The fabulous city of Las Vegas rests on the arid Mojave Desert. It’s hot, dry and produces some of the best entertainment the world has ever seen. While the famed Las Vegas strip is known for the grand shows and concerts inside luxurious casino hotels, one of the best shows in town occurs on the ice hockey rink before every game of the city’s professional NHL team, and winners of the 2023 Stanley Cup, the Vegas Golden Knights.
Every game night, the team behind the Golden Knights' amazing pre-game show puts on a spectacle at T-Mobile Arena, complete with dueling knights, intense sword fights, fiery special effects, explosive videos, and fantastic music. It is a classic hot Las Vegas act with an icy twist.
Andrew Abrams is the Vice President, Executive Producer of Entertainment and Production for the Vegas Golden Knights, and his team produces the spellbinding game opens that have captivated hockey fans worldwide.
“We are Vegas. When we first got here, the directive from our owner and president that still rings true today is ‘be a show on the strip.’” Abrams said in an exclusive video interview with APM Music. “’ Do not worry about being a sports team entertainment department – be a show on the strip.’”
Watch the full interview.
The effort in producing a show of this size is gigantic, but the team has perfected the system, so to quote Mr. Kite from the Beatles’ song, “A splendid time is guaranteed for all.”
“What we do is we get into a room with a whiteboard and a group of people, and we just throw ideas at the wall – we write them down, and we take parts, and we say what is executable,” Abrams said. “Then we divide tasks between our video production department, our crafts department, and our entertainment department, and then we get the open that the fans see.”
For a show as elaborate as this, it is easy to assume that the production begins with choreography. But that is not the case for Abram’s team. It all starts with music.
“Our opens are an experience. Any show you have been to, audio and music are a huge part of that– if not the biggest part. And that is always where we start, Abrams said. “When we build our opens, a lot of people think we start with the choreography and work backwards. Actually, music and sound effects are the first things we lay down. And using APM tracks as the bed to that music.”
Since the team has a medieval theme, the production team uses a lot of epic movie trailer types of music, which they find abundant in the vast APM music library.
“APM provides a great library for that,” Abrams said. “We lay the audio tracks down, and from there, we build the graphics and the video, and from there - the third layer of that is the choreography. Music and audio are what really drives our opens.”
Augmenting an exciting hockey action on the rink by the world champions with an equally entertaining pre-game show is Vegas to the core. There are no half-measures when it comes to Las Vegas entertainment. Everything is a complete experience.
“When the fans leave and they're smiling and happy, even if their team lost or the home team lost, if they can walk out of there and are like, ‘man, we lost, but we had a great time, that’s when we know we’ve done our job,” Abrams said.
Watch the Vegas Golden Knights Show Opening.
Are you curious to see the music the Vegas Golden Knights production team used for their opening shows? Check out these tracks!