A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to see my favorite band play live at Music Midtown in Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The Foo Fighters headlined the first day of the festival, Friday, September 21, 2012.
That’s right, the Foo Fighters are my favorite band. Some may frown, stating that the Foo Fighters are watered-down and too mainstream. To those naysayers I say, “Fuck you.” They may not be indie or underground, and you’ve probably heard their songs on the radio, but you know what that means? That means that they are talented and fucking good at what they do. They’ve been a band for 18 years. Have your shitty Whirling Dervishes or Crispy Beavers been around for 18 years? No, they haven’t. So shut the fuck up.
It was an intimate show at an small venue.
This was the actual view from where we were standing.
If it wasn’t for the giant screens on either side of the stage we wouldn’t have seen a damn thing. But it didn’t matter because the show was amazing.
We were waiting in line to use one of the 700 porta potties when the Foos started playing.
I wasn’t too happy about that, but they opened with “White Limo” off of their newest album, Wasting Light, which is actually my least favorite song on that album so I didn’t completely lose my shit.
We shoved and elbowed our way as much as we could through the sea of people. After the first couple of songs, Dave Grohl asked the crowd, “How many of you have ever been to a Foo Fighters show?” When less than a quarter of the people raised their hands, he said “What the fuck? Do I have to come to your house and pick your ass up to bring you to our show?” Grohl was being his usual asshole self which was comforting. I noticed two things: he was more sober during this show compared to clips from other concerts that I’ve seen, and his age is starting to show.
No matter, he is and always will be the sexiest man on Earth.
Their sound was clean and they played tight. Even with the shitty non-acoustics of an outdoor concert they still sounded great. The Foos also managed to play the perfect mix of new singles, past hits, B-sides, and even an unexpected cover or two. Here’s the set list:
All My Life
Learn to Fly
Everybody Wants Some (partial Van Halen cover)
Cold Day In the Sun
Hey, Johnny Park!
This Is A Call
In the Flesh (Pink Floyd cover)
Best of You
Times Like These
Dear Rosemary/Breakdown (Tom Petty cover)
Bad Reputation (ft. Joan Jett)
During the band intros, each member took a minute to play a solo and during Chris Shiflett’s, the lead guitarist’s intro, he started to play “Everybody Wants Some” and the rest of the band jumped in and they played the first minute of the song. Then they suddenly stopped and Dave Grohl said “We can’t start doing cover songs or we’ll be here for six fucking hours!” After which the crowd went crazy. Then he went on, “We know the first minute of every rock song ever, the rest is just too hard to figure out.”
During “Best of You” the Foos took an extended instrumental break, and during that time, the crowd filled in the gap by singing “Whoooaaahh-oooh-oh, whoooaah-oooh-oh.”
And then something happened that absolutely made the concert. Grohl stopped playing and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I can honestly say that that is the first time an American audience has ever done that at one of our shows. You guys are fucking badass.” Then he said “I’ve been waiting 10 years for that to happen.” It was such an awesome moment, I got chills.
When they were done playing “Best of You,” Grohl said, “Since you guys did something special for us, we want to do something special for you.” Then he walked over to each of his band mates and whispered something in their ears, which meant he was changing up the set list. Then the Foo Fighters played “Times Like These” and during the song I started to cry, that’s how powerful it was. (See? I really do have feelings.)
Later on, the Foos were playing “Dear Rosemary” and were in the middle of another of their extended instrumental breaks and Grohl started to play the first few notes of an older song that I love but couldn’t place. He did it a few more times and then they started to play the song and I knew immediately that it was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ “Breakdown.”
It was nearing the end of the show and Grohl said, “There’s one song that I’ve been wanting to play all night.” Then he brought Joan Jett out on stage and she and the Foo Fighters played “Bad Reputation,” and of course Grohl had to alter the song a little bit: “I don’t give a fuck about my bad reputation!” That was a pretty badass moment in rock and roll history.
Of course the show had to end with my favorite song of all time: “Everlong.” This was the song I had been waiting to hear all night. I love it beyond all reason. I even have the lyrics tattooed on my neck.
The battery on my camera was conveniently dead, but my friend took a bunch of pictures and videos. One really cool thing is that he made me a playlist of the entire concert, so I can listen to it and re-live the concert over and over. I can’t wait to see them play again.
Stay tuned for my upcoming blog post: Adventures In Mormon Country!