Purple lights danced on the ice, and the familiar melody of “Purple Rain” serenaded the crowd while a slide show of Price photos looped on the videoboard.
The Wild commemorated the local legend with a pregame tribute during its 2016 first-round playoff series, just days after Prince’s sudden death. But the team had another idea in mind of how to recognize the music icon.
It just took a while to unveil it.
Trailing 4-0 to the Dallas Stars in Game 6 on April 24 at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild didn’t start to rally until the third period. And when it did, the team’s usual goal song, “Crowd Chant,” didn’t pulse through the arena.
Instead, the Wild and its fans celebrated to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.”
“The fans really appreciated it,” said John Maher, the team’s senior brand advisor.
While the Wild ultimately faded that game, narrowly falling 5-4 to the Stars to get eliminated from the playoffs, the tune stuck.
“Let’s Go Crazy” remained the team’s goal song for the following two seasons after fans gave a thumbs-up to giving the track a longer run, and it got plenty of use. In 2016-17, the Wild scored a franchise-high 137 goals on home ice. Overall, the team’s 266 goals that season are still tops in Wild history.
But when the Wild again checked in with fans before the 2018-19 season,
to gauge their opinion on the team’s post-goal soundtrack, the sentiment changed.
In an annual survey among season-ticket members, more than 70% of respondents favored switching up the goal song. And in a follow-up poll, an overwhelming majority — more than 80% — wanted to reinstate “Crowd Chant.” Another option on the table was Kaleo’s “Glass House” suggested by the Wild’s game operations staff.
Joe Satriani’s “Crowd Chant” was the Wild’s goal song before the team adopted “Let’s Go Crazy” and after returning in 2018, it’s been accompanying Wild goals on home ice ever since.
Debuting in 2006, “Crowd Chant” has been the Wild’s most-used goal song since the team’s inception — a catchy combination of clapping, cheering and a memorable guitar riff.
“I like it because you can take part in it pretty easily,” Maher said. “There’s the literal chant part of it, and the beat is kind of pounding and the fans clap along to it. For me, it just feels like something that you can take part in maybe more so than other songs.”
Frequently, Maher explained, the Wild seeks feedback from fans about their time at Xcel Energy Center and music is a popular topic. The success of the team is top priority, Maher said, but what’s also important are the other aspects that go along with taking in a game.
Watching the action can be personal for fans but with thousands in attendance usually rooting for the same outcome, catching a game live is also a communal experience. What happens after a goal by the home team captures that perfectly.
“They would love to have more of those moments,” Maher said. “It’s kind of that thing that when you’re at the game that everybody takes part in together all the time, and the other thing is I think the fans take ownership of it.”