What does house music have to do with White Sox baseball?
In the beginning, there was Jack, and Jack had a groove.
And from this groove came the groove of all grooves.
And while one day viciously throwing down on his box, Jack boldy declared,
‘Let there be HOUSE!’
and House Music was born.
About ‘Jack,’ the basis of house music:
“Jacking was a term coined in Chicago for waist-centric launch and recovery dance of house. The Jack represents the control factor in house dance, manipulating the energy by gathering it on the snare and releasing it on the high hat…Jack is the foundation.”
Tonight is a special night. Two of my favorite things in the world, White Sox baseball and house music, will come together for one glorious event. While some people may view it as a throwaway weeknight promotion, I am beyond excited for House Music Night at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Chicago is the birthplace of house music. In the early 1980s, underground club DJs and music producers began experimenting with more electronic and minimalistic takes on pop-like disco tracks. Repeating 4/4 beats, rhythms made with drum machines, off-beat hi-hat cymbals, and deep synthesized basslines comprised the signature sound. The very first house record came to be when Chicago DJ and producer Jesse Saunders released “On and On” in 1984. The iconic ‘Jack’ speech referenced at the beginning of the article became the anthem of house music when another Chicago DJ and producer, Larry Heard (who produced under the name Mr. Fingers), used it as a vocal sample on his 1988 record, “Can You Feel It.”
The catchy genre first spread to London and then became popular in American cities outside of Chicago, such as Detroit and Los Angeles. In the 1990s, mainstream music acts began including the elements of house music in their sounds. House music has since exploded into a worldwide sensation. The rising popularity of electronic dance music along with the infusion of audio editing/mixing software and online music streaming services have brought house music from the underground scene into the mainstream spotlight.
So what does house music have to do with White Sox baseball? Actually quite a lot. Sure, there’s the annual themed promotional night featuring local DJs, but you also hear house music through the speakers at Guaranteed Rate Field almost every game.
If you came to the White Sox Home Opener this year, the team entered from the centerfield gate to some very popular house tracks.
At 4:40, you can hear “Get Up (Rattle)” by Bingo Players featuring Far East Movement. Afterward, “Greyhound” by the recently reunited Swedish House Mafia comes through the speakers at 6:29. I’m a huge fan of Swedish House Mafia, so “Greyhound” got me even more amped than I already was for the game. The team has also taken the field to that song multiple times throughout the season. There’s even more house music in the Home Opener entrance that follows the two songs previously mentioned, but I just wanted to highlight a couple examples.
Between innings at the Rate, you’re bound to hear house music from the likes of Sigala, Avicii(R.I.P.), Zedd, Kygo, Galantis, The Chainsmokers, and more. When the speakers aren’t roaring, White Sox organist Lori Moreland occasionally plays the melodies of popular electronic tunes during stoppages of play.
If you attended Sox Fest back in January, you heard house music. The official White Sox Spotify playlist for the event contains music from many of the artists mentioned above plus Marshmello, Ookay, Cheat Codes, Audien, San Holo, Eklo, and Clean Bandit.
If you came out to any of the Sox On 35th Tailgates, you heard almost nothing but house music. I was on DJ duty for both of them, and 90% of my playlist consisted of house music.
In the short video clip above, I’m pumping some Don Diablo through the speakers for the Sox On 35th X Sox Mafia crowd.
Whether you’re a fan of it or not, house music is a component of the White Sox gameday experience. It’s popular, it’s catchy, and it excites the crowd. Just go with the flow and enjoy the music. Hope to see you at the ballpark tonight!