Weekly Dime: Bands That Could Carry a Full Lineup

When Phil Nevin took over as the Los Angeles Angels manager for Joe Madden he wanted to loosen the team up a bit and remind them that playing baseball is fun. In Joe Madden style, he changed the lineup’s walk-up songs so that everybody had a Nickelback song. I am not saying that Nickelback would be my last choice, it is a funny choice, but it might be my third to last choice.

Here are 10 rock bands that I think could do a complete lineup successfully. I am specifying rock bands because opening it up to all popular music is too much to comprehend. Let’s define successful as quality songs (either funny or just good music) that both the fans and the players will know. Though it would be great to do a complete lineup with the Replacements, Five Finger Death Punch, the Struts, or Spoon, I just don’t think the crowd would know the songs or get excited. Conversely, I am going to stay away from ultra-mainstream so you aren’t going to see the Rolling Stones, Beatles, The Who, Bruce Springsteen, or Zeppelin either.

Also, realize that I don’t necessarily think these are a band’s best 9 songs, just the ones that I think the crowd and players would enjoy the most.

Rock On (In no particular order)

1. Foo Fighters

Everyone knows Dave Grohl. Either because he seems to be everywhere or because he was the drummer of Nirvana.  Though the band lost its drummer, Taylor Hawkins, earlier this year, the Foo Fighters are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and are played on every rock, classic rock, metal, hard rock and punk station.

The lineup could look like the following: Everlong, The Pretender, Learning To Fly, Best Of You, All My Life, My Hero, Times Like These, This is a Call, Monkey Wrench.

2. Van Halen

Van Halen is not a hair band, though they are credited with the explosion of hard rock talent on the Sunset Strip that led to Ratt, Motley Crue, Warrant, Poison, Rage Against the Machine, Janes Addiction and many others. Eddie Van Halen is commonly identified as the GOAT of the electric guitar and David Lee Roth may be the best front man of all-time. Or is it Sammy Hagar?

The lineup: Beautiful Girls, Jump, Runnin’ With the Devil, Dreams, Summer Nights, Right Now, Everybody Wants Some, Unchained, Top Jimmy

3. Metallica

The biggest sellout band of all-time or the band that sells out the most stadiums. Who cares? These guys have stood the test of time for a band who hit it big with no radio play at the beginning. That has all changed now. Metallica is like the Seinfeld of SiriusXM, anytime of the day, they are on some channel.

The Lineup: Enter Sandman, Sad But True, Wherever I May Roam, Fuel, Master of Puppets (as seen and heard in Stranger Things this season), Nothing Else Matters, Some Kind of Monster, King Nothing, Don’t Tread On Me

4. Green Day

If you haven’t seen Green Day in concert, you just haven’t seen a concert. Over 2 hours long, they still don’t take too much seriously at this point.  And you know the words to every song.

The lineup: Welcome To Paradise, Minority, Warning, American Idiot, She, Holiday, 21 Guns, When I Come Around, Brain Stew

5. Tragically Hip

For the Toronto Blue Jays fans. You may not know who the Tragically Hip is, but everyone in Toronto knows. Nine of their albums reached number one in Canada. From 1996 to 2016, they were the best-selling band in Canada, fourth all-time. I could have put Rush here or even a medley of Rush, Tragically Hip, and Triumph. But The Hip is uniquely Canada.

The Lineup: Courage, New Orleans is Sinking, Ahead by a Century, Blow At High Dough, At the Hundredth Meridian, Thompson Girl, Little Bones, El Dorado, Three Pistols

6. U2

When U2 is touring, they are easily the biggest band of the world and definitely one of the founders of alternative music. If you need a U2 fix when they aren’t touring, Elijah Hewson is the lead singer of Inhaler who is playing Lollapalooza. That is Bono’s kid.

The Lineup: Sunday Bloody Sunday, Elevation, Beautiful Day, Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out of, Mysterious Ways, Where the Streets Have No Name, Pride (In the Name of Love), I Will Follow


Michael Hutchence was a star and INXS was playing the biggest stadiums on the biggest tours. Listen to a radio station for 15 minutes in the 90’s and you would hear an INXS song.

The Lineup: New Sensation, Listen Like Thieves, Don’t Change, Need You Tonight, Kick, Suicide Blond, Heaven Sent, Devil Inside, Taste It

8. AC/DC

Everyone becomes a heavy metal fan when AC/DC comes on the speakers. Back in Black is the second-best selling album of all-time, right behind Michael Jackson.

The Lineup: You Shook Me All Night Long, Back In Black, Highway to Hell, Whole Lotta Rosie, Thunderstruck, Who Made Who, TNT, Moneytalks, For Those About To Rock

9. Pearl Jam

I could have chosen Nirvana or Soundgarden, but Eddie Vedder is a pretty big Cubs fan. And Pearl Jam is a pretty good band.

The Lineup: Better Man, Daughter, Jeremy, Evenflow, Alive, Corduroy, Not For You, Hail Hail, Go

10. Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols were only around for about one year, created one album, and they only did 1, 8-city tour in the US. And then they imploded. The Hulu biopic, Pistol, is really fun if you want at least one perspective about how it all went down. Since they only have 12 songs, the Lineup is easy.

The Lineup: Holidays in the Sun, Bodies, No Feelings, Liar, Problems, God Save the Queen, Anarchy in the UK, New York, EMI.

And if there are a couple of pinch hitters, you can finish the album: Pretty Vacant, Sub-Mission,


  • Larry Goldman

    Larry spends his nights and days watching, researching, and writing about sports in Chicago and the national conversation.

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