Tailgating season (known to normal people as “fall”) is an important time: when fans pile all of their best friends into a truck, grab some grilling equipment (and plenty of beer) and head to the stadium to cheer on their favorite sports team ... or musician ... or ... heck, pretty much any occasion is a good excuse for a tailgate. And while we're at it, any season is a good time for a tailgate.
While you're out there grillin' and chillin', you’re going to need some good tunes to back you up. Fortunately, country music is positively packed with songs that were made for a good tailgating time. The following 10 tracks are not all explicitly about tailgating, but they’ll sound better than fine when they're blasting from the speakers on game day:
It may seem like an odd choice for game day, but who says a tailgate party can’t be home to a little romance? If you’re trying to score with someone at your tailgate, this song is upbeat enough that you won’t distract anyone from the festivities while trying to kick up the heat and do a little slow dancing.
It ain’t poetic, but you’re undoubtedly going to see some sort of beer-can crushing contest at a tailgate, and Paisley’s not-so-subtle ode to the “sport” will make for a perfect soundtrack. Even those who aren’t really into the festivities will definitely be “crushin’ it” after their third (or fourth) Bud Light.
You’d be remiss to leave Bryan’s “That’s My Kind of Night” -- arguably the most popular country party anthem of the past few years -- off your tailgating playlist. Bonus points if you happen to be driving a big, black, jacked-up truck to the parking lot festivities.
If your tailgating crew tends to get a little rowdy, this Gilbert barn burner is an obvious choice. Even if you’re not having your party back in the woods, it'll lend a little small-town feel to your game day throwdown. As Gilbert and company insist, crank the country up loud and let the tailgate down – only good times will follow.
Nobody knows how to write a good party song like country music’s own “redneck woman." With its thumping beat and a chorus perfect for a tipsy sing-a-long, this track parties just as hard as any of the male-written entries on this list. Just don’t be surprised if your night ends up with a few sirens, like those that come at the end of this tune!
McGraw might be talking about a whole ‘nother kind of hoedown, but the same principles apply when you're on asphalt. A tailgating party needs rules, and McGraw’s laundry list of farm faux pas -- don’t leave the gate open, stay out of the barn -- will keep your rowdy crowd in line as they have a good time.
As one of country’s best drinking songs, “Pop a Top” is perhaps a little more morose than your average tailgating soundtrack. Still, there’s no denying the appeal of that killer guitar picking and the chorus that’s perfect for a drunken sing-a-long. If you need a drinking game, just try cracking open your own can of beer in time with the tune!
It may not be the most profound of subjects, but there’s something to be said for the humble ubiquity of red Solo cups. You may prefer your beer in a can, but you know that you’re going to have a few of the tried-and-true drinking vessels around -- for beer pong, perhaps? -- at your tailgate. Raise a glass to the simple perfection of an icy cold beer poured into a disposable (unbreakable!) plastic cup!
Once the grill is fired up and your tall boys are on the chill, you’ll want to throw on this most pointed of tailgating anthems. Lyrics such as “Tailgate buzz, just sipping on suds / Ain't never too early / To light one up, fill up your cup” are practically an instruction manual for the perfect party on the back of a tailgate.
It’s impossible to separate this song, long the soundtrack of Monday Night Football, from the tradition of tailgating. You might have settled down -- like Williams Jr. and his friends -- but that doesn’t mean that you can’t get a little rowdy on the weekends, and this song provides an ideal soundtrack to game-day mischief.