Twist and shout my way out
And wrap yourself around me
‘Cause I ain’t the way you found me
And I’ll never be the same…
–Hall & Oates, “You Make My Dreams”
Last season, the home team celebrated its lamp-lighting to a modified version of “Enforcer,” a 2016 arena-rock anthem by Hamilton, Ont.–based band Monster Truck. A “Go! Leafs! Go!” chant was added to the mix for effect.
Fresh for 2018-19, Scotiabank Arena swells with the gloriously cheesy and addictive Hall & Oates classic “You Make My Dreams” whenever the boys in blue find the net.
For an organization that has long been imagining the day when their Stanley Cup drought ends in blissful reality, the lyrical metaphor is as blatant as it is catchy.
Please, do listen as you read on:
“I like it,” Matthews lights up, smiling wide when we cue up the topic.
“It might get annoying, but I like it a lot. I’ve heard it a couple times already, and it’s already kinda sticking in my head.”
As he kneels down for a screaming fist-pump or glides to the glass after a strike, Matthews is usually oblivious to the soundtrack of his celebration.
“But it’s a different song from last year, so you get kinda caught up in it — and everyone’s talking about it. So every time you score, you hear it,” says Matthews, who requested the tune twice on Opening Night.
With a sly grin that foreshadows the good kind of cocky, he adds this:
“We’re gonna know all the lyrics by the third game of the season.”
Asked for his favourite goal song, Matthews notes Chiddy Bang’s MGMT-sampling “Opposite of Adults,” the anthem selected by Team North America at the 2016 World Cup.
“It was good,” Matthews says. “It made a lot of sense for the team we had, because we were all young kids.”
Hall & Oates’ Top-5 Billboard single was recorded way back in 1980. “You Make My Dreams” predates the childhood of every Leaf not named Patrick Marleau. (There is no truth to reports that the Leafs had planned on going with “Kiss on My List” until Leo Komarov left.)
“Pretty good tune. I like it,” says Mitch Marner. “The fans seem to like it. That’s all that really matters.”
Marner, a movie nut, doesn’t know much about Hall & Oates’ poppy pursuit of blue-eyed soul that swooned the ’80s, but he’s likely heard “Dreams” used in memorable film scenes from Dumb and Dumberer, Ready Player One, Eddie the Eagle, and Step Brothers.
Karate in the garage!
“I’m pretty partial to the goal songs of the ’90s. The stadium anthems. Jock Jams. I like ‘Chelsea Dagger’ a lot. Being from Chicago, I thought that one was genius. That’s a classic song. It gets people moving. It gets people fired up. Hopefully we’re tired of [‘You Make My Dreams’] by the end of the year.”
Nazem Kadri is the club’s longest-tenured player and resident DJ. He submits a playlist for the game operations crew to play during warm-ups. (A Drake devotee, Kadri is kicking off October warm-ups with Travis Scott’s excellent “Sicko Mode,” and we are here for it.)
Kadri says the players “definitely” have a say in the goal song, but even though collectively it’s working for now, he’s not convinced “Dreams” is here to stay.
“It’s not my first choice,” Kadri admits. “I’m not sure if we’re going to stick with that or what’s going to happen. I don’t mind it.
“Honestly, when you’re at ice level and you score, the last thing you’re thinking about is the music going on. That’s more for the fans and the game ops side of things. But we’ll talk to the group.”
Selecting the right goal song is a delicate art. It must be familiar but unique, catchy and upbeat — but not annoyingly so. The Blackhawks kinda set the bar, but with its joyful Hall & Oates gambit, Toronto is climbing the ranks.
“I like one that’s traditional. That one in Chicago when they score: Da da-da dut! Da-da da-da da-da-dut! I’ve heard that song and dance quite a few times while we’re down there,” Kadri says.
“I don’t like to hear it, but I think it’s cool that every time they score it’s a been a tradition since I’ve been playing in the league.”