A lot of bands promise that they’re “going to play until they kick us off this stage!” However, with the Foo Fighters, you know that is exactly what you’re going to get, and they have certainly delivered on their current Sonic Highways global tour.
This past Thursday (February 26), the Foo Fighters rocked out in Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. We were warned at the beginning by frontman Dave Grohl that we were in for a “a long fucking night” and he certainly wasn’t kidding as the band sailed past the 2.5 hour mark and steamed toward 3 hours, stopping only occasionally to chat with the crowd or share an anecdote from the band’s 20 years together. It was just like a garage band session, just with a crowd of some 52,000+.
That’s what you’re promised and that’s exactly what you get. Though the band was touring to promote their eighth studio album, Sonic Highways, they just wanted to jam with their fans, taking us on a journey of their biggest hits from all eight albums. And that is exactly what you want from a gig. Yes, it’s great to hear the new stuff, but it’s the classics that you keep coming back to hear live just one more time, just one more interpretation. And classics are one thing the Foo Fighters are not short on.
They got the party started with “Something from Nothing,” but by the third song of the night “Learn to Fly,” the stadium was filled with the growl of Grohl, the stunning drumming of Taylor Hawkins and the sweet, sweet riffs of Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear, with Nate Mendel on bass and Rami Jaffee on keyboard all amplified by the crowd belting the song out in accompaniment.
The pace then slowed during the middle for an amazing acoustic set that included Grohl playing Germany’s favourite Foo Fighters song (apparently) “Wheels” as well as a personal favourite, “Times Like These”. They then took us back to their garage band days playing a series of covers that they themselves love to rock out to. Joining them for the Van Halen cover “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘bout Love” was Rage Against The Machine’s drummer Brad Wilk, before they won over major brownie points launching into hometown boys, AC/DC’s classic “Let There Be Rock.” They then performed one of the best covers of Queen and David Bowie’s hit “Under Pressure” that I’ve ever heard.
With energy high and the crowd eager for more, it was a massive crescendo of hits until the finale and the moment I had been waiting for… “Everlong.” This has long been a favoured song of mine, but I had never seen it performed live. This being my first Foo Fighters gig, I had high hopes that they’d play the hit, but it surpassed all expectations. Loud, joyous, wild, with air guitars on full display around the stadium and everyone moshing along no matter how far up in the Gods they were, it was a true celebration and the perfect end to night. However, I’m sure we would have all gladly partied for another three hours if given the chance.
So when’s the next your down under guys?
The Sydney setlist is as follows (courtesy of Triple M):
- “Something From Nothing”
- “The Pretender”
- “Learn to Fly”
- “My Hero”
- “Big Me”
- “Cold Day in the Sun” (Taylor on vocals)
- “This Is a Call”
- “Monkey Wrench”
- “Skin and Bones” (Dave acoustic on catwalk)
- “Wheel”s (Dave acoustic on catwalk)
- “Times Like These”
- “Detroit Rock City” (KISS cover)
- “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love” (Van Halen cover) (with Brad Wilk)
- “Let There Be Rock” (AC/DC cover)
- “Under Pressure” (Queen & David Bowie cover)
- “All My Life”
- “These Days”
- “Best of You”
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