Everyone and their dog has gone over “We Will Rock You,” “Eye of the Tiger,” and the like for most of their adult lives. Thanks to “The Sopranos,” you can dump Journey into that pile of dinosaur rock as well. But what of the newer guard of arena rock? While years of psychotherapy can’t get “YMCA” or “Thunderstruck” out of your head, some new tunes have been creeping in to rotations the world over. Here’s a few. Before you tear me apart in the comments, I would like to state that this list is by no means exhaustive.
OK, cool. Now go ahead and tear me apart in the comments.
9. Song #2 – Blur
Many know this simply as the “woo hoo” song, which is fine, ‘cause the only words you need to know are “woo hoo!” That will be a theme in this list. Give the people a nice chorus, something that even the most arrhythmic or drunk fans can handle. This song is also the one on this list that people are least likely to know the name of. It’s Song #2, so you’re not missing much if you don’t know the name.
8. Bring ‘Em Out – T.I.
Most jock jams are equated to basketball and hockey simply because they are played in arenas, where the PA system plays a bigger role than it does in domes and certainly open air ballparks. This song went hand in hand with any arena team’s entrance onto the court or rink for warm-ups. Granted, it’s hip-hop, so it’s more suited to basketball than hockey, but I’m sure it made an appearance.
7. Shipping up to Boston – Dropkick Murphys
This song is certainly Boston-specific in its subject matter (see the title) and the band that sings it, but since Boston isn’t THAT prominent in the refrain, it’s proven pretty versatile over the past four years or so and doesn’t seem like it’s going anywhere. Often, the PA will just play the violin-like intro before tip-offs and face-offs.
6. Black and Yellow – Wiz Khalifa
The newest entry on this list makes it, by default, the riskiest one to put on here. I wanted to include one song that’s still in regular rotation to see if I get this one right or not. Wiz is one of the hottest rappers out there right now, as the 64,000,000 YouTube views can attest, but in the world of rap, that is no guarantee he’s going to be around next week (see also: Ja Rule). I have been inundated with this song at Laker and Mavericks games, so it’s my choice. If this was a Topps card, this would be my “Future Star,” Donruss, my “Rated Rookie.”
5. Empire State of Mind – Jay-Z and Alicia Keys
This song is pretty New York-specific, but people just don’t seem to care. They like Jay-Z, and who can blame them. He’s the reformed crack-dealing billionaire that we all can agree upon. Plus, no slight intended against any other sports towns, but New York is probably the only city that could have a song about it become recognized as a sports anthem
4. S.O.S. – Rihanna
It’s Rihanna. It’s a song with a lot of “da”s in it. Do you really need a road map? The fact that this song samples “Tainted Love” all but solidifies it in the pantheon of sports venues. There may be a little bit of affirmative action going on with this entry, but I wanted to include at least one chick on the list, and Fergie doesn’t count.
3. Jump Around – House of Pain
Another easy way to get on this list: Have a song that instructs its listeners to do something stupid and easy, like “jump around.” Never mind that the introductory screeching is tantamount to a battle cry – this song is approaching the 20-year mark (I know, I’m not happy about that either), and it’s still got legs. It’s as dumb and fun as it was when I was listening to it in carpool. “Word to your moms/we came to drop bombs”
2. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
The droning guitar is mindless and repetitive enough to make everyone feel like something big is going to happen even if you’re watching a pre-season baseball game in Ft. Myers. This band was on the indie side when they came out, but there’s no denying the general appeal of this track.
1. I Gotta Feelin’ – Black Eyed Peas
The official song for drunk 40 year-old office receptionists. Black Eyed Peas basically trade in crafting hokey crap like this for Super Bowl halftime shows and 13th birthday parties at roller rinks, so it’s best if you just take off your thinking cap and enjoy it, rather than be bitter about it.