Foo Fighters | 9.17.11

If you dislike the Foo Fighters, or lead singer Dave Grohl, you’re probably just not a fan of rock music.

 

  
In the opening chords of "These Days", Dave Grohl pleasantly croons, “One of these days your heart will stop and play it’s final beat.” With that knowledge in mind, the Foo Fighters took to the Scottrade Center to rule the hearts and vocal chords of everyone in attendance. The band, on the third date of their first full length American tour behind one of 2011s’ best records,Wasting Light, entered St. Louis with seeming intent to play all night if they so chose.

 Let’s get one thing straight, if you dislike the Foo Fighters, or lead singer Dave Grohl, you’re probably just not a fan of rock music; or, as Grohl forcefully stated Saturday night to the large amount of Foo virgins in the building, “Where have you been the last sixteen years?” The bands 26 song setlist was a trip through all sixteen of those years from Grohl‘s introduction of “the song that started it all” which lead into “This is a Call”, or irresistible groove of fan favorite “Stacked Actors”, up to a new song that Grohl described as his “favorite Foo Fighters song ever” in “These Days”.

 

 

Of course, the night would not be complete without the intense sing-along’s of “My Hero”, “Best of You”, which caused several in the crowd to break into tears, and set-closer “Everlong” which Grohl’s declared “is for rock and roll”. There are few rock songs with more power and raw emotion than the trio previously mentioned. 99% of artists would be more than happy to have penned one of those tracks, let alone the deep back catalogue the group have put together.

 

 The full time addition of original guitarist Pat Smear only works to increase the near-deafening wall of sound on tracks like “All My Life”, “Breakout”, and “Monkey Wrench”. Smear’s guitar playing face, and genuine enjoyment of being on stage, that is matched only by the rest of the band, add a great deal to the live experience, and the band’s classic videos. 

 

 The only man on stage that did not require an introduction was drummer Taylor Hawkins, who as the band’s second voice, and lead singer on In Your Honor track, “Cold Day in the Sun”, still performs not like an animal, but rather a beat keeping beast. One of the many “rock moments” of the night included a solo competition between Grohl at the back of the house and lead guitarist Chris Shiflett. Though the crowd was obviously on Grohl’s side, Shiflett proved then, and throughout the night, that he plays second strum to no one in this band when it comes to guitar skills. 

 

 In his usual campy form, Grohl declared the night, “pretty fucking fun” and said he wished that everyone in the crowd could “live together in one big apartment building” so they could “do this every night with no consequence, responsibility, jobs, no fucking rules.” Though he said it so much it became almost ad nauseam, the band did in fact fulfill their promise to play for as long as possible. 

 

 

 

 As the clock ticked near midnight, and the band had been on stage for nearly three hours, Grohl launched into a full electric version of “Everlong” which has been absent on past tours, with it often starting acoustic before transitioning to full band. As many in the crowd were overheard wishing “my favorite band would play three hours,” the fact remains that it’s doubtful that said bands would even have three hours of material worth hearing live, or that the band members could take on such an extended set and maintain mental health.  Foo Fighters are the rare band that love performing to an extent where they truly seem to hate having to leave the stage. 

 

As usual, the band had selected an odd, yet exciting grouping of performers to open for them. Mariachi el Bronx, opened the show with a legit mariachi show. This may not seem odd, except for the fact that the band members normally perform as The Bronx, and are a hardcore-punk band from Los Angeles, CA. Either way, the group were very happy to be opening, and played a fun set, ending with “Revolution Girls” off their 2011 release Mariachi el Bronx.

 

 Rise Against played the role of punk band that could one day be headlining at Scottrade Center themselves. The group had a large number of fans in attendance that made the band feel at home despite the size difference between their normal club gigs and the arena. The were also the third band on the night to mention a love for the cities closed venues such as Mississippi Nights and the Creepy Crawl. Early songs (probably played at the Creepy Crawl) like “Give it All” meshed wonderfully with more arena friendly recent singles like “Savior” and “Help is on the Way.”

| Bruce Matlock

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