At-bat songs are polarizing. The best ones get the fans and the player pumped up for the awesomeness that's hopefully about to happen. The worst ones are irritating earworms that you can't get out of your head without performing an amateur trepanning on yourself. And the rest of the songs just float by with nary a notice.
Phillies players have songs at both ends of the spectrum. Chase Utley has Kashmir, which is undeniably badass. Ben Revere has "Happy", perhaps the most appropriate pairing of player and song in the known universe, and a song that gets super annoying when it's played in short clips 4+ times a game.
But I know you're wondering, humble reader, what your esteemed blog lords would want their at-bat songs to be. Well, wonder no more. Our answers are below.
I am a music-phile, a total music snob and very indecisive, so I think mine would change a bit. In the early part of the season I'd come out to Angel of Death by Slayer.
It sounds insanely intimidating and I'm ~6'3", 250 lbs so when I play in Softball leagues, everyone just assumes I'll mash and they move all their fielders back. I'm an awful hitter, so if I can get an extra week of intimidation and a few more feet of shallow outfield to bloop hits into, all the better for me. See, but by June, that jig would be up. People would be on to me, so I'd need to keep them off balance.
June is Finally Here by Don Caballero is both seasonally appropriate and it's weird time signatures, overlapping looped guitar lines, bombastic drumming and overall weirdness would go a long way to disconcerting my opponents and while they're trying to figure out how you drum to a 7/4 time signature... boom I shoot a weak grounder past them.
By August that will quit working and I'll be left to Suffer in Truth by Meshuggah which will be aptly named for anyone forced to watch me hit for 4 months by that point.
Finally, to wrap the season I'm just going to mess with people and walk out to Thelonius Monk's disjointed and melancholy "Crepuscule with Nellie". Because at that point, the apocalypse is surely coming, so why not introduce the masses to highly complex Jazz.
I actually often get this asked a lot by my group of friends, but the song or at least portion of a song I find myself always coming back to is the beginning of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers "Around the World".
Very simple 20 second opening of amazing bass/guitar riffs, smashing symbols/drums and Anthony Keidis yelling. It's a lot of fun, though maybe it would make a more appropriate closer entrance music.
This is an interesting question. Upon what criteria does one decide something this serious? Do you go with a song that pumps you up, like one of the fine tunes you'd hear in a Jock Jams CD? Do you go with some contemporary, like Hootie and the Blowfish? Or something more classic, like the Beach Boys? So many directions. So many choices!
I thought about going with this...
...but it didn't really seem very "I'm going to hit a 400-foot bomb to left field off your sorry ass"-ish, you know?
So, I think I something from this might have to be my jam. I know it's pretty intimidating to me. Monsters are scary.
This is, actually, a topic I've given a lot of thought to in the past. You can never be too prepared for that time you get the call to pinch hit from section 110 or have to walk into your first UFC fight to something that strikes the right tone. For me, I have a few different songs in mind depending on the situation. All playoff games, the first game of the season, late-inning high leverage situations and the like call for something awesome and intimidating. This'll do nicely:
For all less-intense situations I'd go with something a little more lighthearted. The manamana song above is an awesome choice, but you can always do something like this too:
The implication being that I'm going to get the job done, no matter what means I have to use to do it. (And also that I hate guns and have a goofy friend named Murdoch?)
I'd also alter the musical selections based on the player/team/city/circumstance. If, for example, I'm facing a pitcher who just came off a suspension for throwing at a guy, I might play this:
If I'm that pitcher, I probably use something like this as my warmup/walk up tune:
And finally, if I was JoeCatz there's no way I don't use this about 200 times a year:
I'd try to have a lot of fun with it, troll the other teams/players, and generally abuse the walk-up music process. Speaking of which, I want to give credit to Stephen Fife of the Dodgers for using A Tribe Called Quest for his music, and Dom Brown for his excellent use of Das Racist's "Who's That" a few years back.
I have to go with one of these two:
Johnny Cash's 'God's Gonna Cut You Down,' because it's a badass song about inevitability and it has the perfect beat to get a stadium crowd going. Pick a section without any lyrics to avoid unfortunate implications (I am not God), and it sounds like a cross between the pseudo-musical "thump, thump, thump-thump-thump" played to get fans clapping, and an actual song. Perfect.
Or, for a completely different feel, 'Empire,' by Queensryche. The intro (after the voicemail bit) is FUCKING AWESOME *headbangs*. Who doesn't get pumped up by that. Hell yeah.
As an honorable mention, Iron Maiden's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner':
I love this song. I love the poem, and, because epic poetry isn't great walk-up music, this definitely warrants consideration. But this song is fucking great. '...mesmerized as the line of the wedding guests stay here to listen to the nightmare of the sea!" Or, perhaps, better yet, "...we sailed to the land of the snow and ice, to the place where nobody's been..." Hell yeah.
Though, since when I last played, I was predominately a pitcher, and would at this point be a very terrible pitcher, John Prine's 'Leave the Lights On' would be a fitting intro song for Phrozenbon.
Years ago, when I considered this, it was Stick 'Em Up, by Quarashi.
This, understand, was in the midst of my "Icelandic rap/hip-hop" phase, a time when for some reason people had a hard time taking me seriously. I'm not sure what's so "funny" about a teenager screaming threatening lyrics at his bedroom wall, his voice cracking from the strain. These days, I am a proper suit-and-tie man, and listen to classics such as "Let's Go" by Trick Daddy, ft. Lil Jon and Twista, an impossibly offensive tune which you may remember from the trailer for Neighbors, starring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, a movie I will not see.
The heavy-metal, operatic angry young rock/hiphop is just soooo played out, clear evidence of a tremendous amount of comparative genital insecurity among major league ballplayers. I'm desperate for a talented (and presumably well-endowed, though I'm fine to just leave that part to the imagination) player to stride confidently to the plate to this:
Sure, there will be laughs, but when you smack a bases-clearing double to a guy who just walked up to that, the name over the pitcher's number might as well read "ASSCLOWN."
Alas, you say, no one will go for it. Fine. But have you mined children's music? Here are two of my favorites that genuinely can get hands clapping for you. First, the Sippy Cups were one of the better shows I've really ever seen. You can take your pick from this mishmash of kid-friendly covers and original works. I love their cover of Lou Reed's "Rock and Roll."
But for my money, I go back to They Might Be Giants. I always wanted Shane Victorino to walk up to this:
And finally, this is OSFA and really should be used more often in ballparks everywhere just to get people clapping. It's waiting out there for an enlightened father player to use as his walk up. Go ahead, I dare you not to follow along:
My first thought was "Let It Go" from the Disney animated film FROZEN, which is my #1 song to belt out in the car. Or at the mall. Or in my office at work. Anytime and anywhere, really. It's so good. "HERE I STAND, AND HERE I'LL STAY", I'm getting chills just thinking about those lyrics. So empowering! Fuck you, haters! I'm an awesome baseball ice queen!
I would probably use this song for awhile, even though it makes me think about letting go of the bat and having it fly into the stands. Not an image you want associated with your at-bat song. I needed a song with a lot of oomph, that would command respect. With Game of Thrones back on TV, naturally I gravitated toward this:
It's stately. It's forceful. Even a little bombastic. Bow down to me, pitcher fools, for I am the slayer of all your baseballs. And if I'm just looking to fuck with people, I'd sub in "Game of Goats", which is ridiculous and nonsensical and hugely funny. And without the video, I'm not sure people would know it's goats screaming, which makes it even funnier. But maybe I'm not going for stately or perversely funny. Maybe I want excited and happy. Then this song popped into my head, from my perennial favorite band.
I mean, come on. That big "MMMMBOP!" chorus when all the instruments kick in is pretty powerful. POWERFUL, I TELL YOU. I could use that one when I wanted to annoy the hell out of the fans. Get that earworm out of your heads, suckers! I even gave "Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry a thought. Is it demeaning towards women? Yes. Would it be fun to walk out to anyway? Hell yes. But the demeaning to women thing is something I can't really let go of, so I moved on. What song could I use to close out the season?
Jackpot. It's got everything. A whistled intro. Sweet, kind sounding music. Meaningful lyrics. And it's sung by Barry Manilow, a music icon. HE IS A MUSIC ICON AND I WILL HEAR NOTHING TO THE CONTRARY. "You know I can't smile without you, can't smile without you, I can't laugh, and I can't sing, I'm finding it hard to do anything..." It pays tribute to the fans, and it makes them want to gently sway in time to the music while lovingly embracing the people next to them. It's perfect.
David S. Cohen
I'm a huge indie rock aficionado. That hasn't changed even now that I'm solidly in my early 40s. I go to concerts when I can, frequently finding myself as one of the oldest people there. But, that's fine. I love my indie rock and age isn't going to stop me.
When I think of a walk-up song, though, I think back to my college days when I was also into punk, industrial, goth, and new wave. And I think back to the nerd version of a walk-up song -- the song my friends and I would use to get pumped up before a math exam.
For us, there was only one song that did it -- Nitzer Ebb's "Join in the Chant." There's just something about German dudes yelling at us over a punishing synth beat that pushed us to do our mathematical best. Figuring if I were a ballplayer I'd respond in the same way, that song would have to be my walk-up song. If nothing else, it would probably scare the opposing pitcher for a pitch or two and give me an edge.
Just listen. And then go outside and rampage:
I have to thank jreed for this, but there is no way my walk-up song is not Prehistoric Dog by Red Fang. Sure, I toyed with trolls like the Dee-Lite Theme Song and Mr. Fahrenheit by Queen (Best. Video. EVER.). I thought about Search and Destroy by the Stooges, but just queue Prehistoric Dog up to about 4:32 and let it roll. Who wouldn't want to walk up to that? It is Sunday night at 11:12 p.m., and I have work tomorrow, but this just makes me want to go headbanging after shotgunning a PBR. During an extra inning game in late July against San Diego after a rain relay when the team is 15 games out? This will do.