Where: Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia
When: Saturady 28th February (Sonic Highways World Tour)
Dave Grohl knows a thing or two about music! That is the understatement of the year. His rise to fame with Nirvana, he subsequent twenty year success with Foo Fighters, plus the raft of other projects he has worked on over the years means that he is one of the most experienced musos going around… not to mention one of the most gifted. So when he promised Melbourne that they were about to get the best damn Foo Fighters show ever perhaps we should have listened.
Melbourne itself did all it could do to make the Fooies decision to deliver a two and a half hours marathon and a real workout by turning out a hot, muggy and humid night with just enough rain to make sure that the Etihad Stadium was closed. To say that Grohl, Hawkins and co were sweating after a couple of songs was an understatement. That alone may have made a lesser band want to pull back a little, but not the Grohl led Foo Fighters who decided that Melbourne was going to get one of the GREATEST rock shows they have ever had.
So often these days bands bore their audience senseless by being so proud of their brand new album that they decide to flood their live shows with tracks off it. Now you can understand why bands are so proud of their new work and of course they want to show it off, but it is rarely those new tracks that get a crowd pumping and normally they are times a show loses energy. Obviously this is something that Grohl is aware of because during this 2.5 hour epic he chose to focus mainly on this being a ‘Greatest Hits’ with just a smattering of tracks (like ‘Something For Nothing’ and ‘Congregation’) appearing off their latest offering Sonic Highways.
The result was electric, with the strong crowd joining in on energized classics like ‘The Pretender,’ ‘Best Of You’ and ‘Arlandria’. Just to really appease the masses the Fooies dipped right back into their back catalog delivering older tracks like ‘This Is A Call,’ ‘Monkey Wrench,’ ‘Generator’ and ‘My Hero’… tracks that even after twenty years still hold their own. The concert didn’t even lose its energy when it turned acoustic for tracks like ‘Skin And Bone’ and to Grohl’s credit he had done his research and discovered that despite what the rest of the world thinks Aussies love ‘Wheels’ so delivered a special version into the mix as well.
One thing you quickly learn about Foo Fighters is that they are all about the music. So there were no ‘stage spectaculars’ to woo the audience. The lightning and visuals were still top notch though and the smaller stage idea that saw the band come closer to the audience for acoustic tracks and covers (which included ACDC’s ‘Let There Be Rock’ and Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’) worked exceptional well on the night.
The Foo Fighters showed last night that you don’t a million dollars worth of pyrotechnics or a stage that towers of Etihad Stadium to woo an audience. You simply need to step up on the stage and deliver (take note of that young musicians). As a band the Fooies delivered what their fans wanted, a high energy show chockers with their classics, they delivered that and as a result have left Melbourne with one of the greatest rock shows it has ever experienced.