Wednesday, July 30, 2008

After Thoughts: Foo Fighters - Izod Center; July 29, 2008

This is a new feature I want to try out, its not a review, and its not quite impressions; it's just more fitting for things that can't really be reviewed that way, enjoy!

The concert was at the Izod Center, the recently reopened arena, formerly known as Continental Airlines Arena, in East Rutherford, NJ; the same place I saw Iron Maiden. The show had two bands opening for Foo Fighters, the first was Year Long Disaster, a hard rock three-piece band from Los Angeles. The weren't awful, but it was just so loud that you could barely hear the vocals, and every song sounded the same. There's not much else I can say about them; good news is they were only coming to select shows. The next opening, and the band turning everywhere with Foo Fighters was Supergrass. Supergrass is a Brit-pop band from, you guessed it, Great Britain. The catchy Brit-pop tunes were a nice change from the loud repetitive mess of Year Long Disaster. I'm not very familiar with Supergrass' catalog, but I wouldn't mind looking into it after seeing them live. Heck, they're even on the Parlophone label along with Coldplay, Blur, and used to have Radiohead; they also dropped Graham Coxon, but that's a rant for another day. It was kind of funny though, midway through their set, the keyboardist's synthesizer busted, so he sat bored for the rest of the songs.

But here's what you really want to see, Foo Fighters. I should mention, the way the stage was set up was: you have the main stage on one end, then a walkway stage to middle of the General Admission area, that leads to a smaller stage. I was standing on the fence of the right side of the walkway. Now that that's settled, let's get to the show. Lights dim, the band enters, Dave Grohl grabs his guitar and comes down the walkway, he was literally 5 feet away from me. He walks back, and the show starts with "Let It Die", the sound is much better than the openers, as one would hope. What was kind of neat was the stage had 4 sets of LED screens, that actually were invisible when off, it was strange, but cool. They play more songs, loud, fast, pure awesomeness.

Midway in those early tracks Dave starts talking, dropping many an F-bomb, and says this is the last concert of the tour. In actually it isn't, by far, and they're actually playing the same set list the whole tour, go figure. We finally get to "Stacked Actors", one of my favorites from There's Nothing Left To Lose, but they managed to make that 4 minute song last about ... 20 minutes. It was crazy; the song played for the most part, then there was a 5 minute or so drum solo, then the band returns and Dave Grohl and Chris Shiflett have a guitar duel, and eventually a guy (can't remember his name) has a 3 minute harmonica solo, and then they played again. It was total craziness, but really fun.

This led to the acoustic set. The band walked down the walkway, the 4 main members as well as 4 touring members, and as they walked, a stage lowered down into the set spot in the middle. I was quite the small space for 8 people and all their instruments, but it worked. "Skin & Bones", "Marigold" ( a Nirvana B-side written by Grohl), and "My Hero" were played and then Dave introduced the 7 other band members. He started with the pianist, who got a few second solo, then went to former member (but still touring) Pat Smear, who just smoked. Then lead guitarist Chris Shiflett got to do a couple Ace Freely rifts, and bassist Nate Mendel decided to not show off and just stare. Next was the violinist, who got a minute or so to show off her skills, and then was the big one, as stated by Dave Grohl himself, "the best triangle player in the world". He then went on to call out Green Day's and Rage Against the Machine's triangle players, quickly noting that they didn't have any, and then, yes folks, we were treated to a Triangle Solo! Last to be introduced was drummer Taylor Hawkins, who would sing the next track, "Cold Day in the Sun". The acoustic set ended with a solo version of "Everlong" by Grohl, which went into "Monkey Wrench" as he ran back to the main stage.

Finally, "All My Life" was played and the band left and the lights went black. People were actually leaving, and then a night vision came on the LED displays. It was a sign of the night's set list, and then the camera turned to Dave holding up a finger, mouthing "one more". The camera then turned to Hawkin's who mouthed "two" and put up his fingers, and returned to Grohl, who said "three"; a few seconds later the band returned. Dave thanked the fan for cheering for them to come back, and then told everyone to start french kissing cause "Big Me" was about to play, with the violinist on backing vocals. Next was a song played at the VH1 Rock Honors: The Who last week, it was the second of the night, and featured Supergrass' lead singer, Gaz Coombes, on vocals, and Hawkin's filling in later in the song, just as they did on the show. The closing song was "Best of You", which was rally fitting after Grohl thanked the band, the road crew, and the fans. The night came to an end, but it was quite the site.

For my first non-metal concert, the show was quite enjoyable. No one was pushing towards the stage, or being big fat drunks (at least not around me) and everyone kept to themselves. Dave Grohl turned out to be quite the comedian though, in fact during one of the songs he stopped and people started to sing, and he in turned yelled "shut up, don't sing yet!" which was pretty amusing. He also cracked a few jokes here and there, and it made everything much livelier. All in all I'd say it was a good show, and I wouldn't mind seeing them again. I have provided the set list below:

Set List
- Let It Die
- The Pretender
- Times Like These
- No Way Back
- Learn To Fly
- Cheer Up, Boys
- Young Man Blues (The Who)
- Long Road To Ruin
- Break Out
- Stacked Actors + jam session
- Skin & Bones
- Marigold (Nirvana)
- My Hero
- Cold Day in the Sun
- But, Honestly
- Everlong
- Monkey Wrench
- All My Life
- Big Me
- Bargain (The Who) w/ Gaz Coombes (of Supergrass)
- Best of You

My brother got a few images with his phone, I'll see what I can do about posting them. I'll also keep tabs on the band's website to see if I show up in any of their own photos.

Update: Here's the pictures and videos

1 comment:

Hampig said...

Haha, triangle solo. Epic.