We’ve all been subject to audio atrocities inside stadiums. Music that assaults our eardrums and not in the Van Halen playing “Panama” way that whips us into a frenzy. No, I’m talking about those weird choices that take us out of the moment, one of those things that make you go “huh?” Whether it’s on the couch at home or at the game, one of those DJs probably forgot his meds and needs to lie down for a bit. Here are the top five most egregious errors in trying to “pump up” the crowd that I’ve seen.
Adele, “Set Fire to the Rain”
I have nothing against Adele personally. She has a phenomenal voice and deserves all those awards she seems to win every other month. I’m pretty sure 21 has just sold it’s 90 millionth album. That being said, unless Miguel Cabrera smacks a home run during a light drizzle into the Comerica Park lights like in The Natural, raining sparks down onto the field, this song has absolutely no place in a sporting event setting. By the way, I’m not ruling that scenario out, since it seems like something Cabrera can and would do, just for the hell of it.
Black Eyed Peas “Let’s Get it Started”
Okay, this one might need some explaining since I’m pretty sure every stadium in America plays this song between 1 and 400,000 times a game. Look, I get it, games are akin to a big party and we’d all like to get it started. But I cannot condone any song that involves someone who has, on some occasion, added “licious” to their name as a way to describe themselves (unless Bootsy Collins has done so, but he’s the exception to EVERY rule). This song is annoying and tries harder to be cool than Gretchen Wieners tries to make “fetch” happen. It’s just not going to happen. And the party here has already started, it’s called tailgating and we started it 8 hours ago.
Blur “Song 2”
Again, I’m assuming this seems like blasphemy, but hear me out. The lead singer is the same guy who wrote “Feel Good, Inc” and that’s a waaaaaaay better song. “Song 2” is literally a parody of the grungy, played out slacker anthems that it has invariably become. Playing “Song 2” at a crucial point in a game is basically like playing Weird Al’s “Fat” during a runway show. On second thought, never mind, that would be AWESOME. But “Song 2” suffers for two simple reasons. One, no one can understand what is being sung, and two, the song is ultimately boring.
Usher feat. Lil John and Ludacris “Yeah”
This one is mostly because its become inescapable. If I hear that damn 8 note synth progression again I may fly into a murderous rage. Nothing against any of the individual artists, either. Gentlemen, you are all beautiful and unique snowflakes, but this anthem is strictly “for the club” only. It doesn’t get me into the game, it merely makes me think of foam parties in college, and not in the good way. In the “not sure if I’m going to end up with syphilis” kind of way.
Europe “The Final Countdown”
I get it, the sports analogy writes itself. There probably isn’t a better fit for an end-of-game rally, or the last stand of a defense. But please, would any red-blooded American really want to belt out an anthem by a band called EUROPE?!?!? Come on guys! We can do better! Much like “Yeah,” “The Final Countdown” also suffers from the most damning of all stadium-anthem sins, the main riff is not played on guitar but by a keyboard. I’m sorry, but give me “Thunderstruck” over The Well-Tempered Clavier any day.
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