NOTE: This article originally appeared in the 2016 edition of the Patriots Gameday magazine.
Establishing the playlist at Gillette Stadium isn't as easy as throwing an iPod on shuffle. Each song is picked to evoke emotion, get the crowd fired up and create an electric atmosphere in the stadium. Some songs have been staples for years while others have only recently been mixed into the lineup, but each one, from "This Is Our House" to "Our Love," gives Patriots fans a reason to go crazy.
Kickoffs, turnovers, touchdowns and player milestones are all an opportunity to generate noise and utilize home field advantage for the Patriots. And more importantly, a strong game day soundtrack can underscore significant moments in franchise history.
Those memories are only enhanced through music and often happen without planning. You can't manufacture moments like when, during a close game, "Living on a Prayer" started to play and a camera panned to Jon Bon Jovi, who was in the stands. Instead of waving to the crowd, he sang along, and the Gillette Stadium fans went nuts. Yet, these unplanned moments happen and are often among the memorable moments for fans.
But without the right song at the right moment, those memories may never be created. With a DJ on site to help set the tone, the playlist can vary from game to game, but there are several songs that have become pivotal to the Patriots game day experience.
"O Fortuna" by Carl Orff
The powerful and dramatic piece plays every game as the Patriots make their way out of the locker room, down the tunnel and toward the field. The classic song had been in the regular rotation for several seasons and was even briefly retired, but its place in Patriots Nation is indispensable.
"O Fortuna" came back in epic fashion last season. Before the Springfield Symphony Orchestra teamed up with T-Pain for "All I Do is Win" at the home opener and the Super Bowl XLIX Championship banner raising ceremony, the orchestra brought down the house with "O Fortuna." The song has been back in the pregame festivities since.
"Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne
When the organization changed hands and was purchased by the Kraft family, "Crazy Train" was introduced as the perfect hype-up song. Ozzy Osbourne yelling "All aboard!" welcomes fans into the journey that is a Patriots game - an unpredictable, wild and thrilling ride. At the first wail of Ozzy's voice, the Gillette Stadium crowd is on its feet cheering for the hometown boys. "Crazy Train" is a New England Patriots anthem and rallying cry that is guaranteed to get the players and audience pumped up.
"Public Service Announcement" by Jay Z
Allow him to reintroduce himself. Tom Brady is a man who hardly needs an introduction, and when he steps on the Gillette Stadium field, everyone watching knows it. To reinforce that moment each home game, the second Brady's foot hits the field "Public Service Announcement" comes blasting over the speakers. Since the first time it played at Gillette Stadium, "Public Service Announcement" has become the quarterback's signature song. It is now used to not only introduce Brady but to commemorate any milestone he reaches.
"Thunderstruck" and "For Those About to Rock" by AC/DC
At any given point in a game, you can hear AC/DC. The classic, high-energy, pure rock 'n' roll sound encompassed the spirit of the Patriots and their fans when the Kraft family took over in 1994. The band has been a staple in the musical selections for more than 20 years and has done the trick in bringing the enthusiasm up throughout the game.
"For Those About to Rock" plays to lead up to the opening kickoff of the game, punctuated by a round fired by the End Zone Militia. "Thunderstruck" signals the Patriots kicking off during the game and the energy provided from the opening helps to set the pace and fire up the defense.
"Jump Around" by House of Pain
The early 90s jam has been a regular at Gillette Stadium to get the energy up, and while songs have rotated in this role, like "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)" by the Beastie Boys, the House of Pain song is a fan favorite. "Jump Around" typically plays in the third or fourth quarter of a close game to get the crowd, and in turn the team, going. It has had such an impact in creating home field advantage that in particularly tense games, the crowd's jumping has caused the upper-level press box to shake.
"This is Our House" by Bon Jovi
Jon Bon Jovi has said the band wrote "This is Our House" to be a sports anthem, and when it was completed, he presented the song to the organization. It was clear that the passion and energy of the song matched that of the team and made a perfect fit for a touchdown celebration. The song has stuck and has become synonymous with a Patriots score, celebrating some of the most pivotal moments from game-winners to clutch playoff TDs.
"Wild Thing" by The Troggs
Over the years, some players have requested songs to be played if they score or get a sack, but only a handful have stuck with the crowd. Rob Gronkowski's desired song choice, "Wild Thing" by The Troggs, is one of the success stories and has made an immediate impression on Patriots fans. When the tight end scores, "Wild Thing" plays as an homage to Gronk's vibrant personality and monster moves on the field, including his signature touchdown spike. The song is a fitting way to celebrate a Gronk score.
"Your Love (Josie)" by The Outfield
While some traditions are instilled at the beginning of a season, other iconic moments happen organically. As the minutes wound down in the 2015 AFC Divisional Round game against the Baltimore Ravens, the Patriots were up by four in the fourth quarter. Color Analyst (and former Patriots QB) Scott Zolak had requested "Your Love" by The Outfield, and when it finally played, the stadium lit up.
The chorus echoed through Gillette Stadium and the cameras panned to Zolak waving out of the press box window. It was an electric moment that helped to keep the energy on the Patriots side as they clinched the playoff game in the closing seconds, sparking their run to Super Bowl XLIX. Now, when the Patriots are winning in the fourth quarter, "Your Love" dominates Gillette Stadium.