With fall sports right around the corner and school about to start, we here at the Newton Daily News are beginning to ramp up our coverage. As the leaves fall and the seasons change, so does the attitude of the community.
Summer ends, signifying a culmination of three months of free and easy living — cooking outdoors, playing golf and watching baseball games — and it leads into Autumn. While some may see the end of summer as an inevitable inconvenience, I particularly like to see the colors of Autumn, and of course the fall sports.
Far be it from me to pick favorites because I intend to cover every game with the same amount of focus and dedication, but it’s hard not to when football is about to start. Playing the ultimate team sport — especially for high schoolers — brings a group of boys together as a family. The area high schoolers playing football this fall will experience some of the best times of their lives and it starts with one thing: music.
The whole notion of football is to get a group of guys ramped up to go against their opponent. What can do that more than a powerful pump-up song? Nothing. The stadium PA blares some of the most foot stomping, heart pounding melodies to get the crowd and the players fired up. If I was going to be playing football this fall, here are the top-five songs that would be on my pump-up playlist. (Note: these are in no particular order)
1. Hells Bells (AC/DC) — Call me old fashioned, but AC/DC owns the genre of pump-up music. This song has the buildup you would want in a motivational song. The slow clanging of the bells leads into Brian Johnson’s screeching vocals. And who can ignore the opening lines of, “A rolling thunder, pouring rain. I’m coming on like a hurricane.” There’s not much else you could want in some blood-pumping tunes.
The guitar solo in the middle gives the song its legs, and keeps the energy going all the way through. I can remember blasting this song through my earbuds during practice, before game and a halftime. It puts you in the mindset that you’re indestructible, which is exactly what is necessary on any sports field.
2. Bleed It Out (Linkin Park) — This is by no means an endorsement of the entire Linkin Park catalog, because let’s be honest, there’s some pretty bad music coming from that band these days. This song is perfect to get you excited for some action, though. It has the traditional Linkin Park screaming and singing back and forth. The drums and guitar keep the rhythm going in the middle, and then the song’s chorus really gets you charged up.
It has that perfect balance of focused melody and out-and-out intensity. That intensity can provide some perfect background music while preparing to go take care of business. Although much of the band’s catalog has been disappointing as of late (at least to me), this song will always have a place on my pump-up playlist.
3. Stronger (Kanye West) — Kanye brings the heat with this beat. It’s the perfect accent to some pre-game festivities. The song’s lyrics say it all “You know you making it taller, bigger, faster, stronger.” To this day, I still listen to this song when I’m lifting weights or going for a run. It’s got so much motivation behind it, regardless of what you may thing of Mr. West personally.
This song’s thundering bass and unique beat puts it in its own class among workout and pump-up songs. Listening to this song before a game is sure to get the blood boiling for some epic competition. Even though it was released back in 2007, the song can still be heard in sports arenas throughout the country for one simple reason: it’s the perfect fit.
4. Boom (P.O.D.) — This is a sentimental favorite for me because P.O.D. is from San Diego, and I have a feeling this song will forever be blasted through the PA systems at the Padres and Chargers games. The heart-pumping guitar and intense energy behind the lyrics can provide the athletes with some great motivation.
“Here comes the boom, here comes the boom. Ready or not, here come the boys from the south. Boom, here comes the boom. Ready or not, how you like me now?” The combination of those words and football is a better fit than peanut butter and jelly. The “boom” is exactly what you’re looking to provide on a football field, and P.O.D. lends an assist with this head-banging track.
5. Baby Got Back (Sir Mix-A-Lot) — Kidding, kidding.
5. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Fall Out Boy) — Fall Out Boy recently released their album entitled “Save Rock and Roll”. While I’m not sure if the band accomplished that feat, they did provide two or three incredible pump-up tracks, and this is by far the best in show. This song’s energy is fueled by great drums in the verses and a killer guitar riff in the chorus.
What could be more energizing than “So light ‘em up, up, up. Light ‘em up, up, up. Light ‘em up, up, up. I’m on fire”? I don’t see much more you could ask for. “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” may be in its infancy stage as far as stadium anthems go, but I have a feeling that Fall Out Boy’s song has the legs to remain on those stadium playlists for years, much in the same way “We Will Rock You” has.
So to any of you Japer County athletes looking for some extra motivation in the weight room or some pump-up music before a game, give these songs a try. I’m sure you’ll find one that hits you so hard, you can’t help but keep pressing “repeat.”