Edit: Misopogon's reply to the band members is likely even better, although buried on page two of the water bottle thread: #51
Alright, so in our water bottle thread yesterday we kind of veered off to bashing on the MMB a bit and the fact that Delaware State’s band pretty much destroyed them and some band members voiced their frustration over how the student section in general doesn’t give a shit about the band and expressed a desire for feedback. I figured we could take a break from our daily “Who will start at QB”/who had bad work ethic thread to voice some constructive advice to the band. Maybe give them something to take to the director and go “Look we have 20 pages of people saying we should play this song, can we play it?”
It’ll set myself up for abuse first with some general:
First and foremost, if someone isn’t offended, you’re not doing your job. We have some alums who took the entire “public ivy” thing a little too far and get offended if they hear anything that sounds like it might have been written post Fielding Yost era. For example that jackass who was really vocal about how the luxury boxes would ruin everything. The metric is not the angry letters you get post performance, but if you have 100,000 rocking during your performance.
Second, take the music sheets from that boy band show, all of them and any computer hard drives that might have that music on it and burn it. 5 gallon can of gas, matches and we’ll never speak of that again, alright? Fair deal. Seriously though, pop music is not we associate with football, with a few exceptions. Things like Britney’s “3” kind of work because it has a heavy beat, but N’Sync? Hell no.
Third, think about who we celebrate in that stadium. Woodley, Graham, Branch, Jackson, Shazor, Edwards, Hart, etc. Players known for destroying opposing QBs, running over LBs, insane catches, etc. If the song you’re playing doesn’t sound like something you could toss on a Brandon Graham highlight reel, consider picking a different song. “Hail To The Victors” and “Lets Go Blue” hasvean edge, but you guys play them so much I’ll still be hearing them 10 years after I die. The Hawaiian War Chant, Temptation work best with muppets and Varsity makes me reflexively reach for my smart phone to go check scores. I respect their traditional role, but I suggest the pre-game show for them.
Finally, just because their old people in the stadium doesn’t mean they’re all boring. Penn State pumps in Zombie Nation and the entire place goes nuts. Yes some people will resist change, but you can make modern stuff part of the game day experience.
Rap music really lends itself to the big band conversion. My high school band always did “Roll Out” by Ludacris when the team took the field and “I Like Big Butts” whenever a lineman made a good play. “Act a Fool” when we had a breakaway play (“too fast, too furious for y’all”). Personally I’d love to see the MSU band play its show and then as they’re walking off the field see the MMB come out playing “Move Bitch” by Luda. That would get the student section rocking. If you don’t tell people what you’re playing, the old folks won’t even know they should be offended. Our band used to call their Ludacris show “ A Series of Contemporary Pieces Inspired by Christopher Brian Bridges” (CBB is Luda’s real name). I’m betting you could get a decent show out of Timbaland (“The Moring After Dark” kind of fits in with what we hope this season will be, I’d think the horn section and drum section could do some amazing things with that song), Trick Daddy, T.I. and Pitbull also might be worth taking a look at. All the student section really wants is a heavy beat we can use to get pumped up. Notice how “Living On a Prayer” always gets us rocking.
Internet memes are on occasion fun. You should learn “Party in the USA” for the PSU Game, even though it breaks the no pop rule: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6N1o6JXRe4w (even better if you can get that video on the jumbotron as you play it). SNSD “Oh” would of course work for the Iowa game and if you have the dance team learn the moves it just gets better. A lot of people read MGoBlog, so the younger crowd would get the reference and get excited.
That weird little drum cadence the band does between quarters needs to go away. Where the cymbal players run around and some drum sticks get tossed. Yes, I get it your coordinated, but it has no edge. The only time I pay attention to it is if I’m bored and hoping someone gets conked on the head with a stick or hit with a cymbal. If you’re going to do a little thing like that, have an edge or go play Varsity in front the alum section to keep the old people happy.
End of the day, remember most of us in the stadium are some combination of drunk and dehydrated. We’re living off adrenaline, give us a shot in the arm so we’re floating right on it when the 3rd quarter kicks off. Complex harmonies from operas are completely wasted on those who are wasted.
Oh yes and more of that running around the stadium and playing in small groups. That by far is the best thing you do. Having the tuba guy walk up beside me and belt out a song always helps pump me up.