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The Rockets Blow THON 2016 Away With Marathon Set List

We were first introduced to The Rockets in April 2014 when the Philly-based seven-member super band first played a Sunday night at the Phyrst. After playing an incredible THON set in 2015, the group returned to the BJC stage this year for another action-packed gig.

The Rockets, uniformly decked out in green t-shirts, kicked their set off with a rockin’ version of Macklemore’s “Can’t Hold Us,” which featured plenty of jazzed up guitar riffs and even a kneeling trombone solo. The fun didn’t stop there, as Jay Thomas, Derek Petaccio, Chris Taylor, Joey D all pitch in their vocals and skills on guitar, while Simon Wernovsky, Christian Lynch, and Pete Macartney play the drums, bass, and lead guitar, respectively.

Next up, they tackled Ke$ha and Pitbull’s “Timber” — a staple of the hockey playlist at Pegula — with their own distinctive style. Pitbull made another appearance on Ne-Yo’s “Time of Our Lives,” before The Rockets got creative with a custom twist on Kelis’ classic “Milkshake.” It was refreshing to see a band with this level of versatility not be afraid to try its hand at some powerful female-driven songs like Whitney Houston’s “Dance With Somebody” and Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl.”


After a medley of Madonna’s “Like a Prayer,” Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe,” and Miley Cyrus’ “Party in the U.S.A,” the Rockets busted out an impressive rock version of “Trap Queen” by Fetty Wap, who also recently performed his signature song at the BJC during the Monster Energy Outbreak Tour.

The Rockets even gave THON-goers a mid-set whip and nae nae, which they followed up with a rousing rendition of the timeless “Let’s Go State” gameday chant. R. Kelly’s smooth “I Believe I Can Fly” was next on the docket before a dizzying mashup of genres that featured everything from country to pop to hip-hop. The popular “House Party” by Sam Hunt kept THON 2016 going full steam before back-to-back Beyoncé tracks blew the roof off the BJC. “Crazy In Love,” followed by “Single Ladies” — dance included — was more than enough to boost the energy of the dancers and spectators alike. Though nobody compares with the real Queen Bey, the Rockets put together one heck of a cover.

As if the Rockets couldn’t fill up their set list with a more diverse lineup, “Mo Money Mo Problems” by the legendary Notorious B.I.G. and Nelly’s “Hot In Herre” highlighted the next few tracks. Snoop Dogg’s classic “Drop It Like It’s Hot” and a guitar-laden version of “Lose Yourself” by Eminem were received with plenty of hands in the air. The performance hit a crescendo when The Rockets channeled their inner ‘N Sync — fist-pumping, foot-stomping, and all — on a stellar version of “Bye Bye Bye” as THON 2016 sang along.

The Rockets capped off an incredible performance by donning true city-slicker jackets for “You’re the One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” from the hit movie Grease. With roughly 25 songs in their back pocket, The Rockets put together one of the most diverse and entertaining set lists of the weekend.

Couldn’t get enough of The Rockets during THON 2016? Well, you’re in luck. You can catch them at the Phyrst this Wednesday, Feb. 24.

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About the Author

Ethan Kasales

Ethan’s a senior journalism major who grew up in Lemont, a few minutes from campus. When he’s not covering Penn State sports, you can usually find him golfing or teaching snowboarding at Tussey Mountain. Feel free to email him at [email protected]


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