Foo Fighters brings glorious stadium-sized rock to rare club show

“Well it’s good, it’s picturesqueFoo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl told the audience Thursday night at the House of Blues in Cleveland, Ohio. He slid his mane behind both ears like a teacher adjusting his reading glasses. It had been a while since Grohl , 52, could recognize the faces of the stage as he mainly performs in front of thousands of people in football stadiums.

“How the hell did everyone get tickets for this?” Grohl joked. “I just assume a good internet connection?” ”

The spectacular one-off show marked the start of the Rock Hall weekend. On Saturday, a Beatle will induct the six members – Grohl, guitarists Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins – into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The Foos seem legitimately excited about the distinction. And the gravity of their year of induction, being the first ceremony after two years of pain and devastation, was not lost on them.

“RIP Charlie” was scrawled on Hawkins’ drums at the center of the stage. Longtime fans (who were practically all 1,200 of us) knew the group was mourning the loss of their manager, Andy Pollard. The deferential tone fueled the first three songs, forming a sort of hard-rock homily, starting with the heart-wrenching 1999 song “Aurora” – arguably Grohl’s most evocative handwriting – then to the unrepentant “All My Life “from 2002, to the invigorating burst of” Learn to Fly. “

Credit: Danny Clinch

Then the show took off. “I was born in Ohio,” Grohl yelled as cheers and fists swept through the air. “I have roots in this motherfucker.”

They went through songs like “The Sky Is A Neighborhood,” “My Hero” and “Walk,” giving way to plenty of drum bursts and guitar attacks. It all felt more visceral when you can actually see the veins spouting out either side of Grohl’s neckband.

For alThe pure intensity, the other big highlight was that no one was particularly shy about going into a full-fledged solo halfway through the song they were making or leaving. a riff meandering into an extended jam. Drummer Taylor Hawkins – the Iggy-est Foo – who sat atop his hot pink drums, all white teeth and blonde hair blowing all over the place, gave “Hero” a hard-hitting facelift. Grohl would often stop to marvel at this zen surfing beast that hammered like a machine. “No one worked harder,” Grohl said of Hawkins, stopping, then urging him to do another solo. “Take that, Carole King!

Same acclaimed concert photographer, Danny Clinch, ventured onto the stage for a catchy harmonica solo during “The Pretender”.

Surprisingly, some of the most feverish blues improvisations have occurred during the new songs (like the murderer “No Son of Mine”) from their recently released 10th album, Medicine at midnight. You could tell it was a new song when they trotted the trio of choristers (one of which was Grohl’s teenage daughter, Violet).

Hard rock was balanced with disco fever. Grohl determined that there was “too much rock” as he snapped his gum (was he chewing gum the whole time?) Dancin “, which was a staple of the setlist this year.

Hawkins and Grohl also swapped places for Hawkins’ euphoric rendition of Queen’s “Somebody to Love”, which was especially fitting given that the Foos inducted Queen into the Hall of Fame in 2001.

Foo fighters
Credit: Danny Clinch

Hawkins turned to watch Grohl give a drum solo, crouching on the edge of the stage. He later introduced Grohl, who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the second time after his initial entry with Nirvana in 2014.

“I don’t know when the third one is coming, but I know it is,” Hawkins said. “Is there a Book Hall of Fame? (Someone in the crowd replied, “The Pulitzer Prize?”)

Since its inception, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been controversial and loaded for musicians. As more and more ’90s bands become eligible to enter the venue, there hasn’t been a dearth of pettiness and rage, with Trent Reznor saying he “couldn’t care less” about Nine Inch Nails snubbed over the years to Axl Rose 1000 word “open letter” defending his right to not being inducted, with Radiohead abstaining from the ceremony altogether (though none of these held a candle to the Grateful Dead in 1994, who arrived on stage with a cardboard cutout of Jerry Garcia, who boycotted the event.)

There is none of that with the Foo Fighters. And after the last two hellish years, thank goodness. Who better than Grohl and Co. to deliver a much needed rock and roll catharsis. In Cleveland, and everywhere else.

“We will be back,” Grohl said at the end of the show, his left eyebrow raised. “But the next time you see us, we’ll be 100 meters away in a big stadium, probably the opening for the Chili Peppers.”

Foo fighters
Credit: Danny Clinch

List of sets from the blues house of the Foo Fighters:

“All my life”
“Learn to fly”
“None of my sons”
“The sky is a neighborhood”
“Shame shame”
“To burst”
“My hero”
“The suitor”
“You Should Be Dancin ‘” (BeeGees cover)
“Someone to Love” (Queen Cover)
“Times like these”
“Young Man Blues” (cover by Mose Allison)
“The best of yourself”

About Marion Alexander

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