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    Tuesday, March 24, 2020

    #ThemeSongTuesday: Ooooh I'm Blinded By The Lights

    We're a couple of weeks away from WrestleMania Too Empty For Two Nights and it looks like Vince McMahon is actually crazy enough to mount a two-night show with zero fans, COVID-19 be damned. Welp. That's enough of a reason to finally write about this year's WrestleMania theme song, then.

    WWE's music team tapped The Weeknd to use his late 2019 hit, "Blinding Lights," as the theme song for WrestleMania Crickets and when I first heard the song used on WWE TV, I couldn't help but imagine how this song would've been a stadium anthem. Now, this isn't the first song that's seemed out of place for a WWE event. That award still goes to Demi Lovato's "Cool For The Summer" from SummerSlam 2015. Then again, I thought the same thing about OneRepublic's "Love Runs Out," which was the theme song for last year's WrestleMania. And as soon as I took my seat at the MetLife Stadium and heard the marching drum beat of the song, I could feel the energy rise up and the tone being set—elements I need in my stadium anthems.

    Given the circumstances surrounding this year's WrestleMania, it'll be weird imagining a rocking stadium because, well, (1) there is no stadium, just the Performance Center and a couple other locations, and (2) there are no fans. It makes me wonder how it would have turned out, though, just the same.

    That said, I thought I'd heard "Blinding Lights" enough times (from our radio station's rotation) to conclude that it wasn't a song that would hype me up for a show like WrestleMania Empty. But because we all have a lot more extra time on our hands, I figured, why not listen to the song on repeat a few extra times?

    The more I hear that synth loop straight out of the 80's, the more I'm buying into "Blinding Lights" as a stadium anthem. I can hear that loop all day—something that's totally within the realm of possibility if you were ever to attend a WrestleMania live—and imagine the intensity building up into the stadium. A real stadium anthem doesn't have to be super upbeat—"Blinding Lights" is only on 85 BPM, compared to "Love Runs Out," which is almost doubly fast at 140 BPM—but it has to build the energy in the air.

    Compare it to another famous stadium anthem, like "Sirius" by the Alan Parsons Project—the immortal piece of music that the Chicago Bulls has been using to introduce their starting lineup dating back to Michael Jordan's time with the team. It sets the tone by building the anticipation, crescendoing into a climax of excitement. That's the vibe you want for big events, and it's why it's no surprise that many grooms have used it for their wedding entourage entrances. Hell, even QUATRO and the Naughty Boys used it as their entrance theme when they main-evented last year's PWR Live: DESTINO.

    Taking the song by itself, "Blinding Lights" passes as a stadium anthem. Lyrically, though, it's an entirely different story since it tells the story of The Weeknd's on-and-off relationship with Bella Hadid. Awkward.

    But if you're going off the hook alone, the line, "I said oooh, I'm blinded by the lights" is something I'm sure a lot of the performers would be able to relate with. Performing in front of over 80,000 fans when the lights are brightest, man, that's got to give you a different type of high. It's an adrenaline rush that could inspire the greatest of performances. Man, now I really feel bummed that COVID-19 messed up this year's WrestleMania, along with normal life all around the world.

    I'm really curious who makes the call to tap which artist and choose which song as a theme for a WWE live event. I really want to know the thought process behind selecting a track or if WWE's music team actually works with record labels and times it with the release of an anticipated album or track from an artist they really want to push.

    Maybe the recording industry has similarities with wrestling in that regard? It's just a question worth asking since the timing is also suspect since The Weeknd just released After Hours, the album that "Blinding Lights" is from this past weekend, which would've been a great build for WrestleMania Just Seats and its schedule.

    Anyway, what do you think of The Weeknd and his hit, "Blinding Lights," as this year's WrestleMania anthem? Can you think of a better choice among the current releases and chart-toppers? Let me know in the comments section!

    Header image from WWE


    Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.
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    Item Reviewed: #ThemeSongTuesday: Ooooh I'm Blinded By The Lights Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Stan Sy
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