In the last two days there've been reports of cowboys and cowgirls riding horses through the streets of Toronto and trying to invade hotels along with groups of shirtless men who've painted themselves blue and are wandering around bellowing at the top of their lungs.
This isn't some performance artist's interpretation of the apocalypse. Rather, the 100th edition of the Grey Cup, the Canadian Football League's championship game, has taken over the city and with it a traveling party of epic proportions has swept in.
The Grey Cup finale between the hometown Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders takes place Sunday, Nov. 25 at the Rogers Centre ( 6 p.m. ET on TSN) and the half-time show will feature Justin Bieber, Gordon Lightfoot, Carly Rae Jepsen and Marianas Trench. The pre-game show will showcase The Guess Who's Burton Cummings and Kathleen Edwards.
More importantly, every one of the eight teams in the CFL will be hosting wild parties as part of the Grey Cup Festival over the weekend and bringing in marquee bands to perform.
K'naan, Kardinal Offishall, Matthew Good, Sam Roberts Band, Our Lady Peace, Classified, Zeus, Fefe Dobson and quintessentially Canadian rock acts like Kim Mitchell, Treble Charger, April Wine, Big Sugar, Chilliwack, Platinum Blonde and a pile more will be playing across nightly free street parties and/or ticketed events.
We like parties and music AND sports, so we took a closer look at some of the musicians playing and tried to figure out what songs of theirs would work best to rock thousands of psyched up football fans.
Our Lady Peace "One Man Army"
All of Our Lady Peace's music seems perfectly suited to slow motion montages of giant athletes engaged in action, but the idea of a "One Man Army" single-handedly willing his team to victory has a particularly romantic appeal on the eve of the Grey Cup.
Kardinal Offishall "The Anthem"
Reggae rapper Kardinal Offishall has always been a strong supporter of his hometown and its teams so there's zero doubt he'd want his love song about Toronto "The Anthem" in play during the rarest of occasions -- a professional T.O. sports franchise potentially winning something.
Matthew Good "Hello Time Bomb"
Hello,<em> Long</em> Bomb. This one's a gimme.
Sam Roberts "With a Bullet"
We've always known Sam Roberts as more of a hockey and surfing kinda guy, but "With a Bullet" will serve in a pinch to illustrate the pass-happy offense CFL quarterbacks are known for.
Gordon Lightfoot "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"
We were really hoping someone on the Toronto or Calgary roster had the name "Edmund" or "Fitzgerald" so that whenever they got tackled we could yell "Man, Edmund got wrecked!" and start humming the song. Sadly, there's nobody. Keep that one in your back pocket for the future.
Kim Mitchell "Go For Soda"
People from across the country have been partying non-stop for a week leading up to the big game. There's going to come a moment when someone's going to need to switch out the booze for pop.
Carly Rae Jepsen "Call Me Maybe"
In a different world where this song isn't about a gay hookup (see the official <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic">video</a>) "Call Me Maybe" is the theme song to the sadly ignored second string kicker hoping, praying he'll get the coach's attention and get in there for the big game.
K'naan "15 Minutes Away"
K'naan's confessional song from his<em> Troubabour</em> album about being out of cash and waiting on a Western Union money transfer is pretty much the opposite of sporting glory. Still, entering into the fourth quarter of the 100th edition Grey Cup has got to be similarly anxious for the players in the last 15 minutes of the game.
Justin Bieber "Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Arthur Christmas Version)"
Let's be honest, there's not much that's particularly "football" about Justin Bieber besides a wide receiver's prance and maybe, in a mega-stretch, the steam-punk gear he wears in the "Santa Claus is Coming to Town (Arthur Christmas Version)" <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nAI_xI9wQnE">video</a> being a little like football gear.
Burton Cummings "Runnin' Back to Saskatoon"
This one's more of a future pick because economists predict Saskatoon would make a good CFL expansion city...<a href="http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/story/2012/08/24/sk-sports-in-saskatoon-2035.html"> in 2035</a>.