MLS gets a new walkout Anthem and it’s definitely a Zimmer composition. But will everyone like it? Or is it more hype than hit?
You hear it every time teams exit their respective tunnels and begin that long walk to the center of the field. For LA Galaxy fans, the tympanic march starts about the time the match officials pick up the ball and begin leading both teams, with their child assistants in tow, towards the beginning of the game.
But for MLS’ 25th season, the league wanted to change things up. And debuting this year is an energetic theme consistent with the man who composed it.
He’s known as the rock star of movie composers. And he’s created some iconic pieces of movie music magic. That includes his Oscar-winning score for The Lion King, his never-forgettable Pirates of the Caribbean series, and his deep and gritty The Dark Night Trilogy.
And even if you don’t know his name off the top of your head, Hans Zimmer – the composer of the newest version of the MLS Anthem – understands that you know his music, you know his style, and you know he likes to go hard with his compositions.
But Zimmer also includes something more with this version of the anthem. He’s bringing an understanding of the beautiful game and the drama that is inherent every time the ball is about to be kicked.
“Nothing moves people like the global game of soccer. Composing an anthem for Major League Soccer was a thrilling challenge and a great honor given its growth and increasing stature in world sports,” said Zimmer. “I’m proud of the finished product and of all of the artists who worked on the piece. We have created an anthem that captures the true spirit of MLS and its supporters during this remarkable era for the league.”
In this updated anthem, Zimmer brings a synthy, robust, strings-forward approach that is backed by pounding drums and sharp, full orchestral accompaniment, with just enough melody to keep you tapping your foot along.
It’s a musical interlude that is just as welcomed in a movie theatre, a club, or your nearest soccer stadium.
But more than anything, the anthem builds in intensity until the final note is left hanging at the end. In soccer terms, Zimmer’s provided you with the interception of a pass, the buildup play afterward, and the near-euphoric crescendo of scoring a goal.
“With this composition, I tried to give the fans, and the players a feeling of anticipation, drama, and excitement – everything that makes this game so unique and special,” Zimmer explained in the YouTube video accompanying the anthem’s release.
Now with any art form, there will be detractors. Some might think the anthem as more hype than substance, and more over-the-top than regal. What’s always been clear is that no one ever accused Zimmer of restraint with his scores.
And the length of the song could also be an issue (1 minute, 7 seconds). Especially for teams with long walks like the Galaxy – will the song repeat well, or will the players be midway between the tunnel and midfield and be walking in a desert of silence.
It’s hard to tell exactly how it will be received until teams use it this Saturday. But Zimmer has created a feeling that should permeate stadiums, draw attention to the spectacle about to be played, and, at the very least, give everyone a chance to complain about something.