I am pretty sure that everyone already knows what this review is going to say don’t they? Foo fighters are legendary if for no other thing then their live performances. I mean, the Foo Fighters are a band that are based around Dave Grohl who has literally never stopped playing live and touring the world since he was 15 years old. I mean, if you put this into context of Guns N’ Roses playing the same stage this time, last year and you can see the difference that those years of playing together actually makes (in GN’R’s defence the last year of touring saw them come on in leaps and bounds at Download this year also). So anyway, the Foo Fighters as you already know are bloody brilliant.
So what is it, that Foo Fighters seem to get so right? Firstly I think it is generally just their appeal. I can’t think of many bands that have constantly with every new album added to their fanbase over a 23 year period like the Foos have whilst never seemingly alienating the fans they already have. Back in London, it was hot, sticky and absolutely heaving. It seemed like there was more people than I have ever seen at a stadium gig and that was partly because there is so many fans of all ages, that the pitch was full to the brim (rather than anyone taking the unreserved seating) with people wanting to dance and go crazy.
Maybe that appeal is Dave Grohl himself then, supposedly the nicest man in rock, so they say. Well, I couldn’t say about that but he genuinely seems to be someone who repays the privilege and joy that he evidently feels by being able to perform to two sold out London shows on the trot by putting his heart and soul into the performance and this was evident from all the band. This is a band that rocks and it’s like watching a bunch of kids, from the big grin on Pat Smear’s face to the effortless cool of Taylor Hawkins. This enthusiasm was evident in the crowd as well and there was a feeling of high jinks on the edge of the most pit where I was placed, that and constant dancing throughout the set.
The set itself was everything you would expect it to be, covering pretty much every album of their career there was enough in there for everyone. Starting with “All My Life”, “Learn to Fly” and “The Pretender” it was the type of explosive start you would expect. When a band is touring their latest album it is always interesting to see how they approach covering it and the Foos got it about right including 5 new tracks. Admittedly the newer songs perhaps don’t have the heaviness of some of the older tracks but they worked well in the set. The greatest testament I can actually pay to the Foo Fighters is that during the 2. 5 hour set I never got bored once. I am not a massive fan of long sets as sometimes it is too much filler but this wasn’t the case here.
What also impresses you about the Foo Fighters is that this is straight up rock and roll without the need for gimmicks. Sometimes gimmicks work well (everyone has grown to love Rosie and the cannons and bell of AC/DC’s set) but the Foos don’t need them. They had a concourse out into the crowd which I think was only used once, the band preferring to bunch up on stage and deliver the goods. What did surprise me and I think this knowing the history of the band and its members is that quite a large section was given over to band solos. Although entertaining, I mean who doesn’t want to see Taylor Hawkins on an in air drum riser? It still felt a little old school and for me, I would have preferred a couple more tracks to dance to instead. That aside, it was a great set, the crowd was up for it and yet again the Foo Fighters have left our shores with everyone saying what a brilliant gig it had been.
- All My Life
- Learn to Fly
- The Pretender
- The Sky Is a Neighborhood
- Sunday Rain
- My Hero
- These Days
- Under My Wheels (Alice Cooper cover)
- Dragon Attack / Another One Bites the Dust / Waiting Room / Blitzkrieg Bop
- Jump (Van Halen cover)
- Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie cover)
- Monkey Wrench
- La Dee Da
- This Is a Call
- Dirty Water
- Best of You