For the past few months, the police officers and firefighters who will participate tomorrow night in Guns 'N' Hoses 5 have dedicated hours upon hours of their personal time and poured their own blood, sweat, and tears into a training regime they hope will ensure them a victory inside the boxing ring. But there's one final aspect to their appearance in the event that I would argue is equally as important...the entrance theme.

The decision on what song should be played as a fighter emerges from behind the curtain and makes their way to the ring is one that should not be taken lightly. The entrance theme should be viewed as the outside packaging that gives the consumer a glimpse of what the product is all about. The right appearance or perception can make all the difference in whether or not the crowd will buy into the product.

Think of it like this; let's say you've been asked to run to the store and pick up some beer. Let's also say, for argument's sake, that you don't drink beer and don't know what's good and what's not. You walk down the beer aisle and see these two cans side-by-side on the shelf:

Which do you choose? More than likely you're going to choose the one in the more eye pleasing package (that would be the one on the right in case you weren't sure). Are the contents better? The only way to tell is to taste both, but as far as I know, most stores frown on self-administered taste tests. The can on the left could contain the best tasting beer ever made, but with first impressions being everything, it's outward appearance gives off the vibe that it tastes like a fermented jock strap.

This same principle applies to the entrance music a fighter chooses. It provides the all-important first impression to the crowd and let's them know whether or not a fighter means business.

There are two things a fighter should consider when selecting their entrance theme:

  1. It has to be uptempo and get the adrenaline running. You are getting ready to stand face to face with another human being whose only goal is to end the fight with you on the floor staring into the back of your eyelids. This more than a fight, this is a war. Pride is on the line, and choosing the right music let's not only the crowd, but your opponent know that you're here to make the next three minutes the most difficult and painful three minutes of their life.
  2. Lyrics. Lyrics. Lyrics. Good lyrics are like good poetry, they have the ability to transcend (Ooh! A fancy word!) their original meaning and apply to whatever situation the reader chooses. This means the song doesn't necessarily have to be about fighting, but it shouldn't be about rainbows and lollipops either.

To compile the list of songs I think are perfect for making a solid first impression when heading to the ring, I consulted my own personal music collection and spoke to a few co-workers here at the station for their opinion. What started as a list of 35 in a notebook (honestly, I could have come up with 350...or at least 37), became the five songs below. What you won't find on this list is the theme from Rocky or Eye of the Tiger because that's too easy and I feel they're played out. What you will find are songs that exemplify (Ooh! Another fancy word!) the idea that it's go time. Let's get ready to rumble.

Volbeat - A Warrior's Call

Why it works: It's about boxing. The Danish rock band wrote the song for boxer and fellow Dane, Mikkel Kessler and begins with the musical equivalent of a one-two-punch followed by a "Let's get ready to rummmmbbbbllleee!" by frontman Michael Poulsen. The chorus alone is enough to get the blood pumping with it's chant of "Fight! Fight! Fight!" in between lyrics of "Feel the power of the warrior" and "Feel the pain tomorrow."


House of Pain - Jump Around

Why it works: To put it simply, the song is just a straight-out jam. Although they don't last more than five seconds, the opening horns have become one of the most recognizable beginnings in music and lead into a bass-driven groove that makes it virtually impossible not to "jump around".


Cypress Hill - Insane in Brain

Why it works: This one fits both considerations I mentioned earlier quite nicely. It features a great, uptempo groove right out of the gate that makes it virtually impossible not to bounce, or at the very least nod your nod to. Although lyrically, the song's focus is trying to keep the po-po from finding your stash of "catarac medicine", the opening line, "Who you tryin' to get crazy with ese? Don't you know I'm loco?" coupled with the repeated line, "Insane in the membrane...Insane in the brain!" could be interpretted to mean the fighter is indeed insane and should be handled with caution.


Pantera - Mouth for War

Why it works: It's loud. It's fast. It's heavy. It's angry. With a mix of thrashing guitars and thunderous drums right out of the gate that lead to Pantera's signature groove-metal sound, the opening track from their 1992 album, Vulgar Display of Power, is all about fighting back after being pushed to far. Lyrics like, "Possessed, I feel the conquering will down inside me/Strength, the strength of many to crush who might stop me" and "The releasing of anger, can better any medicine under the sun" is the perfect fuel to get a fighter's mind prepared for needs to be done.


Hatebreed - I Will Be Heard

Why it works: Despite what their name may suggest, and as difficult as it may be to believe (going back to that whole "first impression" thing), Hatebreed's lyrics are generally positive in nature and encourage believing in yourself as well as rising above no matter how bad the situation or the decisions you've made in the past.

Much like "Mouth for War", "I Will Be Heard" is the perfect blend of adrenaline pumping music and lyrics that can be applied to any sport or life situation. The chorus says it all. "Now is the time for me to rise to my feet/Wipe your spit from my face/Wipe these tears from eyes."


What songs have this year's fighter's chosen to get them mentally set for battle? Find out for yourself tomorrow night inside The Ford Center. Tickets are available at The Ford Center box office and online.