I know this post will be up for debate. Just as an FYI, this post, much like many others on this site, is my opinion and mine only. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. This is mine.
I have been to God knows how many concerts in my 30 years on this Earth. The shows I have seen range from Green Day to Paul McCartney AND Ringo Starr, to Raffi when I was a kid, to Roger Waters to big music festivals. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve loved every one of them. But today I want to talk about what is more than likely THE best concert I have ever been to: the Foo Fighters. OH MY GOD! The Foo Fighters kicked SO…MUCH…ASS!
First off, Dave Grohl is a “local” musician. He is from the Washington, DC area and I had the opportunity to see Foo Fighters at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Aka right outside DC. So I saw the Foo’s in Dave’s local area. Actually, Dave’s opening line—before playing any songs—was “OH IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE HOME MOTHERFUCKERS! FEELS GOOD TO BE HOME!”
From there, the band launched into an AWESOME version of All My Life. (Please note, I am not going to go into detail with every song they played. Otherwise we would be here all day.) But after All My Life, they immediately segued into Learn to Fly, probably one of my favorite FF songs.
I’m writing this concert review on Monday, March , 2021. The actual concert was in July of 2018, almost a full three years after the show. But this show was SO good, it is still fresh in my mind.
That is for a few reasons. One: the songs. The Foo Fighters have been around since 1995, so almost as long as I have been alive. As such, they have a lot of songs. Two: the length of the concert. The Struts opened the show at a little before 6pm (maybe 6:00 exactly). Around 7:20-7:30, the Foo Fighters took the stage. Keep in mind, Merriweather has an 11:00pm curfew due to it being an outdoor, open-air venue. So the Foo’s wasted no time in getting started, nor did they stop until they hit that 11pm curfew, and that’s only because security literally had to come onstage and tell them to stop playing.
And the third and final reason: the band itself. I touched on this earlier, but Dave Grohl is probably the best frontman of any band I have ever seen! Plus he’s an amazing musician. Dave also talks to his audience…like, A LOT! I can’t decide whether Dave spent more time actually singing or talking. Actually, Dave talks so much, part of me was thinking, “Oh that’s nice…now play music!” Plus he is a super nice, down-to-Earth guy. When I saw the Foo Fighters, Dave invited a fan with a sign to come onstage and shotgun a beer with him.
The next member is Pat Smear. Dave and Pat previously played together with another band you might be familiar with, Nirvana. And no, they did not play any Nirvana songs so don’t get excited about that. But Pat is one Hell of a guitar player!
Nate Mendell plays bass and he looked genuinely happy to be playing with the rest of the band. He seemed into the music, and I like that. Because, some bands do their thing, play the songs almost half-assed, and leave. Not the case here.
Rami Jaffee is a PHENOMENAL multi instrumentalist! He plays keyboards, piano, and occasionally accordion. And he plays well with the rest of the group and fits in well. Dave makes sure to give him, as well as all other band members, their time in the spotlight.
Chris Shiflett is the lead guitar player in Foo Fighters. And while Dave is the main person in the band, Chris can hold his own. Chris is, much like the others, an AMAZING instrumentalist!
And now we come to what I consider the “backbone” or “glue” that holds the band together, and Dave knows this. He makes sure specifically to highlight this person. But enough stalling. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the drummer for the Foo Fighters and, apart from Dave Grohl, my personal favorite member of the band: Taylor Hawkins. Let me just say, Taylor is the best and most enthusiastic drummer I have ever seen. (Sorry, Ringo Starr…) Not only that, but Taylor also has a PHENOMENAL singing voice! See, about halfway through the 3 1/2 hour show, Dave and Taylor swapped positions. Taylor Hawkins took lead vocals for a cover of the QUEEN song, Under Pressure. Dave played drums.
So yes, the Foo Fighters do do cover songs during their set. Sometimes, it’s a blatantly bad cover. Sometimes it’s because it is what the artist is known for. But the Foo’s do it to play homage to their musical inspirations, and they do it well! During the show I saw, they played Under my Wheels by Alice Cooper, Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones, the aforementioned Under Pressure, Nate Mendell played the bass intro to Another One Bits the Dust (also by QUEEN), and a weird mashup of the piano part of Imagine by John Lennon with the lyrics to Jump by Van Halen.
I know I said I wasn’t going to go too in-depth with all the songs, but there are a select few I want to mention. My Hero, one of the first songs Foo Fighters ever recorded, for me, was the highlight of the show. Dave let the audience take over midway through the song. That was an INCREDIBLE musical unity moment! The encore was Best of You, Times Like These, and Everlong. Best of You was extended—taking audience participation into account—from 4 minutes to roughly an 11 minute song! It was crazy!
One more thing before I wrap this up: the noise level and intensity. This was by far the longest, loudest, wildest, and shakiest concert I have ever been to, and I’ve seen The Who. Widely considered the “World’s Loudest Band”, The Who absolutely pale in comparison, at least nowadays, to a Foo Fighters show!
I said this was a “shaky” concert. What do I mean by that? Well the Foo Fighters played so loud, you could literally feel the foundation of the pavilion shaking. So as far as I am concerned, Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters give what I consider a perfect concert!
So is this THE best concert I have ever attended? For me personally it’s a 100% YES! I could go on and on and on and on about the show (much like the show itself) but I think I’ve said enough in this really long review. So that’s my opinion of my one Foo Fighters show. Thanks for reading!