Rock music and sport have forever been linked, with action often set to a soundtrack for inspiration, motivation and sometimes, commiseration.
Songs such as ‘Eye of the Tiger’ are linked to sports and immediately bring up an image without any prompting. When Survivor’s classic is fired up, who doesn’t instantly start shadow boxing?
Whether it’s for walk-on music, half time intervals or embraced by fans as a chant, rock music will always have a place in sport. So with that in mind, let’s look at four sports heavily influenced and defined by the genre.
Part of the pre-match build-up to any NFL game is about whipping the crowd into a frenzy with inspirational music. Republica’s ‘Ready to Go’ is a great example of a rock song with relevant lyrics that will guarantee fans are on the edge of their seats ready for some high octane NFL action.
The Super Bowl is a world-famous event that is often as well known for whoever performs at half time as it is for the sporting event itself. Kid Rock has performed at the interval of the showcase NFL events, a show Country Rebel called ‘legendary’, with ZZ Top and KISS also amongst those who have performed.
You can read an interview with KISS star Eric Singer right here on Rock Music Star.
Whilst this sport might not be as popular in the US, one of the songs associated with it is a classic sports anthem. The Dropkick Murphy’s ‘Shipping Up to Boston’ is used by the Ireland international rugby team, as well as London Irish and Connacht Rugby.
It’s been the entrance music for UFC fighter Forest Griffin, as well as utilized by the New England Patriots in the NFL. It’s a song wide receiver Julian Edelman told ESPN was a ‘classic’.
It even featured on the soundtrack to NHL 11, an ice hockey game by EA Sports.
It’s a wonderful example of a single rock song being used across multiple sports because of its wide appeal.
‘Seven Nation Army’ by the White Stripes has been turned into a terrace chant, and an easily identifiable tune that can be molded into a catchy chant for an entire stadium to sing.
Songs such as ‘Seven Nation Army’ have also bridged the Atlantic and are even sung by European soccer fans. And with each individual league or cup competition comes its own unique charm, as well as songs. A Ladbrokes musical tribute to the FA Cup explains how soccer fans bring out the sport’s tribal glory through the songs and chants sung at matches. Whilst England is the home of soccer, often their musical influence comes from the United States – a more recent example being the aforementioned White Stripes track.
Sometimes hit songs are used by teams to really identify with their fan base. The Fratelli’s sang ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and with its catchy chorus, it makes the perfect song to be sung when Premier League team Chelsea score a goal.
Whilst we’ve touched on a song used in an ice hockey game, the NHL is another place where the atmosphere is often accelerated with a thumping rock tune.
The Ottawa Senators use Blur’s ‘Song 2’, a raucous two-minute rock song that has many uses across sport. It also paved the way for music to be used in sports games, as an article by Vice explains after it appeared in FIFA 98 by EA Sports.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights use Panic! At the Disco’s ‘Vegas Lights’ to great effect, once again mixing a relevant title with just the right type of sound to inspire the crowd.