Both Phish and Vampire Weekend paid tribute to the St. Louis Blues’ Stanley Cup victory on Wednesday with respective live versions of Laura Branigan’s 1982 synth-pop anthem “Gloria,” which the hockey team used this season as their post-victory locker room song.
Phish performed a fleshed-out version of the song, with keyboardist Page McConnell singing lead as he read lyrics from a sheet of paper. Guitarist Trey Anastasio grinned wildly while cranking out chunky barred chords, later adapting the main melodic theme into a guitar solo. In a display of their deft transitional skills, the jam band smoothly moved into a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Loving Cup.”
Vampire Weekend’s brief, ramshackle take opened with frontman Ezra Koenig leading the band through the basic chord changes. After singing the signature hook, he cut the song off with an emphatic hand gesture.
— Alan D Pennington (@alandpennington) June 13, 2019
The Blues secured their first Stanley Cup win over the Boston Bruins on Wednesday — completing a storybook turnaround dating back to January 3rd, when the team had the worst record in the NHL. It’s unclear whether “Gloria” helped the band right the ship, but it’s worth noting that several Blues players — Alexander Steen, Joel Edmundson, Robert Bortuzzo, Jaden Schwartz and Robby Fabbri — picked up their postgame tune from friends while watching a Philadelphia Eagles NFL game in a local bar.
“We got together with some friends and watched the game with a bunch of Philly guys who grew up there,” Edmundson told the Blues’ website. “They had a DJ in the bar and whenever there was a commercial break, they would crank the tunes and all these guys from Philly would get up and start dancing around. They played this song ‘Gloria’ a couple of times, and this one guy looked at the DJ and said ‘keep playing ‘Gloria,’ so they kept playing it. Everyone would get up and start singing and dancing. We just sat back and watched it happen. Right there we decided we should play the song after our wins. We won the next game, we got a shutout, so we just kept on playing it.”
Kathy Golik, former manager of the late Branigan, tweeted her appreciation following the Stanley Cup win. “Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart,” she wrote. “@StLouisBlues, Blues fans, & city of St. Louis will always have a special place in my heart & in Laura’s legacy. WE DID THIS TOGETHER, the Stanley Cup Championship!! No doubt Laura is celebrating too!!”