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How to ROCK your next wedding


“What Rock N Roll songs are you playing at weddings these days?” The question needs a bit of clarifying as that is such a broad genre – is this 50s rock, classic rock, current rock, etc.? It turns out the question was supposed to be broad. This got me thinking about which ones are popular and which ones I still use.

However, they are some rock classics that, for the moment, always seem to find their way into my wedding sets. Because they are truly “classics” (in my opinion, this is due to their sing-a-long quality), I really don’t think they need a remix. In fact, remixes can hurt these tracks more than they help. I would never play all these songs in one event (usually I’ll use 1-3 max) but here’s a few that still work well:

    You Shook Me All Night Long – ACDC
    Back In Black – ACDC
    Pour Some Sugar On Me – Def Leppard
    We Will Rock You – Queen
    I Love Rock N Roll – Joan Jett (yes, I’d qualify this as Rock – has it right in the title)
    Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Living On A Prayer – Bon Jovi (Jersey crowds for sure)
    Take Me Home Tonight – Eddie Money

Then there are some classics that when mashed with a current song’s beat or done with a redrum (modern drumbeat) work extremely well because the hooks of the song are so recognizable.  Here are a few that I tend to use (again not all done at one wedding – a selection of 2-3 per wedding is usually just the right amount):

    Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas
    Sweet Child O Mine – Guns N Roses
    Jump – Van Halen
    Peace Of Mind – Boston
    Mr. Jones – Counting Crows
    Edge Of Seventeen – Stevie Nicks
    Don’t Stop Me Now - Queen

Where Rock where lives right now with the Millennial generation of brides and grooms (which is the bulk of most of our clients) is the 90s-2000s era.  Rock songs from that time period that you’d never play during their heyday absolutely crush at weddings right now. In a lot of cases, the originals suffice just fine (though I have a ton of mashups with the hooks of these tracks). I play on average about 6-7 of these type songs per wedding – whereas maybe 5 years ago, hip-hop classics or pop hits would make up the bulk of my wedding dance song selections. The crazy part is that lyrically these songs are probably the furthest from true wedding content that you’d want but nobody seems to care now. A good song is a good song. 

Here’s a sampling of some that work super well for me (the key is when and HOW you mix them in):

    Mr. Brightside – The Killers
    The Middle – Jimmy Eat World
    I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic At The Disco
    My Own Worst Enemy – Lit
    Crazy Bitch – Buckcherry
    Stacy’s Mom – Fountains Of Wayne

So that leaves us with today’s alternative rock songs. I have to be honest - this genre has been dormant for the last several years as far as wedding dance floor fillers. There might be 1-2 tracks a year that seem to gain a bit of traction, but they never tend to last long and most are not for primetime dancing.

Here’s a few that may get used at a wedding of mine:

    High Hopes – Panic At The Disco (probably will fade out shortly)
    Broken - lovelytheband (also will fade out as it falls off the charts)
    Handclap – Fitz & The Tantrums
    Feel It Still – Portgual. The Man
    Heartlines – Broods
    Kangaroo Court – Capital Cities
    Let It Go – James Bay
    Take The World - JOHNNYSWIM
    What You Know – Two Door Cinema