High-energy, chaotic music videos
September 18, 2023 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for music videos wherein, over the course of the video, there is a situation which steadily escalates in energy to the point of absurdity. Especially great in relation to a group of people absolutely losing it, ending in a brawl or wild party.

After watching this video linked elsewhere here (Angélique Kidjo - Once In A Lifetime) my partner and I spent some time this weekend going through some old favourites and I realized a lot of the ones I liked most had that kind of building energy.

Two other good examples are Leeds United by Amanda Palmer and Turndown For What, the latter of which which starts absurd and builds even more from there.

(There's other threads out there about music videos, but none so specific that I could find, plus the newest one was about five years old at this point.)
posted by one of these days to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The New Pornographers - High Ticket Attractions
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:35 AM on September 18

I mean, there's always the old classic.
posted by Rykey at 8:40 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

LCD Soundsystem - Drunk Girls
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:42 AM on September 18

DJ Shadow ft. Run the Jewels - Nobody Speak
Stromae - Alors on Danse and maybe to a lesser extent Santé
posted by icy_latte at 8:43 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Ramones, I Wanna Be Sedated
posted by praemunire at 8:45 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

MGMT's Flash Delirium ends up in an absurdly (and frighteningly) intense place indeed.
posted by philip-random at 9:14 AM on September 18

SNL's parody of that dance club energy climax trope: When Will The Bass Drop?

Thanks to EEAAO most people have probably seen it by now, but if you haven't seen Turn Down For What (linked above), you need to.

There are definitely music video threads here that are newer than five years ago. Probably not tagged with "musicvideo" or explicitly about the video style.
posted by intermod at 9:19 AM on September 18

Matchbox Twenty - She’s So Mean
posted by Erinaceus europaeus at 9:24 AM on September 18

Perhaps OK Go's Upside Down & Inside Out? It certainly escalates.
posted by bassomatic at 10:00 AM on September 18

Would Annie Golden's Hang Up The Phone work? Granted it's, er, almost four decades old, but it's one of those videos where everyone is so over-the-top energetic that it seems like they all did meth before shooting it.
posted by gtrwolf at 10:17 AM on September 18

DJ Snake, Lil Jon - Turn Down for What (This is what the Daniels were famous for directing before Swiss Army Man and Everything Everywhere All At Once, and one of my favorites to show people before in order to pitch them to go see EEAAO back when it was a wee indie film release)

MNEK - The Rhythm (the same, but in a grocery store, phenomenal song as well, he's a singer-songwriter-producer for many hits)
posted by yueliang at 10:48 AM on September 18

Talking Heads' colorful, chaotic, political, beyond-absurdist Blind. Oh wow, it's now in HD!
posted by eschatfische at 10:52 AM on September 18

Oh, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood's Two Tribes ends with, uh, a brawl and escalation.
posted by eschatfische at 10:54 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Tango from 1981 by Zbigniew Rybczyński is a very cleverly building (and - a few minutes in, NFSW) animation rather than a video - but it has been very influential - for example in Redundant by Green Day.
posted by rongorongo at 11:20 AM on September 18

Another Talking Heads option: Road to Nowhere
posted by ejs at 11:23 AM on September 18

Rammstein - Deutschland
posted by wheatlets at 11:33 AM on September 18

America: What Time is Love?, by the KLF, is my favourite music video for escalating chaos. It starts very sombre and then goes delightfully berserk. In a Viking longboat no less!
posted by spindle at 11:33 AM on September 18

I feel like maybe Fiona Apple's version of Across the Universe might fit?
posted by saladin at 11:47 AM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I'm amazed nobody's suggested Smells Like Teen Spirit.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:17 PM on September 18

I think Gilla Band - Paul fits this description pretty well

(disclosure: my brother was the director)
posted by TwoWordReview at 2:10 PM on September 18

Not technically a music video, but from pretty much the best (and most under-recognized) comedy of its time, the riot scene from Hot Rod.
posted by Shepherd at 4:00 PM on September 18

Assuming "begins in a wild brawl and evolves backward" is acceptable: CSS - Alala
posted by eponym at 4:08 PM on September 18

Robbie Williams’ Rock DJ goes quite absurd and is a time capsule from the early 2000s
posted by hydrobatidae at 5:38 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

I like What You See Is What You Get by Xzibit.
posted by ovvl at 9:19 PM on September 18

LFO - freak
posted by Joeruckus at 1:10 AM on September 19

One of my faves: LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem
posted by Bron at 7:59 AM on September 19

Not sure if it counts as high energy but definitely has the escalation to absurdity bit: Dance Monkey
posted by crunchy potato at 8:21 AM on September 19

The Chemical Brothers Free Yourself
posted by Ookseer at 8:19 PM on September 19

second time I've gotten to use this in an askMe: Sorry, I Missed Your Call
posted by queen anne's remorse at 11:19 AM on September 22

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