Stadium Playlists 101

With the right stadium playlist, the student section at Wallace Wade could provide the Blue Devils with an even louder home field advantage.
With the right stadium playlist, the student section at Wallace Wade could provide the Blue Devils with an even louder home field advantage.

Sitting in the press box at Sun Life Stadium watching Duke and Miami play one of the ugliest football games I can remember, I could only think one thing—these guys are playing some great music.

Despite the lack of quality on the field that night, the home crowd was rocking, and a big part of that had to do with a stellar soundtrack put together by Miami's gameday team. Bad football and pouring rain aside, they found a way to turn an old, decrepit football stadium into a South Beach nightclub.

And it got me thinking: If I could create an album comprised of the greatest stadium tracks of all-time, what would it sound like?

Quick note on my criteria, I'm placing an emphasis on songs that pump the crowd up or add intensity to the gameday atmosphere. I'm also omitting songs that only bear a significance to a single team (nobody who isn't at Duke wants to hear "Every Time We Touch" at a game).

Here's my best attempt at an ultimate stadium playlist. People who run the music at Wallace Wade, take notes.

Stadium Classics: The songs you don't mind hearing at almost every game because they're just that good.

"Eye of the Tiger" (Survivor)—If it's good enough to get Rocky Balboa pumped up, it's good enough for you too.

"Crazy Train" (Ozzy Osbourne)—Equal parts crazy intense and intensely crazy.

"Jump Around" (House of Pain)—Who doesn't love to feel a stadium shake beneath your feet? Wisconsin football fans do this at Camp Randall Stadium every Saturday before the fourth quarter and cause a small earthquake.

"Welcome to the Jungle" (Guns N' Roses)—This song is simply a classic. Hearing it just makes you want to scream like Axl Rose.

"Enter Sandman" (Metallica)—Aside from this being the theme song for nearly every notable closer in MLB history (namely Mariano Rivera), there's something about this opening guitar rift that makes your blood boil.

"Seven Nation Army" (The White Stripes)—Ironically, The White Stripes probably hate the fact that one of their songs has become a mainstream stadium anthem. Their fault for writing a seven-note line that is so easy to lose your voice to.

"Baba O'Reilly" (The Who)—Far and away the oldest song on this list (released in 1971), but if the introduction to this song doesn't get you amped up it probably means you don't have a pulse.

AC/DC: If you're wondering why one band gets its own category, you'll understand after reading their section.

"Hells Bells" (AC/DC)—Best played right before the opening kickoff or third down. When the bells begin to toll, you know it's time to get loud.

"Thunderstruck" (AC/DC)—Big bass kicks plus chanting plus a song with its own drinking game? What football stadium doesn't need that?

"Back in Black" (AC/DC)—Obviously best suited for a night game, but you can play the first 10 seconds of this song on a continuous loop and it will be appropriate at any time of day.

"TNT" (AC/DC)—This song has a way of building without building. The intro gets you in the zone and keeps the track so grounded that by the chorus, get ready for an explosion.

"Highway to Hell" (AC/DC)—Perfect for letting the opposing team know that they're in you're house and they're in for a long game.

"You Shook Me All Night Long" (AC/DC)—Less of a pump-up track, but a song that drives and has a chorus so catchy that people will sing along even if they don't know the words.

Hip-Hop: Often an underutilized genre (especially in football stadiums), but might get you the most fired up.

"Let's Go" (Trick Daddy ft. Twista & Lil Jon)—Combines the excellent sampling of Crazy Train with more bass, Lil Jon screaming and your friend pretending he can keep up with Twista for more than a few seconds.

"Lose Yourself" (Eminem)—An all-time great intro to pump you up, plus the fact that anybody under 30 knows a good portion of the lyrics.

"Till I Collapse" (Eminem ft. Nate Dogg)—Everything about this song should get you completely amped, including the minute-long monologue at the beginning. This is the type of music you want to hear heading into the fourth quarter.

"Ready for War" (50 Cent ft. Eminem, Dr. Dre, 2pac)—The title here says it all. This track has the boom-boom-clap appeal of Queen's We Will Rock You (but a lot less annoying) and doubles as a lesson in rap history with verses from two of the genre's pioneers.

"Never Scared" (Bone Crusher ft. Killer Mike & T.I.)—Like most people, I first heard this track on the soundtrack of Madden 2004. A nice, angry hook that simultaneously evokes memories of how unstoppable Michael Vick was in that game.

"We Ready" (Archie Eversole ft. Bubba Sparxxx)—I didn't know anything about this song until I first heard it at Wallace Wade. Was instantly hooked. Sometime in the last two years they stopped playing it. This is my official petition to get it back.


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