Best and Worst of Stadium Rock

Categories: Music, Sports
Tonight, at the Scottrade Center, one of my all time favorite bands will rock the collective ass of St. Louis for all that it's worth. Ladies and Gentlemen, AC/DC is in the house. I know, I don't really seem the sort to love AC/DC, but what can I say? Maybe it's the screech of Brian Johnson's vocals, maybe it's the schoolboy outfits, maybe it's the Razor's Edge tee shirt my high school girlfriend Jill used to wear after sex. You know what? I'm going to be honest with you; it's probably that last one. Just saying. 

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No, unfortunately, I don't have tickets to give away. Hell, I don't even have tickets of my own, so just sod off, alright? What I do have, however, is my own personal tribute to the lads from down under. 

We all know the songs they play at sporting events, and we've all heard a few we love, and a few we don't. Well, given that "Thunderstruck," by a certain Aussie rock group, is one of the very best arena songs, I thought this just might be a fitting ode. 

The Best:
These are the songs that get it right. Anthemic, driving, or maybe just flat-out loud, it doesn't get any better than these tunes when you're at the arena. 


"Thunderstruck," AC/DC: Well, it is a column dedicated to AC/DC, right? Besides, this is easily my favorite to hear. You ever been kicked in the balls? Well, "Thunderstruck" is sort of like that. But for your ears. And in a good way.

Honorable Mention: Every other AC/DC song played at sporting events. "Hell's Bells," "Shook Me All Night Long," even "Back in Black," which I kind of hate. 


"Blitzkrieg Bop," The Ramones: Ah, the sound of disaffected youth at a football game. "Hey, ho, let's go."

"Make 'Em Say Ugh," Master P: Dude, the guy had a tank. That has to mean something, doesn't it? 

"Lust for Life," Iggy Pop: Simply awesome. Yes, I'm fully aware the song is really about heroin addiction; so was "There She Goes," and they turned that into a prom anthem, so screw it. Gigolo junkies of the world, unite! 

"Enter Sandman," Metallica: It's the best closer song ever; good enough, in fact, that both Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner both use it. It takes a special song to support that kind of terror.
 
"Welcome to the Jungle," Guns 'n Roses: So what if Axl Rose went crazy and spent 26 years making the worst record I've ever heard? This may be the best scream in the history of rock music, and the sentiment is pitch perfect for sports. 

"We Will Rock You," Queen: Let's face it; there simply aren't that many songs with both stomp and clap along capabilities. Hail to the King, baby. 

Honorable Mention, Dodger Stadium Category: To whoever it was who first thought of using the Cure's "Boys Don't Cry" whenever a player or coach argues with the umpire, you have my eternal respect and admiration. 

The Worst: There's a reason that "dedicated audiophile" and "tailgating enthusiast" rarely appear in the same sentence.

"Macarena," Los Del Rio: How is it that the only place this accursed melody hasn't died out is at college basketball games? Honestly, bad comedians don't even make fun of this thing anymore; why do I still have to hear it during official's time outs? 

"Rock & Roll Part 2," Gary Glitter: Sure, it's a classic. And sure, it's been a stadium anthem for years. But every time I hear a crowd yelling out "Da Daa Da D-Daa Hey!", all I can think of is an aging British glam rocker tossing himself off while looking at a fourteen year old boy on his computer. Plus, the song was way more fun in The Full Monty.

"We Like to Party," Vengaboys: You know what? If you don't already know why this is awful, I don't want you reading this anymore. No, don't try to make excuses. Go on, get out of here. I don't need the readers that bad. Curse you, Vengaboys!

"Cotton Eyed Joe," The Rednex: For the love of all that is good and holy in this world, who came up with this auditory abortion? Is it crappy club music? Is it a retarded auctioneer? Now you don't have to choose!

"Who Let the Dogs Out?" Baha Men: Seriously, I would kind of like to know who let them out. 'Cause they are going to pay. Big time.

"Whoomp! There It Is," Tag Team: Yet another blast from the past that most of us have had the good sense to just let die. Sadly, the sports world seems awfully slow to get the message on these things. Interesting side note: anyone remember there was another song, called "Whoot! There It Is," and there was a brief question of which song was the official representative of shitty knockoff hip hop? Well, it appears we have a winner. 

Anything and Everything by Lynyrd Skynyrd: Yelling out "Dude, play "Freebird!" is still kind of funny. Actually hearing "Freebird" is not nearly as enjoyable. 

The Should Be's: I think the sports world is really missing out on some of these songs. At the very least, it would make me happy.

The Batman Theme: What is it going to take before some hitter actually realizes what kind of an opportunity he's missing here? Dude, Batman! Seriously! See, you've got a bat, and you're really good with it, right? Batman! Hey! Don't you walk away from me! 

"Come to Daddy (Little Lord Faultleroy Mix)," Aphex Twin: Sports is all about intimidation, right? Well, let me tell you, this is the sort of thing that can intimidate your opposition into a coma. Not too many tackles going to be made when the opposing team members are all curled up into balls, screaming for it to stop. 

"Seems So Long Ago, Nancy," Leonard Cohen: Oh, so you weren't scared enough by the last one? Fine! Then stare into the abyss and weep, Houston Astros! 

"Rock and Roll (Could Never Hip Hop Like This)," Handsome Boy Modeling School: It opens up with a boxing announcer and what sounds like a drunken old Irishman. That's enough for me. Plus, pretty much the same title as the Gary Glitter song, so people won't be too upset about losing the kiddie porn. 

"I Wanna Be Your Dog," The Stooges: Again, just replace "Who Let the Dogs Out?" with another, better, but still dog-themed song. People don't panic, but they get better music all the same. Plus, this song just sounds like a nasty collision happening over and over. 

"Fistful of Dollars," Ennio Morricone: Another one I just can't believe no one's picked up on yet. Somewhere, there has to be a closer worthy of this as his entrance music. You're a gunslinger in your own mind, for god's sake! Why not put it in everyone else's mind as well? Make it happen, people. 

"Wish," Nine Inch Nails: I said already that I'm all about the intimidation factor, right? Well, this one has intimidation written all over it. Plus, I'm really looking forward to hearing the term "fist fuck" in the middle of a girl's Junior Varsity soccer game. You know what I'm talking about. No? You don't? Oh. Never mind. 

"Take Care of All My Children," Tom Waits: I don't really have a reason for this one. I just think it would be funny. 

"Big Balls," AC/DC: And so we end where we began. Look, I'm not trying to tell anyone their business, but the fact that this song isn't heard night after night, at every sporting event involving balls, in every city,  in every state, in this whole damn nation, is an absolute travesty.  And maybe, just maybe, all that it really takes to get it going is a man who has just the kind of balls that the boys are talking about here. Am I that man? Well, I suppose we'll just have to see now, won't we? 


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