I used to have a playlist of songs called “Bump-Out” on my old iPod. Bump-Out, Pack-Out, or Pack-Down are pretty much interchangeable theater terms for that frantic period after the show is done, when you take everything apart and put it all in the truck, and everyone is tired and working a pace because they want to get the f**k out of the place and go to bed. Upbeat music helps… at least so long as there is a house PA that you can patch into.
One of my favourite songs on that playlist was the full version of Sing Sing Sing by the Benny Goodman Orchestra. A seemingly odd choice for someone my age, but a great piece of music for keeping everyone awake and moving. It’s all about the drumbeat. Every step becomes part of the dance, and the faster the beat the faster you walk.
Seriously, I’d swear the drummer (Gene Krupa) was on cocaine. It all just goes to prove that my grandparent’s generation knew how to kick ass on stage, even while wearing evening suits and leather-soled shoes.
It was always an eclectic mix though (hey, I’m an eclectic girl). So long as the beat was good, it could keep us going.
Another favourite of mine was Hourglass by Lamb of God. (See? Eclectic.) It starts with a gallop and never eases off. Plus it was the first song Rob ever played for me on his guitar, so it will always have a place in my heart.
And as much as I’ve come to adore Randy Blythe, I do rather love this instrumental-only version where drummer Chris Adler and his brother Willie show off the work of the rhythm section in a rare light.
Pay special attention to how fast Chris’s feet move. While Krupa gives an endless, cavalry charge, Adler’s bass drumming moves from hoofbeats to machine gun. It’s simply incredible to watch.
But then, I’m always impressed by good performance work. It really doesn’t matter what genre it’s in.
… Except for Kanye West. That shit’s stupid.