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Behind the Scenes of VH1 Music Countdown at Nassau Coliseum

by Tiki Selimaj / New York Islanders

When VH1 reached out to the Islanders to film their weekly “Top 20 Video Countdown” at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, it seemed like a natural fit.

For starters, few teams love their music like the Islanders do. On game days, the dressing room corridor pulses with the vibrations from the locker room stereo, blaring everything from chart-topping dance hits to rock anthems to foot-tapping country tunes. The speakers rarely receive a break and players howl when their muted, usually to accommodate radio and television interviews.

Additionally, the arena has been graced by hundreds of world-renowned acts, from Billy Joel and Blue Oyster Cult to Carrie Underwood and Luke Bryan.

From center ice to the press box and the trainer’s room to Loudville, VH1 VJ Jim Shearer and Co. captured the Home of the Islanders with unprecedented access.

Shearer makes no hesitation to announce his loyalty to Pittsburgh sports – especially the Penguins. But it didn’t take away from the awe he felt standing atop the the faceoff dot at center ice, staring up at the bevy of championship banners in the rafters.

As well as getting to shoot the episode in various sections of the arena, Shearer featured two of the most beloved forwards on the current roster: John Tavares and Matt Moulson.

Moulson stood center ice with Shearer and revealed the team’s fixation with the Project X soundtrack – a mixture of hip-hop and house music married with melodies such as “Beautiful” by James Blunt.

When the time came to film his spot, Tavares sat with Shearer in his usual dressing room stall. It wasn’t long before the conversation strayed away from music and wound up on the discussion of John’s diet. The host couldn’t wrap his head around the notion of living in New York and restraining oneself from a slice of pizza.

“I love pizza,” John said, “but I obviously can’t eat that often.”

Responded Shearer: “It’s no wonder you’re a superstar!”

Returning to the topic of tunes, Tavares explained that his tastes are eclectic and varied. He’ll bob his head to rapid-fire raps and hip-hop rhythms like many of his fellow Islanders, but he also counts folk rock acts such as Mumford & Sons among his favorites.

Shortly after the sit-down with Tavares, VH1 wound down production and packed their gear, satisfied with the endeavor.

“It was amazing to come to Nassau Coliseum to shoot the show,” Shearer said. “It was unbelievable to meet John and Matt. I loved seeing their weight room and getting a look at a player’s day-to-day life.”

Fans can catch VH1’s Top 20 Video Countdown when it airs Saturday, Feb. 23 at 9:00 a.m. Other air times are Sunday, Feb. 24 at 8:00 a.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 8:00 a.m.

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