Songs to close the set with
April 5, 2014 12:51 PM   Subscribe

Playlist: Big, anthemic, epic, unapologetically earnest rock songs about struggle and perseverance. Born to Run, The Boomtown Rats' Joey's On The Street Again, just about anything from The Hold Steady, esp Separation Sunday. Now you go.

These are songs a band would close their set with and send their fans to the parking lot pumped up. I've been thinking about it, and these songs' characteristics typically (but not always) include:

Multiple breaks in the melody
Loud parts and quiet parts
Contain at least 2 instrumental solos
Typically more than 5 minutes long
Tell a story, about a person or group of people, who either triumph over adversity or who meet an unjust or tragic end
Make a moral statement
Have a big finish

I think Tom Petty's American Girl fits, as well as Pulp's Common People, and of course Bohemian Rhapsody. I think of this music as typically straight ahead "rock" but would consider other genres (is Iron Maiden's Run to the Hills one of these songs, for example?).

I like to work out to this music, and would one day like to write songs like this
posted by Slarty Bartfast to Media & Arts (35 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Concrete Blonde - Joey
posted by dotgirl at 1:15 PM on April 5, 2014

Bon Jovi's Livin' on a Prayer.
posted by jesourie at 1:42 PM on April 5, 2014

A bit far afield instrumentally, but The Mountain Goats' The Best Ever Death Metal Band Out Of Denton, especially as performed live.
posted by chairmanroflmao at 1:45 PM on April 5, 2014

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals: Nothing But The Water
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:47 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

The Clean, Odditty.
posted by escabeche at 2:02 PM on April 5, 2014

Hmm. Boston's "More Than A Feeling?" Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again?" Bruce Springsteen's "O Mary Don't You Weep?"
posted by salvia at 2:21 PM on April 5, 2014

Rufus Wainwright, Go or Go Ahead, written following a 3 day crystal meth binge. Very moving and epic song.
posted by onlyconnect at 2:26 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Meatloaf, "Rock And Roll Dreams Come Through"
posted by Catseye at 2:30 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Big Star's "Ballad of El Goodo."

U2's "Ultraviolet."

Paul Stanley's "Live To Win."
posted by steinsaltz at 2:40 PM on April 5, 2014

Aerosmith's "Don't wanna miss a thing"?
posted by Prof Iterole at 2:44 PM on April 5, 2014

Cheap Trick - Surrender
posted by Ufez Jones at 2:55 PM on April 5, 2014

Creedence Clearwater Revival - Fortunate Son
The Rolling Stones - Monkey Man
Neil Young - Down by the River
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 3:37 PM on April 5, 2014

Nightwish — Over the Hills and Far Away
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 3:38 PM on April 5, 2014

Supertramp - The Logical Song
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 3:48 PM on April 5, 2014

Solsbury Hill, by Peter Gabriel
posted by the Real Dan at 4:25 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Drive-by Truckers have lots of these. Let There Be Rock, Angels and Fuselage, Grand Canyon, The Living Bubba, Mercy Buckets, A World of Hurt are a few.
posted by chbrooks at 5:30 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Second the transcendent experience/love note to rock and roll that is Let There Be Rock
posted by elephantsvanish at 5:40 PM on April 5, 2014

Go back for some Warren Zevon. maybe not so uplifting and earnest, but great songs that fit some of your other criteria. Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner or Johnny Strikes Up The Band or pretty much anything off Excitable Boy. If you want to write good songs, Zevon's got a thing or two to learn from.
posted by Gotanda at 5:55 PM on April 5, 2014

I just realized The Alarm did this kind of song a lot. Spirit of 76. 68 guns.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:11 PM on April 5, 2014

These are some great songs posted, but I think the Rufus Wainright, and the live Best Ever Death Metal Band Out of Denton (and wow, I haven't seen that version yet) come closest. Maybe I'm not describing it right. Not an extended jam, not just a big rock number, I'm looking for operatic, where it often starts quiet and each subsequent part tries to take it higher, without self consciousness, sometimes with unintended comic effect.

Other examples: Champagne Supernova, All These Things I've Done by The Killers (this is a great example of what I'm talking about), Purple Rain, The Origin of Love from Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:30 PM on April 5, 2014

What about The Who? Baba O'Riley and A Quick One While He's Away would seem to fit.
posted by chbrooks at 6:49 PM on April 5, 2014

Lou Reed, Rock and Roll. Crazy build.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:05 PM on April 5, 2014

I feel like this basically is Arcade Fire's entire stock in trade. Rebellion (Lies) live.
posted by btfreek at 8:22 PM on April 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Radiohead's Fake Plastic Trees: "She looks like the real thing, she tastes like the real thing, my fake plastic love. But I can't help the feeling, I could blow through the ceiling if I just turned and run."
posted by onlyconnect at 9:44 PM on April 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Japandroid's "The House That Heaven Built" methinks.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:49 AM on April 6, 2014

For a while the Wave Pictures were closing with I Love You Like A Madmen cuz they'd bring out their buddy to totally destroy the ending with his sax.

Dawes used to close their sets with "I've Got A Feeling" which stretched into the 10 minute range if the crowd is really into it.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:02 AM on April 6, 2014

Keep 'em coming. Here's what makes my cut so far:

1. Joey's on the Streets Again -- Boomtown Rats
2. Born to Run
3. I Don't Like Mondays -- Boomtown Rats
4. Banging Camp -- Hold Steady
5. American Girl -- Tom Petty
6. Common People -- Pulp
7. I Got You (At the End of the Century) -- Wilco
8. Bohemian Rhapsody
9. The Best Ever Death Metal Band In Denton -- Mountain Goats
10. Go or Go Ahead -- Rufus Wainwright
11. Ballad of El Goodo -- Big Star
[I was going to rule out U2, because U2, but it turns out Bad fits my criteria exactly]
12. Bad -- U2
13. Ultraviolet -- U2
14. Let There Be Rock -- Drive-By Truckers
15. Grand Canyon -- Drive-By Truckers
16. Mega Bottle Ride -- Joe Strummer
17. Arms Aloft -- Joe Strummer
18. Spirit of '76 -- The Alarm
19. Sixty Eight Guns -- The Alarm
20. Moonlight Mile -- The Rolling Stones
21. Street Hassle -- Lou Reed
22. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) -- Arcade Fire
23. Fake Plastic Trees -- Radiohead
24. The House That Heaven Built -- Japandroids
25. Champagne Supernova -- Oasis
26. All These Things That I've Done -- The Killers
27. Purple Rain -- Prince
28. The Origin of Love -- Hedwig and the Angry Inch
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:12 AM on April 6, 2014 [2 favorites]

29. Waiting For The Great Leap Forward -- Billy Bragg
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:47 AM on April 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Rollerskate Skinny -- Old 97s. Also maybe Barrier Reef
posted by crocomancer at 11:12 AM on April 6, 2014

Yellow Ledbetter (electric versions), and maybe Do The Evolution.

also, well, you know.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:36 PM on April 6, 2014

Also also: Zeppelin, In My Time of Dying.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:38 PM on April 6, 2014

More Queen - "We are the Champions".
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:54 PM on April 6, 2014

Argent, "Hold Your Head Up"
posted by thelonius at 8:38 PM on April 6, 2014

Potentially surprisingly, Lady Gaga, "You and I." (Brian May plays guitar on it.)
posted by dekathelon at 8:56 PM on April 6, 2014

One more popped into my head - Someone Saved My Life Tonight -- Elton John
posted by crocomancer at 10:30 AM on April 7, 2014

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