Prior to their headline slot at Lollapalooza here in Chicago tonight, Dave and his band of merry men chose to drop by the Metro to treat a very small group of fans (capacity 1150, gutted you can’t see my smug face).
And securing this ticket was a pure military effort (though my Dad did do the whole purchasing thing, so kudos to him), as its arguably the hottest ticket in town this weekend. Touting was made actually impossible with ID at every corner, and not forgetting no re-entry. British venues take note.
With this very special night came some very special guests. Opening the show were one of Dave Grohl’s current favourite bands, Welsh wonders The Joy Formidible, who were visibly excited about the unfolding events. Playing tracks from recent release The Big Roar, a particularly energetic performance from the band aimed to get the audience well and truly pumped (God I sound like an American). The moment however that really got the night going was lead singer Ritzi’s stellar performance banging a gong (forgive the Americans they’re not quite all there). Nevertheless, with a minute half hour set the band proved their rock and roll might, doing us proud! Don’t believe me? Check out the awful Blackberry photos below!
Two things dominated the Foos Fighters set, the fact that they played for 2 and a half hours with barely a break, and of course how many fantastic songs they have. Opening by playing latest album Wasting Light in full, the singles Rope and Walk h*ve a newfound edge and energy when screamed by 1000-odd people. And that’s not even mentioning the almost comic brilliance. And Dave Grohl’s reaction to this response? ‘Tomorrow we have a 2 hour set, but tonight we can play as long as we fucking want!’
And that they did, seguing straight into their seemingly never-ending back catalogue, much to everyone’s glee. I’m not going to claim to know every song played it was 2 and a half hours of sweaty moshing, hoarse throats and my short arse struggles to catch Grohl himself through the brick-shithouse in front of me’s camera phone. Quick note here: Learn To Fly is not to be spent trying out every camera effect on your dumb-ass iPhone, fucking dance!
But moving on. Moments could be had when Dave ran up round the balcony and nearly lost his guitar to some very eager fans. But of course ‘the nicest man in rock’ soldiered on delighting the fans with anecdotes about the band (bless poor Taylor, putting up with all sorts of banter!) and stories of the very first gig he went, right here in Chicago on 1982. Dedications came left right and centre, with Lolla organiser Perry Farrell getting a very special mention, along with the history behind dome of the tracks played.
The songs were as full of energy and raw excitement as you’d expect with the Foos, with their enjoyment bringing another dimension to the songs they claim to have not played for 5 weeks, pffft! Rattling through hit after hit, from Best Of You to Long Road To Ruin, the band relished this ‘practice’ sessionm, indulging not only showboating but rather excessive guitar, drum and keys solos, with even an accordian being whipped out for an emotion fuelled rendition of Skin and Bones.
After 2 and a bit hours the band dash off stage, but they can’t be held back, returning to storm the stage with classics Monkey Wrench and Everlong. And hours later I’m glad I went, I may be sweating, stinking and stightly delirious, but the band made this night. I could have been at the other side of the city stalking, I mean watching, the Arctic Monkeys but this tiny, personal, emotional and unforgettable performance is all we need to be sure that the Foo Fighters are perhaps the greatest rock and roll band ever. And quite frankly Dave Grohl and the rest of the lads are Gods … or the closest thing we’re going to get anyway.