy go-to song for the arena.
New York Rangers Goal Horn
Rangers fans probably already love their goal horn, but if you haven't heard it, you really should.
Unlike other teams, which try to make their celebrations "different" with the same song half of hockey already uses, the Rangers actually made up their own unique song. It cheers the goal and gets the crowd chanting "LET'S GO RANGERS!"
Even though I'm a Pens fan, I have to give the Rangers credit for their creativity.
Not Afraid: Eminem
The song was well used in a montage video for the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals that pitted the Chicago Blackhawks against the Philadelphia Flyers. The lyrics follow the theme of making sacrifices and rising above adversity to reach a common goal.
It was one of the most well-done NHL promotions of the playoffs, if not the best one.
Ole: Bouncing Souls
The Montreal Canadiens fans enjoy singing this classic soccer chant when they are about to win a game. It's a great crowd participation song and can get everyone loud right away, rather than just using manufactured noise on the Jumbotron. Plus, it's fast paced and has both rock and club versions, so there is an "Ole" for everybody.
At my team's games, the arena music crew would play this song as our mascot took the ice for a pre-game skate. The fans cheered him on as he took a lap around the ice with a flag bearing our team's logo.
This meant the introduction video wasn't too far off and our starting lineup would soon be announced.
It's best used prior to the game, but anytime during the three periods you can hear this Styx classic is a good time for it.
Rock and Roll Part 2: Gary Glitter
Could you imagine sporting events without this song, let alone hockey, where it's one of the most used goal celebration songs in almost any league?
Neither can I.
Song 2: Blur
Song 2 has become another common goal song over the years. Although it's not as widely preferred or used as Rock and Roll Part 2, it's still hard to get out of your head.
It's also used at a stoppage in play to keep everyone rocking through the horn signaling the end of the game.
Start Me Up: Rolling Stones
This Rolling Stones classic, used prior to puck drop, sets the tone for a good game. The team is sending a message that once they get going, it will not be easy to slow them down, and they will wreak havoc on their opponents for 60 minutes.
Most people probably have at least one Stones song that they love. This is my favorite.
The Best Is Yet to Come: The Scorpions
This is a good video montage song. Two seasons ago, my team used it during their (albeit brief) playoff run to get fans excited for the real hockey season.
However, it can be used at any point to show that while individual games are great, no champion is crowed after just one game.
The Game: Motorhead
I've never watched wrestling, but I've discovered through my years as a hockey fan that some of my favorite hockey songs were also used in the WWE. The Game by Motorhead is one of them.
It's a great song to hear while the lights are still out and the team is taking the ice. The players are setting the tone early and letting everyone know they are not to be messed with.
The Good Old Hockey Game (The Hockey Song): Stompin' Tom Connors
This is another great example of country music successfully integrating itself into the hockey culture.
It tells the story of a night out at a game, from an intro declaring "It's hockey night tonight," to telling how the game is still tied going into the third period of the last game of the playoffs. Of course, the home team (we don't actually know who they are) scores the game-winning goal to send the fans into a frenzy. Overall, the song celebrates what we love about hockey and why.
It is the ultimate hockey song. But, we're still not done.
The Place'll Be Rockin' Cause It's Saturday Night: Carpet Frogs
I apologize in advance for using the far inferior version of this song with less than stellar female vocals. So if you find the original by the Carpet Frogs hidden on YouTube somewhere, just let me know.
The Carpet Frogs originally performed this song for Hockey Night in Canada back in the mid 1990s. It's an instant classic because it talks about how the hockey game is the only place to be on a Saturday night. It doesn't matter if you live in the U.S. or Canada; everyone wants to be at the arena checking out the action from the hottest stars in the NHL.
The version used on TV includes announcer calls from various games, even ending with an intro from the final game at Toronto's Maple Leaf Gardens.
Under Pressure: Queen and David Bowie
The duet between one of the greatest rock bands and one of the most eccentric singers in history became an instant classic in 1982.
It makes a great song to play at a game during a situation when a team is trying to come back into the game, or when someone is going on the penalty kill. Every game counts, and everyone is feeling the heat to win big or go home.
We Will Rock You: Queen
Any in-arena DJ needing an easy pump up the crowd song is going to reach for this classic. It will get everyone stomping their feet, clapping their hands and singing along as soon as the opening chords come over the speakers.
What I love most about this video is the guitarist wearing a Blackhawks jacket. It makes you think this song was just destined for NHL arenas.
We're Not Gonna Take It: Twisted Sister
If your team is on a losing skid or you feel like the refs are letting every call go your rival's way, break out this 80s classic. I guarantee at least one person will agree with your feelings, pump their fists and shout the main rally cry.
Welcome to the Jungle: Guns N' Roses
Let's face it, every team thinks their fans are the best and that their arena is the loudest out of every other in whatever league they play in.
This song reminds everyone at the game of that fact.