Your in a bar full of 100 people and it’s silent except for the noise of conversation. Everyone knows that people have more fun when there is music so you step up to the jukebox and decide to get this party started. I get the feeling that most people don’t understand the importance of this selection. Now I know that most people don’t think this way and will probably just choose their favorite song but I’m just pointing out that you are effecting every single person in that room and you don’t want them wondering who chose this shitty ass song. This is one of those important times to realize that the world is bigger than you. If you aren’t up to the task, don’t pick the song. I’m going to give my opinion on proper songs for proper situations.
A few years ago I was at PJ Whelihan’s in Bluebell and this situation presented itself. It was a Thursday night and I’d guess there were upwards of 100 people there. This location is more sports bar oriented with white adult males (25-40) to be more specific to who we are trying to entertain. To think you can please everyone in the bar is nonsensical but a solid pick is still possible. I went with The Rolling Stones, Paint it Black. Upbeat song that is one of the top 5 best bands top 5 song. The girl after me chose “Your Song” by Taylor Swift…
At the Bayou, a bar with a younger, professional crowd, one afternoon we were choosing songs. There were 2 or 3 of us trying to decide to pick one and we were deciding between Michael Jackson, Jay Z, and other popular artists. When no decision was coming quickly I chose Badfish by Sublime. It’s a laid back chill song that no one can really get mad at you for picking and turned out to be a fine choice. A few songs later Gusto and I were deciding on a Doors song and it turned out to be too long and a group that not everyone can enjoy, thus a bad pick.
After those two examples I’ve come up with a few simple rules:
You want to pick an artist that people have heard of.
Play to the audience.
Long songs tend to drag.
People prefer popular over obscure.
Play a happy song. (Bruce and Billy generally aren’t going to fly)
Here are some examples of songs that are hard not to like:
Dispatch – The General
Dr Dre – Still DRE
Counting Crows – Rain King
Nelly – Ride Wit Me?
Lionel Richie _- All Night Long
Wallflowers – The Difference