Say what you want about the Foo Fighters and their records but man, can the fellas put on one heck of a show.
They arrived on stage at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne to 50,000 screaming fans, hoping for them to deliver — and deliver they did.
Starting with Something from nothing, the best track off their new album, Foo Fighters launched into gear with great effort, with the lads all in top form. I can’t think of a better way to fire up the crowd than with a thunderous effort that builds and builds and then soars. From there, the band kicked into The Pretender, one of my personal favourites.
It should be said that for the first two songs, there seemed to be an audio issue here, as Dave’s vocals were a bit weak. He was drowned out by the rest of the band throughout the first two songs. It certainly picked up as the band launched into Learn to Fly, another fan favourite.
Beyond the stage, there were visuals up on a screen that stuck to a theme of the song that was being played, often to dizzying effect. It certainly added to the atmosphere of the performance.
Dave Grohl’s a top bloke. Chewing gum with a wide cheshire cat grin, he has a lot to say the audience and his manic energy is infectious. He takes the time to connect with the crowd and get a few laughs, which is a welcomed approach to any concert.
Dave also made extra use of the catwalks during the free time he had, to share the experience with the fans.
But moving on — It was a surprise to see Taylor Hawkins takes vocals during Cold Day in the Sun while belting out the lyrics and drumming. Though, again, the vocals were drowned out by the tune unfortunately.
And in a surprising departure from their usual sound, The Foos jumped into a slow jazzy number during the middle of Monkey Wrench. It was slow and brooding and wonderfully performed by the lads.
Between songs, Dave Grohl stopped to laugh at how special it was to connect with fans. “It’s a fucking shame we can’t do this once a week” He says at one point with that grin.
In the middle of the setlist, the band moved to a stage on the catwalk which would be the spot for many surprises during that night. When a man and his girlfriend walked up on stage, the crowd was confused.
“Meet some new friends of ours” Dave said, still flashing that grin. Then the guy said a few words into the mic, that I could barely hear due to rocking out for the past two hours, and that was when he got down on his knees and the crowd went wild. When kisses were exchanged, a sweaty Dave Grohl bear hugged the two. That was magical stuff right there.
But the show must go on and things kicked back into action. “We don’t do Encores” Dave barked at one point. “We don’t do that pretending to walk away shit, we’ll just keep on playing till we are done”. The crowd roared and Dave grinned but oddly enough, the group went on to jam through four covers. Though this displays the band ability to effectively capture what is no doubt tunes that they grew up to, It’s unacceptable when it amounts to 30 minutes of the setlist AND it’s back to back. Fair enough get into the covers but why not pepper them throughout instead of back to back? Why not play the odd song that wasn’t a big hit like My Hero. In fact, the band really surprised me when they dug out Big Me, a love song with a messy heart from their first album, early in their performance.
Still, after the covers were done, Dave roared, “Do you want to hear some Foo Fighters songs?” – and by that point I think mostly everyone would agree YES and from there, the band launched into the final half of songs, ending in a grand version of their hit song Everlong. True to their word, the Foo Fighters didn’t do encores but they delivered one hell of a show which, despite a few flaws and sound problems, was a terrific night out. There’s nothing like a rock concert and the Foos managed to connect with the band while being in top form themselves so I’d say that is money well spent.
J’s Verdict: ☆ ☆ ☆
Something from nothing
Learn to Fly
Cold Day In The Sun (Taylor on Vocals)
This Is A Call
Skin and bones
Times Like These
Detroit Rock City (KISS Cover)
Stay With Me (THE FACES Cover)
Let There Be Rock (AC/DC Cover)
Under Pressure (QUEEN & David Bowie Cover)
All My Life
Best Of You