Sunday, March 30, 2008
Vancouver, BC Canada
***Live Review & All Photos By Lord of The Wasteland
Dave Grohl used to be the drummer in Nirvana.
This may seem like a given and unworthy of mention but given the immense popularity that his post-Nirvana band, Foo Fighters, has generated since their 1995 self-titled debut, many people forget Grohl was one-third of what is perhaps the most influential band of the nineties. Fronting Foo Fighters has put Grohl directly in the spotlight and after six successful studio albums, Nirvana is rarely mentioned in the same breath anymore.
Hitting Vancouver on the final date of the band’s Canadian tour, Foo Fighters treated the nearly sold-out Pacific Coliseum to over two hours of blazing modern rock hits and pensive acoustic jams wrapped up in blustery arena rock extravagance.
Right off the bat, Grohl came storming out from the gallows and ran full-bore down the length of the catwalk-styled stage, guitar overhead, soaking up the appreciation of the crowd. Kicking off the set with a pair of new songs from last year’s ECHOES, SILENCE, PATIENCE & GRACE release, three other guest musicians joined the band on stage. Violinist/cellist Jessy Greene, guitarist Pat Smear and keyboardist Rami Jaffee (ex-Wallflowers) filled the billowing stage along with percussionist Drew Hester for what Grohl later called “100% more Foo Fighters.” Running through the career-spanning hitlist of “Breakout,” “Learn To Fly,” “This Is A Call” and “The Pretender,” it was clear the band was giving the crowd exactly what they came for. “This Is A Call” was lengthened into a bluesy jam with an extended guitar solo by Grohl, while the flamenco-influenced verses of “Stacked Actors” were offset by Nate Mendel’s powerful UK-blues-driven bassline.
For the second half of the set, Grohl, drummer Taylor Hawkins (ex-Alanis Morissette), guitarist Chris Shiflett and bassist Nate Mendel strode the catwalk to the opposite side of the arena as a second stage lit up and a pre-assembled group of instruments lowered from the ceiling. Grohl quipped that the “cheap seats just became the good seats” and for nearly an hour, the eight musicians crowded on to the twenty-foot across round stage for a semi-acoustic set highlighted by brilliant versions of “Skin and Bones” and “My Hero.” “Marigold” featured a violin solo by Greene and the hilarious band intros by Grohl were capped off by Hester’s triangle solo. As the rest of the band walked back to the main stage leaving Grohl and his acoustic guitar to perform “Everlong,” a sea of cellphones lit up the crowd before the full-band “electric” finale.
Before reappearing for the inevitable encore, Grohl was shown on the four giant video screens egging on the crowd and eventually dropping his pants for the camera. Greene joined Grohl on a vocal duet for “Big Me” and the singer showed no sign of fatigue whatsoever as the two-hour mark neared. A rousing version of “Best of You” finished off the evening and Grohl’s tireless stage presence was given yet another in a string of weel-deserved standing ovations. Given this was the last show of the tour, one would expect the band to settle back a bit but the energy was flowing from start to finish. Grohl is the consummate showman and clearly enjoys giving his all for his fans.
Let It Die
Times Like These
Learn To Fly
Cheer Up Boys, Your Make Up Is Running
This Is A Call
Skin and Bones
Cold Day In The Sun
All My Life
Long Road To Ruin
Best of You
Spotting Bruce Springsteen and E-Street band/Conan O’Brien drummer Max Weinberg backstage before the show was an added highlight to what would become a really enjoyable evening. As a fan of Foo Fighters right back to the first album (and a fan of Grohl’s from Nirvana), it was treat to finally see the band live and in its natural element. Coming on the heels of the acoustic theatre tour that spawned the SKIN AND BONES live release from 2006, Foo Fighters is this generation’s arena rock gods flaunting spectacular light and sound, full-blown visual spectacle and more fist-pumping sing-alongs than you can shake a stick at.
In other words, the exact opposite of what Nirvana stood for and Dave Grohl could not appear happier, either.
***Thanks to Jessica at Live Nation for the press pass.
Foo Fighters—Official Site