Today I was working on a group assignment with two fellow classmates for my film editing class.
“So, what did you two do last night?” one partner asked.
My other partner launched into a description of a fantastic, authentic taco place she visited with her boyfriend. Sounded delicious.
“What about you?” she asked me.
“Oh, I played in the opener of the Ducks-Kings game in Dodger Stadium.”
Their jaws dropped.
A little bit of backstory: I’m not sure why, but for some reason, somebody decided it would be really cool if professional hockey teams could start playing their games outside. So, with a huge to-do, LA’s iconic Dodger Stadium was transformed to include an ice rink. This was to be NHL’s first outdoor game, a history maker, and the game was to be played between the LA Kings and the Anaheim Ducks, who share one of hockey’s more serious rivalries.
The whole thing was a huge production — they brought in KISS, Jordin Sparks, and, of course, none other than the USC Trojan Marching Band to play the teams in. In conversation with a friend, I wondered what it must be like for other marching bands who have to do gigs like this in places that aren’t warm and sunny 90% of the time; she reminded me that things like this don’t happen everywhere. They happen here. It’s funny how often I still have to pinch myself because I’m living in LA.
As we warmed up in sectionals before the game, fans gathered to watch. Without direction, we broke out into impromptu performances of hits such as “Tusk” and “Brooklyn”, which was so much fun. Since we were only at this gig to play one song (“I Love LA”, made famous by the LA Lakers), I had felt like I was missing out on all our other hits, so it was nice to have some time and an audience for them.
After KISS opened for us (yep.), we marched into the jam-packed stadium playing “I Love LA” and leading in players from both teams. We got to stay on the field for the anthem, and then headed out. Before we had even made it out of the parking lot, the Ducks scored twice! (Go Ducks!)
It was a historic game, and it only made sense that the Trojan Marching Band — Hollywood’s band — was a part of it. These types of experiences seem so commonplace while we’re experiencing them, but I know this is one of the things I’m going to miss most about USC when I graduate. Putting on that uniform means assuming an identity, a tradition, and a sense of community. The uniform is a symbol for fans everywhere. And while I’ll always be a fan, it won’t be quite the same.
But for now, I’m going to take advantage of as many gigs as I can, and I’m going to brag about it like crazy, because being arrogant is part of being in The Greatest Marching Band in the History of the Universe… Ever.