Growing up, I played lots of soccer at the YMCA in Atlanta. I was usually playing center midfield or stopper/sweeper (the last defender). It was really fun playing with my friends and competing in the Hotlanta sun.
As an adult, I got into soccer in a different way, when I coached my cousin’s 8-year old soccer team with my Uncle in Dallas. I had so much fun teaching my cousin and her friends how to play the game that I ended up coaching a 12-13 year old team right when I moved to the Bay Area. Even though that team only won one game during the regular season, we won 3 games in a row to make it to the championship (no we didn’t end up on top).
Over the last decade, Major League Soccer, has really started to gain some serious traction in the United States. New teams are being created almost every year now (they just started a team in Atlanta). So I knew that if we ever got an opportunity to perform for the San Jose Earthquakes that we should make the most of it.
We ended up getting connected to the Entertainment team at the Earthquakes through a website called GigMasters. They were looking for bands to perform pre-game and post game. We sent them our demo and told them that we had recently been performing at Oakland Raiders games.
They were impressed with our credentials so we agreed to perform for the Earthquakes final home game of the year, against the Minnesota United FC. The deal was to perform for 60 minutes before kick off and for 60 minutes after the game.
After we signed the agreement, I started watching the standings more closely, because it the Earthquakes were battling to reach the playoffs. As it worked out, the final home game of the year ended up having major ramifications. If the Earthquakes beat Minnesota United FC, then they would make the playoffs. Lose or tie, then another team would also have to lose in order for them to advance.
The game day weather was incredible. It was in the 70’s and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. An if you’ve never been to Avaya Stadium, then you need to go check out an Earthquakes game. Avaya Stadium is beautiful and state of the art. It’s also conveniently located right next to the San Jose Airport, which is cool because you get to watch the airplanes take off and land.
Behind one of the goals, is the largest outdoor bar in North America. This is a great spot to grab a beer and enjoy the pre-game festivities. Behind that is a large grassy area where a dozen or so food trucks set up shop to sell their delicious treats and snacks to all of the Earthquake fans. Local shops also set up festival tents and kids bring their soccer balls to kick around while they picnic with their families. It’s really a great family friendly experience for families that like to go to sporting events.
Not only was it fun to play for all of the fans who showed up early, but the team put our entire performance on the big screen and blasted our music throughout the entire stadium. We even got to take a pre-game pic with the team mascot, Q. Pretty cool huh?
After we finished our pre-game performance, we took our seats to watch the game. As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot riding on this game. So you could feel the nervous excitement that everyone had as both teams battled throughout the game.
It was a hard fought match, and tied after playing through the second half of the game. Fortunately, the referees added 3 minutes of stoppage time, time that’s added at the end of each half for when players get injured during the game. Because with about 20 seconds left in stoppage time, the Earthquakes scored the winning goal to win the game. For non-sports fans, this is like hitting the 3 point shot as time is expiring or hitting a home run when it’s bottom of the night and there two outs. We were already set up to perform post-game. So we knew that when the stadium erupted in excitement that many people were going to be staying for our performance.
And we guessed correctly. There were so many people that staying to celebrate and enjoy our music, that the team asked us to play an additional 30 minutes. We happily obliged!
After we concluded our performance, we were given special permission to take a few band photos on the field, for proof that we got to play here.
All in all, it was a great gig and an awesome experience. Congratulations to the Earthquakes for making the playoffs (we hope you go all the way) and a big thank you to the team for giving us the opportunity to perform. We’d love to come back anytime.
Now that we’ve performed for the Oakland Raiders and San Jose Earthquakes, we’re even more interested in playing more sporting events. So if you’re working for a professional sports team and are looking for live music, please contact us! We’ll travel to wherever your team is located.