I arrived as The Constantines were finishing up their last song. The verdict here is that they probably didn’t suck.
Next up was Sloan, whom I thought were just this side of hideous. They weren’t rocking the crowd AT ALL, and kept yelling “If you don’t start going crazy the Foo Fighters are gonna kick our asses!” You know, a little less talk about going crazy, and some more actual going crazy would’ve probably worked better. Start it up and the crowd will probaby follow. There were a couple of their hits that wound everyone up for the moment, but the energy didn’t continue.
Also, people will cheer for you if they like you. And if they do it, let it be, don’t make them change it. Eventually, about 6 songs in the crowd started chanting “Sloan Sloan Sloan Sloan” etc. And the IDIOTS were like “no, you’ve gotta do it like this… “Slooooo-oooooan” (think the hockey raspberry for the opposing goalie). Of course, nobody cared, and nobody followed, and that killed the energy AGAIN.
The Verdict: If Sloan’s coming out, don’t bother.
On to our headliners, the Foo Fighers: AMAZING. Not the best show I’ve ever seen, but they exceeded all of my expectations and showed the crowd a very good time. Their set was fun: very basic on the stage, just mics and a drum kit, backed by a pastiche of old speakers precariously stacked to the rafters. It felt like they invited us into their garage to watch a saturday afternoon practice. The video screens were fragmented, and augmented the show, instead of displaying it outright, which I loved. Even when I’m sitting 3 rows away, I find my eye will so often gravitate to the video instead of the artist – but my eyes rarely left the guys for the whole show. They also had a wraparound LED display that they started behind, which rose to the ceiling and added another dimension of lights and effect. And there were lasers, which are ALWAYS cool.
The music was a perfect blend of old and new material. From what I remember they started with In Your Honour (the title track of the new album), and also played Best Of You, DOA & The Last Song. They may have also played Hell, but I can’t be positive. Older songs included Hero & Stacked Actors.
The Highlight of the night for me was when Dave Grohl stepped up to the mic with his guitar, and performed the softer version of Everlong. It’s one of about 5 songs on earth that, if I’m lucky enough to be present to hear the artist sing it, I’m fairly sure it’ll bring me to tears, and this one delivered. If that wasn’t good enough, they followed it immediately with the loudest, hardest, extended version of Monkey Wrench I’ve ever heard – the tears instantly dried and I screamed myself hoarse. I really could’ve gone home at that instant and been happy.
I was pretty blissed out at that point, so I don’t really remember what came next. The encore included some really old stuff that I didn’t know, as well as Dave & Taylor swapping places for Cold Day In The Sun. It was a huge treat to see Grohl behind the drums – though the song’s got a distinctly country feel to it, so he wasn’t exactly rockin’ out back there, which would’ve been nice to see.
Foo Fighters Verdict: Fantabulous. Well worth the price of admission.