It’s hard to believe that Foo Fighters have been around for over 20 years, it doesn’t seem feasible that this band rose from the ashes of Nirvana, soon after Kurt Cobain’s demise.
But they have and they did, and Dave Grohl and company know how to keep their audience happy.
And tonight’s show at the London Olympic Stadium was no exception. “ARE YOU READY TO DO IT AGAIN!!!!!” screams Dave Grohl as they launch into All My Life, to an already buzzing sell out crowd, before Learn To Fly follows immediately after.
The Pretender keeps up an already frantic pace, and it’s a specially extended version, with Grohl asking his Foo disciples if they knew why they were there tonight. The answer was to play some crazy rock n roll, and they did with a guitar/drum stand off between Grohl and Taylor Hawkins.
The Sky Is A Neighbourhood, from the more recent album Concrete & Gold, then rolls into the mix nicely, before a rip roaring Rope gets an extended ending, courtesy of a great drum solo from Taylor Hawkins and Dave Grohl baiting the crowd into singing with a simple flick of a guitar string. Hawkins then takes control of the vocals for the first time of the show with Sunday Rain, before Grohl encamps in the end of his runway in the middle of the London Stadium, to begin My Hero before Hawkins, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, Nate Mendel and Rami Jaffee bring the song to life.
A couple of numbers from the Wasting Light album follow with These Days and Walk, before Grohl gives the crowd a few more screams of “HEY!!!!!”, before introducing the band to the masses. Shiflett gets to show off his vocal skills, with a cover of Alice Cooper’s Under My Wheels, before Mendel bursts into a bass solo and a taste of Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust, with Taylor Hawkins joining in on the vocals. Keyboardist, Rami Jaffee, interacts nicely with the crowd whilst showing off what he is capable of on the ivories, and then a unique blend of John Lennon’s Imagine and Van Halen’s Jump get a Foo Fighters blend, before Pat Smear gets an introduction that swiftly turns into a cover of Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones.
The popular Taylor Hawkins is next up to be acknowledged by an already adoring audience, before he unleashes his inner Freddie Mercury, with an “eoeo eyyyyyyyy!”, before he takes centre stage to perform Queen’s Under Pressure, with Grohl going back to his original day job of drummer. Band member positional service is resumed for Monkey Wrench, before Alison Mosshart, from The Kills, joins the Foos for another number from Concrete & Gold, La Dee Da. The pace is given a breather with a slower, melodic version of Wheels, but is soon back up to 100 mph with the Foos very first song, This Is A Call.
Breakout gets everybody involved, complete with every light on every phone, turning the stadium into a beacon of brightness and a cathedral of song with the fans singing the chorus. The final melodic number of the evening comes in the shape of Dirty Water, before Grohl announces that there will be “no encore bullshit” (the stadium curfew being the cause, and roundly booed by a song hungry crowd), and duly obliges with Run.
Crowd favourite, Best Of You, is the one they’ve all been waiting for, and show their vocal appreciation with an ear splitting “WOOOOOOOOOOOOWOOOOOOOOO”, when the time requires it. And Everlong closes a two and a half hour, old school/new school, 100% rock n roll show.
This was the Foo Fighters at their very best, and there was even the suggestion by Dave Grohl to do a free show for everyone in London at some point. Would they do it? Probably, as there is nothing to stop the momentum of the Foo Fighters. A true band for all seasons.
I Know It’s Only Rock n Grohl, But I Like It!
Photo: © Jason PD / FOTF