“Our in-arena experience is designed for the fans...” said John Maher, vice president of brand, content and communications for the Minnesota Wild. And those fans have spoken. Tuesday we found out that the Minnesota will ditch Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant” for Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.”
After a survey was sent out to season ticket holders, the song, which was debuted as a tribute in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup First Round against the Stars in April, was voted on and adopted. Provincial Minnesotans see the song selection as a natural fit because the song tributes the late local artist, but it should appeal to fans that the Wild now has something uniquely Minnesota.
Or so one would think...
After the change to the goal song was announced, there are comments on articles all over the web that display displeasure with “Let’s Go Crazy.”
Among one of the gripes, commentors note that the, “the song isn’t upbeat or energetic.” Which, if you only listened to “Diamonds and Pearls” from Prince, sure, you can assume that maybe his music is on the slow R&B side of things. This assumption, is of course, completely asinine. “Let’s Go Crazy” is in 4/4 time signature at 196 beats per minute. That’s fast and upbeat, if you ask me. In comparison, “Crowd Chant” comes in at 120 beats per minute, the University of Minnesota’s Rouser comes in at 75 beats per minute, and for nostalgia’s sake, Gary Glitter’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll pt 2 (Hey Song)” comes in at 129 beats per minute.
If “Let’s Go Crazy,” isn’t upbeat, then Lamb of God is church music.
Another complaint seen is, “the Wild were the first to do ‘Crowd Chant’ and we shouldn’t have to change!” Which, yes, if you want to talk about firsties no-backsies, then fine. But as soon as the Islanders started using “Crowd Chant” for their goal song, the Wild needed to change. There’s only 30 teams in the NHL, and millions of songs out there that could be used as a goal song. There is an ability to be unique...even in pro sports.
And then there’s this seemingly out-there rationale:
I don’t even know where to begin with this. First, you don’t play heavy metal at a dance club because the incredibly fast double-bass kicks, crunchy, raunchy tones of the guitars, and blood-curdling screams of the vocals doesn’t lend itself well to dancing. But this statement implies that only heavy metal can be played at hockey games. Surely, there’s a time for it, but even then, most of the time at hockey games, it’s 1980’s arena rock, hair metal anyways. Why? Because it’s safe. Those songs, now 30 years later have proven they’ve stood the test of time, and with the majority of season ticket holders between 35-60, there’s a demographic Game Ops is looking to appeal to. And so with that very real aspect of the demographics in play, Prince is absolutely allowed in hockey games. Honestly, there should be more willingness on part of Game Ops to use a larger variety of music to appeal to all ages and styles.
The Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa last season played music during play stoppages that isn’t so common among North American sports arenas. They played some actual hip hop and R&B and, for once, it was a nice change to the same cookie cutter rock anthems you hear everywhere else. You don’t even have to like that music, but it’s the variety that people should welcome.
Prince died from a Fentanyl drug overdose. Fentanyl is an opioid used as an anesthetic to manage pain. And some feel that by making the change to the goal song, that, “it glorifies a drug addict.” I hate to break it to you. You might as well take all those posters, those albums, and stop listening to the radio because all that music that has enriched your life, all those artists were real fricken high. Sure maybe not all of them were using drugs, but it sure is amazing the tone deafness of some people.
All-in-all, the in arena experience is for fans, just like John Maher had explained. And whether you like it or not, the season ticket holders are essentially stake holders in the Wild. They paid for their right to be included on such fan relation matters, and just because there are people out there that don’t like the change, the stake holders, and fans that can speak up have spoken.
Now, if only we can get them to tell Game Ops to stop the annoying branded power play announcements that force poor Adam Abrams to say accompanied with awful techno music.