Jared Anderson noticed the change during Wednesday’s Kansas-Iowa State game right away.
“We’re sitting there, with a couple of buddies of mine, during a TV time-out,” the 2008 KU graduate began.
And instead of, say, the KU band’s rendition of “Carry on, Wayward Son,” they heard something else over the public address system …
“They’re playing some techno music,” Anderson said. “It was ridiculous.”
Other music came over the loudspeakers, too, including Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” and “Jump Around” by House of Pain.
The band was there, too, and it played some, but it was interspersed with other music over the loudspeakers.
Though some recorded music had always been used during games, more of it was used Wednesday than in the past, said Jim Marchiony of the KU Athletics Department.
“You’ve got a situation where we have around 40 home contests — counting men and women — in a year,” he said. “It was something to try to change things up a little bit.”
That’s not to discount the role of the KU band, he said.
“The band is a large part of what we do,” he said. “They’ll continue to be a large part of the ambiance of Allen Fieldhouse and the presentation of the game.”
He said the athletics department heard a mixture of positive and negative comment from fans on Wednesday.
“It sounded all right at first,” said Mike Lavieri, a Naperville, Ill., freshman.
But as the game entered the second half, and more and more music was played, and the band played less and less, Lavieri said he and others in his ticket campout group got annoyed.
“It takes away from the tradition at Allen Fieldhouse,” he said.
The decision to pipe in more music and have the band play less sparked a number of angry rants on Internet message boards, but the reaction Thursday among Allen Fieldhouse campers wasn’t all negative.
“I really liked it,” said Kathleen Moore, a freshman from Omaha, Neb., adding that members of her campout group seemed to respond to the new music.
“All my friends usually sit down during the time-outs,” but got pumped up after the new music began playing.
It didn’t sway Anderson, who said that part of the reason Allen Fieldhouse is known as one of the best places in the country to watch basketball is because of the band.
“It doesn’t require a lot of frills like that,” he said.
Marchiony said that the department is always rethinking ways to try new things and evaluate what it’s doing, to prevent the presentation from becoming stale.
What will the music sound like for the upcoming home contest against Nebraska?
“You’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out,” he said.