A party anthem that won't buzzkill the party
March 13, 2013 7:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to come up with a final song for my wedding playlist that will be a real showstopper (literally!) — something with a strong anthemic feel, something that evokes community and emotion and celebration and joy. I'm thinking everyone on the dance floor, singing along at the tops of their lungs and draping arms around each other and group-hugging and stuff like that. Think movie montage or closing scene. We Are Young by fun. is EXACTLY what I'm looking for, except that when you pay attention to the verses it's actually pretty depressing. Any suggestions for anthemic, bass-drum-y songs that are wedding-appropriate?

I am aware of this thread, and it's helpful, but surely there have been more anthems that have come out in the last 3 years.
posted by firstbest to Media & Arts (51 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is kind of exactly what LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem" is for. Everyone knows it.
posted by inturnaround at 7:53 AM on March 13, 2013 [7 favorites]


The Final Countdown?
posted by two lights above the sea at 7:54 AM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


fun reminds me a lot of Queen. Don't Stop Me Now?
posted by ftm at 7:54 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes I Will by Michael Franti and Spearhead always makes me smile and dance a little.
posted by workerant at 7:54 AM on March 13, 2013


We picked "You and I" by Lady Gaga for exactly this (last song at wedding reception, big circle of whoever was left on dance floor bonhomie) , and it was perfect.
posted by Fig at 7:55 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A lot of this depends on your generation. Pour Some Sugar on Me, Don't Stop Believing, and Livin' on a Prayer are all quintessential drunken screaming songs for my generation.

Newer stuff? On preview, yeah, Party Rock Anthem. Most modern songs don't have the pure cheese factor that makes 80s music perfect for this stuff.
posted by bfranklin at 7:55 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Flo Rida, Good Feeling?
posted by ourobouros at 7:56 AM on March 13, 2013


What wedding DJ doesn't close with "Last Dance" by Donna Summer? Wait, it's 1989, right? Stupid time machine...
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:56 AM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Pitbull's Don't Stop The Party or Give Me Everything (Tonight). Some of the less clear lyrics might be a little iffy, but they both have that dance-y, loud, fun, anthemic vibe.
posted by raztaj at 8:00 AM on March 13, 2013


Longtime wedding photog, here; 'Don't Stop Believing' is guaranteed to fill the floor with arm-draped top-lung singers. Generational caveats previously mentioned apply.
posted by jmfitch at 8:02 AM on March 13, 2013 [10 favorites]


Home by Edward Sharpe for the younger folk.

I would worry about the lyrics if you like We Are Young!
posted by amaire at 8:05 AM on March 13, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not dance-y but the exact event you are describing -- group hugging, everyone singing at the top of their lungs -- happened when we played The Flaming Lips Do You Realize at the New Year's Eve Party I attended this (last?) year.
posted by ephemerista at 8:06 AM on March 13, 2013


"Paradise by the Dashboard Light" did the trick at my cousin's wedding. So many great elements to that song. There is embarrassing video somewhere of that...
posted by rachaelfaith at 8:07 AM on March 13, 2013


Uh, if you listen to the lyrics, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" seems a bad wedding choice (unless everyone knows it's tongue in cheek).

"Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey may fit the bill, though. At my cousin's wedding a couple years back, they even got the string quartet to play it during dinner.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:14 AM on March 13, 2013


You and I is such a good choice that I feel badly suggesting another Lady Gaga song but I really love The Edge of Glory. What about My Life Would Suck Without You? Raise Your Glass by P!nk?

Also, for what it's worth, I could not tell you what was the last song played at my wedding reception. But I didn't set up a playlist so YMMV.
posted by kat518 at 8:15 AM on March 13, 2013


Nthing Don't Stop Believing. At my friend's wedding this summer (late 20s bride & groom), one of the bridesmaids and I used our wedding speeches to lead the crowd in a re-written version of it, and it went over damn well. And the dj still played it during the dance.
posted by Lemurrhea at 8:17 AM on March 13, 2013


Maybe "Born To Run"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:18 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can accomplish everything you're trying to do, and cross generational lines at the same time, by using this Taylor Swift/U2 mashup.
posted by jbickers at 8:19 AM on March 13, 2013


New York, New York has done the job at lots of weddings I've been to, and it looks relevant to your profile too. True, it fails on bass'n'drum credentials but it wins on your other criteria.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:27 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


What about "And We Danced" by Macklemore? Lyrics here.
posted by SeedStitch at 8:28 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine (late 20s) played Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer and pretty much your exact situation took place. Perfect.
posted by athenasbanquet at 8:38 AM on March 13, 2013


Are lyrics crazy important? From the soundtrack to Last Temptation of Christ, Peter Gabriel's "It is Accomplished." is pretty amazing. Uplifting, positive, leaves the listener with a definite feeling that something irrevocably awesome has taken place.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:42 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I feel like Livin' on a Prayer and Don't Stop Believing are the two favorites for this role.
posted by shivohum at 8:43 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Taio Cruz - Dynamite
posted by knile at 8:44 AM on March 13, 2013


Are lyrics crazy important?
Yes. On the other hand, the horror stories I've heard were about first songs like "Yesterday".
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:50 AM on March 13, 2013


Joy to the World (aka Jeremiah was a Bullfrog)
posted by carmicha at 8:57 AM on March 13, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm a Believer from the end of Shrek 1!
posted by scolbath at 9:01 AM on March 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


We played Sinatra's "Love and Marriage" at the end of our reception. It was appropriate and everyone knows the lyrics -- thanks, "Married with Children!"
posted by hmo at 9:03 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't Stop Believing is awesome. If you want to slow it down, Journey's Why Can't This Night Go on Forever is great, and thematically relevant. Or We Belong by Pat Benatar.
posted by specialagentwebb at 9:09 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was at a wedding where, relatively late in the game, Bon Jovi's Livin On A Prayer came on and everybody did this. That said, it was the wedding of a guy from south Jersey and a girl from Long Island, held in Brooklyn, and many/most of the guests were from what I guess we can probably call The Bon Jovi Belt.

But still. Livin On A Prayer. Can't go wrong.
posted by Sara C. at 9:23 AM on March 13, 2013


We used Island in the Sun by Weezer as our closing song (as we were directly going on honeymoon). Worked a treat.
posted by randomination at 9:26 AM on March 13, 2013


We Are The Champions - Queen
posted by jonnyploy at 9:26 AM on March 13, 2013


You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC seems perfect for this, but if the lyrics are a little too risque then everyone will sing along to Wonderwall by Oasis.
posted by IanMorr at 9:28 AM on March 13, 2013


Footloose.

(why not just search for songs that were used in movies for the ending hug montage moments? That ought to give you some options of exactly what you're looking for.)
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:29 AM on March 13, 2013


I've been to 2 weddings that closed with Hey Ya!
the bride and grooms are in their early 30s and this worked well with that age group.
posted by k8t at 9:43 AM on March 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm gonna say no Wonderwall due to the lyrics. Journey Don't Stop Believing is your choice.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:54 AM on March 13, 2013


I understand David Bowie is newly popular with you young people, and he'd also be known by older guests. Heroes, maybe?

I Love Rock N Roll is more shouty than group-huggy, I guess, but it's so good and everyone knows the chorus. And it'll get all the people who've been flirting all night motivated.
posted by The corpse in the library at 10:04 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've heard this song - Best Day of My Life - a couple time recently on a Lowe's commercial and it is catchy and happy as heck. (lyrics are on the youtube link)
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:15 AM on March 13, 2013


I've been at parties where "Umbrella" (Rihanna) has done this, pumped at a suitably loud volume, but the stakes of the song may not be as high as you're looking for.
posted by superfluousm at 10:18 AM on March 13, 2013


The Baseballs also do an amusing cover of Umbrella.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:20 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, duh.

"I've Had The Time Of My Life."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:24 AM on March 13, 2013 [8 favorites]


We finished on Hey Jude. It was so fab. It starts out slow but then has this incredible buildup and everyone knows the main words towards the end.
posted by like_neon at 10:36 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


For your vision to become reality, everyone has to _know_ the song. Printing the lyrics won't solve the problem -- people need to be looking at each other, not a piece of paper.

Are you having a live band? If so, you could rewrite the more troubling lyrics of "We are Young", or any other song with a really good chorus. Singer sings the verses, whole audience joins in on chorus.

Otherwise, something at least as familiar as "The Time of my Life".
posted by amtho at 10:41 AM on March 13, 2013


All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem.
posted by anagrama at 11:12 AM on March 13, 2013


"All You Need is Love" is all you need.
posted by redsparkler at 11:12 AM on March 13, 2013


I realize "Shout!" is an older song, but at a recent wedding it took the dancefloor from crowded to PACKED--I think because it _is_ older. If you're hoping your older relatives will dance, they probably won't rush onto the dancefloor to a song saying "We Are Young," as awesome as the song is.
posted by Anwan at 11:44 AM on March 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Along the lines of the last few responses, if you're willing to go with an older release date "Twist & Shout" is fun for drunk people of all ages, without being too overplayed.
posted by superfluousm at 1:39 PM on March 13, 2013


Trooper: We're here for a good time
posted by Kabanos at 2:05 PM on March 13, 2013


Tubthumping, by Chumbawamba.

Rain, by Dragon
posted by Sebmojo at 5:06 PM on March 13, 2013


Darn. I got distracted from answering this earlier, so I'm not the first to suggest "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. It still gets my vote.
posted by Bergamot at 7:14 PM on March 13, 2013


something that evokes community and emotion and celebration and joy. I'm thinking everyone on the dance floor, singing along at the tops of their lungs and draping arms around each other and group-hugging and stuff like that.

Aren't you pretty much describing Irish Folk music? Look to Flogging Molly for a punk twist.
posted by quadog at 12:32 AM on March 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


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