FOO FIGHTERS at Lee's Palace, June 16. Tickets: free to contest winners. Attendance: sold out. Rating: NNNNN
There's just something rather disconcerting about a show being associated with local faux alt-rock station 102.1, with its desperate attempts at "cutting-edge." Would this Foo Fighters show be a cheap quickie to boost ratings, its lauded simulcast reaching those not lucky enough to have won tickets?
Nope. Things didn't seem very promising at all, and with no opener to prime the crowd, the audience at Lee's milled about looking bored and waiting for something to happen.
And I'll be damned if, after local radio hack Dean Blundell tried to whoop up the crowd, something kind of miraculous didn't occur: all that communal blasé suddenly turned into an instant ball of excitement at the first sight of their hero, and to borrow a line from Jerry Maguire, Dave Grohl had them at "Hello."
Over his time with Nirvana and in Probot, Grohl's demonstrated that he knows how to bring the rock. And while the Foos might not seem as menacing as a duet with Lemmy, they certainly played like they had something to prove.
Ripping through the first six songs without pause, the band elected to pummel the crowd rather than sweet-talk them. From opener In Your Honour, Grohl screamed like a man possessed, or like a lost member of Slayer.
Even though it was clear he was the one everyone was there to see, Grohl's amassed a top-notch band who are more than capable of keeping up. Drummer Taylor Hawkins could give Grohl a run for his money, and he played like a machine, turning songs like My Hero and Monkey Wrench into heavy-as-fuck fist-pumping anthems.
Finally addressing the audience about his frustration at doing a two-month promotional tour, Grohl made it clear that the Foos were itching to let off steam. This culminated with Grohl marching through the crowed and onto the bar, where, with beer in one hand and guitar in the other, he managed to continue playing away while lording it over his disciples.
All but ignoring the second acoustic disc of the new album, the Foos put on an incredible, deafening show.