10 Songs That Will Pack Your Wedding Reception's Dance Floor

Kill Us Now, Please

10. "Sweet Caroline": This is a classic singalong. It hasn't hurt that the Boston Red Sox turned it into a ballpark anthem as well. Put this on and listen to everyone sing "SO GOOD! SO GOOD!"

9. "Twist and Shout": I love the Beatles perhaps as much as any music fan, but this has never been a favorite. Still, who doesn't love the crescendo of AHs at the end of each section? Also, this dovetails nicely into a medley of "twist" songs like "The Twist," "Twisting the Night Away" and "Twist Again." Sounds stupid, but it works every time.

Rob Zombie, evil motherfucker, gets sprayed for West Nile during his pre-Halloween concert.
Marco Torres
Rob Zombie, evil motherfucker, gets sprayed for West Nile during his pre-Halloween concert.
"For the past few years, there has been a renaissance movement happening in Houston," says Hector Del Valle.
Marco Torres
"For the past few years, there has been a renaissance movement happening in Houston," says Hector Del Valle.

8. "Play That Funky Music": Few songs make white people shake their collective asses like a song about white people getting funky, sung by funky white people. And if the crowd is culturally diverse, it often turns into a kind of dancing melting pot that's either really heartwarming or hilarious...or both.

7. "Brick House": I've never quite understood why women want to be compared to an outdoor toilet (brick shithouse, as it were), but they sure as hell love this song.

6. "Shout": This gospel-infused Isley Brothers song made popular in Animal House is the second best crowd participation song on this list and one of the best that does not involve the words "Hokey" or "Pokey."

5. "Celebration": This song reminds me as much of middle school as it does weddings, but that's because I'm old. Still, the on-the-nose theme of this song may seem ultra-cheesy, but so are most weddings.

4. "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun": Oh, daddy, dear, does this ever get women onto the dance floor. Personally, I prefer the song from The Goonies when it comes to Cyndi Lauper, but that's me.

3. "We Are Family": This is a song that takes aim directly at the theme of the day and is likely to get the oldest, stodgiest farts out of their chairs and shaking their asses with the new in-laws. If you are lucky, at your wedding one will dress like Gene Hackman in drag in The Birdcage.

2. A Grease Megamix: Musicals used to fill the charts with hit songs back in the '50s and '60s. Some of the greatest jazz standards were taken from the classic musicals of the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Bernstein. But for weddings, the Megamix is king.

1. "YMCA": I can feel your eyes rolling and I'm with you. Who would have thought that a '70s gay disco anthem would become one of the most popular heterosexual wedding songs of all time? But it is. Even the most conservative old white guy will be out there making the letters with his body like his life depended on it.

Live Shots

October 30: Rob Zombie & Marilyn Manson at Reliant Arena

The men of the "Twins of Evil" tour made two important statements at Reliant Arena October 30. Marilyn Manson's was that people are zombies. Rob Zombie's was that fire is awesome.

Which one do you think was more fun?

Manson must have been born on the wrong side of the bed, and has been making up for lost time ever since. Tuesday he tried a different accessory on about every song — a stylish stole, a pope outfit, insecticide sprayer, several different hats, SS-style leather trench, a butcher-knife microphone he used to stab a couple of beer cans — making a series of Big Statements that rang strangely hollow.

Zombie, on the other hand, approached his set like the B-movie director he is: Aiming for maximum thrills, the more visceral the better. Lots of fire and sex, robots and a cover of Alice Cooper's "School's Out."

Those were the high points, but it was high points from the word go, from opener "Jesus Frankenstein" all the way through "Dragula," which dragged Manson's Nazi podium back out to be mounted by Zombie in a floor-length gold-spangled coat. This was after Zombie left the stage to meet the people during an extended guitar solo, slapping hands all the way to the back of the arena, with a Satan puppet as tall as two men lurking behind riffmaster John 5.

Zombie's songs are these hulking superstructures of electronically augmented enormo-rock that often move at a very fast speed; "Super­beast" almost gave me whiplash. They seem to exist to indulge his id as far as it can go, which was pretty far on "Mars Needs Women" and "Pussy Liquor."

His secret weapon is how much groove is bred into his songs, which was not lost on the Terminator robot onstage dancing during "Meet the Creeper." Marilyn Manson covers Depeche Mode and Eurythmics; Zombie prefers KC & the Sunshine Band's "I'm Your Boogieman." Not Tuesday, sadly, but you get the idea. There was plenty of other stuff.

That included animated nudity, clips of The Shining and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, the actual Great Pumpkin (or a guy with a pumpkin on his head anyway), a giant golem doing the robot during "More Human Than Human," Gerald Scarfe-like animation in "Sick Bubblegum," flames licking out from the top of the amps on almost every song, Zombie riding some kind of industrial harvester on "Mars Needs Women," and a trailer for his new movie The Lords of Salem, due Spring 2013.

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