The National Hockey League has a music problem. Not in so much the bands they select for All-Star Games or NHL events are bad or untalented, but their so incredibly safe it’s worth having a conversation about.
Case and point, it was announced this weekend rockers Fall Out Boy was going to play in Washington on Monday in advance of Game Four of the Stanley Cup Finals. This comes after the Vegas Golden Knights heavily featured pop-rock band Imagine Dragons in their pregame ceremony.
Imagine Dragons and Fall Out Boy’s music have starred in more sports promos, by my estimation, than any other band in the last couple of years. You can’t escape them. There repetitive and easy-to-sing-along hooks make them the perfect bands for commercials. However, the NHL is severely lacking on star power with their uninspired music choices.
Whoever books the league’s musical performances for significant events needs to expand their range. Fall Out Boy are well past their height of relevance, even though they’re still incredibly successful. Imagine Dragons, meanwhile, is a bit more forgivable considering their from Vegas, but again, it’s the exact kind of band you’d expect.
Although, it should be said Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons are Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd compared to previous performers. Remember during the All-Star game when Kid Rock performed. Yes, the self-proclaimed “White Boy” Trump-supporting grease rocker… In 2018. Meanwhile, the NBA booked N.E.R.D., and the MLB landed Gwen Stefani. The NHL isn’t even trying to diversify its music selections. They’re catering to their prominently white audience – which is not how you grow the game.
Three Doors Down at the All-Star Game in 2011? Gavin DeGraw and Lee Greenwood at the 2015 NHL Winter Classic? Billy Idol during the 2014 Winter Classic? The deeper you look, the worst the NHL’s music choices are.
I’m not saying every single choice has been wrong or uninspired. The NHL has nailed its country music branding in Nashville, Snoop Dogg uncensored at the All-Star Game was great and getting Bryan Adams singing at the NHL 100 Classic in Ottawa was awesome.
But with Fall Out Boy and Imagine Dragons, who again, are both good, the host cities and NHL have once again gone the safe route. If I had to take two guesses on the bands the league was going to choose, it would have been these guys. Give me something I wouldn’t expect for once. It’s getting tired.
Who can’t wait for Hoobastank to perform at an NHL event in 2019?