Five for Fighting at a hockey party seems so right

Come visit Syracuse, league's best.

Come visit Syracuse, league’s best.

When my dear wife Karen texted from SMG on Friday afternoon with the news that she’d snagged a pair of free tickets for the AHL All-Star Classic weekend, I was all-in.

The VIP Party on Day One brought rock band Five for Fighting to the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse, the convention center next door to the Onondaga County War Memorial, home rink for our city’s Syracuse Crunch, and home for the next night’s antics for the best players from the American Hockey League.

Yes, we already were committed to an afternoon of jazz out in Baldwinsville. We’ll leave a bit early for the rock/hockey party, we figured.

Alas, we had to walk up to the concession stand and buy orders of chicken tenders and a side of fries to split when we arrived. No free food at the VIP party.

And the band Five for Fighting makes a major impression in the Oncenter in Syracuse, N.Y.

And the band Five for Fighting makes a major impression in the Oncenter in Syracuse, N.Y.

After we finished our $22 meal (with two bottles of water) we turned to the band, aptly-named-for-a-hockey-bash. We both remembered Five for Fighting, particularly for its 2004 hit 100 Years.

Then the band played the song straight.

I caught a portion with my iPhone 6.

Front man John Ondrasik kept the crowd comfortable, the friendly Californian even stripping down that hit to play a name-a-hockey-player game to draw fans around the stage into the spirit of the sport.

Crunch owner Howard Dolgon, always up for a challenge for his franchise, made sure exhibits were set up to do the same.

Hover over either gallery photo for a description. Click on either image for an enlarged slide show.

I enjoyed seeing the original seating from the War Memorial, with the placard reminding fans that Paul Newman’s Classic hockey comedy, Slapshot, used the old barn for filming.

And Crunch players sure have worn many different jerseys as they’ve skated with ties to the Vancouver Canucks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Anaheim Ducks and now Tampa Bay Lightning through their three decades as an AHL franchise.

Have you ever attended a VIP party, and if so, what was the occasion? Our tickets were free, but if you bought a $50 ticket that said VIP, would you expect some food included? Which jersey in this post do you like best, and why?

16 thoughts on “Five for Fighting at a hockey party seems so right

  1. Great song, Mark. We did a VIP event at a Indy Car race–at the time called C.A.R.T.. It was worth every penny we paid. I don’t remember the food, just the experience.

    That evening after the event, we were dining at a restaurant. We’d just met Mario Andretti that afternoon and who should walk in with his entire family and sit at the table next to us and say hello. We loved it!


  2. I used to play in a band with a girl who now plays bass for Five for Fighting but she’s more of a hired hand so I wonder if she played for this show. Was it just this song or a full concert? Did you see her up there? She has long brown hair.


  3. I love reading about your adventures, Mark! What a fun event!
    My VIP experience was back in the day “Stars on Ice” – Dorothy Hamel, Phillipe Candoloro…and many more former Olympian ice skaters. The highlight was taking my picture with Phillipe and meeting Dorothy Hamel. She is just as lovely up close as she is on the ice.
    I couldn’t sleep when I got home!!


    • When I was a reporter, I was sent to write about the Ice Capades coming to Syracuse, Michelle. And Dorothy Hamill had just bought into that franchise, and was talking to the media at the arena. Face to face, up close … I must admit, she made my heart go just a tad pitter-patter, and my tongue get a bit tied. For just a second. 🙂


  4. I have never attended a VIP event, but did waitress at Regatta when younger. Much younger!! But I do think they always rip you off! You don’t get ought for nought!!
    The main thing about this post of yours was Five for fighting. Their song 100 years is especially poignant to me at the moment with mother in law just having had a TIA and fit. She has regained all her facilities very quickly only to find that her Lymphoma has returned after a ten year absense. She is three months off of being 96 years. She has told the oncologist that she wants treatment she wants more years.
    The song 100 years was brought to my attention by Helen Espinosa at Life one word at a time, last week when we got the news. I can tell you it brought me up short not only for mother in law but me too. It make you think. I enjoyed your video very much . sorry to go so off topic. xxxx


    • My wishes are for your MIL to get well again from that treatment and reach that special number 100, Willow. I’m glad the song gives you some depth here today, and the video some enjoyment.

      Not off topic at all, my friend! Every post is best as a leaping-off point, right? ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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