It’s less than a month since the Foo’s iconic frontman Dave Grohl fell offstage two songs into a Swedish gig forcing the band to cancel several European shows including their highly anticipated headlining slot at Glastonbury. It shouldn’t be a surprise however that the show is back on the road so quickly, Grohl even managed to finish that gig after being stretchered back onto stage complete with a medic preparing a splint.
It obviously wasn’t, but it all could have been scripted and it confirms even more Grohl’s place in modern rock lore. He has had to play many roles in his career, even more if you include their early videos, but heroic warrior overcoming debilitating pain is a new one, and it’s one that he is happy to play. Maybe too happy.
The fans waiting at the Citi stadium for the first of two dates, were just happy that they were able to see their heroes at all, something that must have seemed unlikely when they heard the news from Sweden. The usual shouts, cheers and screams greeted the band, along with a few giggles, as Grohl – seated in a kind of throne was spotlighted. His injured leg in its plastic and metal cast thrust out in front of him, the lead singer and guitarist sat in a contraption he had helped design himself – a leather chair surrounded by guitar necks and spotlights, the bands logo behind. His trademark hair flying around him, he promised he would play harder than he ever did when he was on his feet. And for a time he actually did.
On My Hero, he even hobbled up on crutches to the front of the stage to the inevitable manic cheers.
The career spanning show kicked off in breath-taking, ultimate Foo Fighter style with early classics Everlong, Monkey Wrench and Learn to Fly, and Grohl was in full effect, his good leg pumping up and down in time to the thrashing beats and riffs.
Inevitably the pace had to slacken, and during Up in Arms, Dave spent a quarter on an hour detailing those events in Sweden, complete with videos and x-rays, before some slower numbers gave Grohl’s 3 working limbs something approaching a rest. On My Hero, he even hobbled up on crutches to the front of the stage to the inevitable manic cheers.
With a back catalogue as long – and as strong as that of the Foo Fighters, it is strange that they chose to include so many covers. Under Pressure (Bowie and Queen), Breakdown (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Next to You (The Police), Stay With Me (Faces) and Let There Be Rock (AC/DC), all featured, and at times drummer Taylor Hawkins, must have thought he was playing with his side project Chevy Metal, a 70’s and 80’s classic rock covers band. That said, at something approaching two and a half hours, this was a very impressive gig, with or without their partly debilitated frontman. They play with a tightness that comes with so long on the road together, and a complete confidence in not only their own ability, but also in what their fans expect from them. A Foo Fighter’s concert of 2015 may not live up to the raw excitement of one two decades ago, but they can hardly be blamed for getting older.
Though for those there, this will always be “the gig where Dave had a broken leg”, it was a good monument to where this band – arguably the most popular rock band of the 21st century – are right now, and as long as it doesn’t veer any more towards the middle of the road, and stay clear from the edges of Scandinavian stages, that’s a pretty good place to be.
- Monkey Wrench
- Learn to Fly
- Something From Nothing
- The Pretender
- Up in Arms
- (Extended intro with Dave telling the story of his broken leg and his moving throne)
- I’m the One
- (Van Halen cover) (Snippet played during band introduction)
- Another One Bites the Dust
- (Queen cover) (Snippet played during band introduction)
- Blitzkrieg Bop
- (Ramones cover) (Snippet played during band introduction)
- Cold Day in the Sun
- My Hero
- (Acoustic. Dave Grohl walked out to B-stage on crutches)
- Times Like These
- Under Pressure
- (Queen & David Bowie cover)
- Let There Be Rock
- (AC/DC cover)
- All My Life
- These Days
- Next to You
- (The Police cover)
- This Is a Call
- White Limo
- (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
- Best of You
- Stay With Me
- (Faces cover) (with Chad Smith) (Taylor Hawkins on lead vocals)