Almanac Music: Foo Fighters Review – Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, February 28, 2015

The Foo Fighters all but blew the roof off Etihad Stadium last night with their searing guitars, gut-busting vocals and energetic, minimalist rock. As a long time fan across their 20 years, I knew the show would be nothing less than full throttle. On the final day, this made my summer.

By way of background, I went to the show with my cousin. As kids we were inseparable and, confessedly, started a band together.

As you know well, Lawyers and Rock n’ Roll are synonymous. He played guitar and I played guitar. We played garages around Melbourne, his and mine. We called ourselves ‘The Writ of Mandamus’ and later ‘Lord Wilberforce dissenting’.

Our song writing included potential hits, ‘In an unaccounted 6-minute block’[1] and ‘Fell in love with a girl called Mareva Injunction’[2]. Style: Punk-Rock-Common or Statutory Legalism as distinct from Equity.

Good days.

And then, I don’t know. He moved away and I moved away. He got married and I finished a four year course in the seventh year.

We reconnected recently, like old times. We both have work and family, but still love music. While I was more infected by Foos than he, he was content to come along at my suggestion.

At 5:00pm, we met at the Savoy Tavern, far too swarming to contemplate a drink in drinkable weather. Melbourne had turned on the humidity. The packed streets struck me as gritty, blokey and beardy.

When Cuz arrived, we had cleanser at a quieter place and then made our way to Etihad. Support act ‘Rise Against’ were very, very good. Around 8:15pm Dave Grohl burst onto a long runway, into a reverent crowd, as though leading his team onto Etihad, which was full, pumping and breathless.

They opened with the superb “Something from Nothing’, from their latest release, and segued into “The Pretender”. They were the first of 25 songs over as good as three hours. Back and forth over eight albums, Learn to Fly, Breakout, My Hero, Congregation, Walk and This is a Call.

 

Dave Grohl bursts from the pack, and, from the 50, the goal was never in doubt... (pic Paul Campbell)

Dave Grohl bursts from the pack, and, from the 50, the goal was never in doubt… (pic Paul Campbell)

 

Taylor Hawkins added vocals on Cold Day in the Sun and then came a brilliant rendition of Monkey Wrench rambling nearly 15 minutes. Dave did a mini-acoustic set, including Skin and Bones with a rare accordion solo. During this part, Dave commented on the roof. He would have preferred it ‘open’, to play under the stars. Footy fans must have smirked on the perennial issue, if not the body odor-laden air. ‘Roof off’ sounded good. Little did we know outside was a Melbourne tempest. Roof Master was right.

Times Like These began acoustically. Unbeknown to the crowd (or me at least), the rest of the band had gathered midway on runway, for a stage-in-the-round that spun for all vantage points. This was a fun part of the evening where they played a number of covers; Stay With Me (Rod Stewart, I think), Let There Be Rock (AC/DC) and ‘Detroit Rock City (Kiss). The latter was a present for Cuz, a lifelong Kiss fan. A couple emerged on stage and a marriage proposal took place to the notes of Queen’s Under Pressure. The happy couple were hugged by Dave and sent off with, “Congratulations, now get the f*ck off my stage… Good luck, Mother*ckers”.

 

The mighty Foo Fighters (pic Paul Campbell)

The mighty Foo Fighters (pic Paul Campbell)

 

The closing act featured, All My Life, These Days, Outside, Generator and Best of You. There was no let up in the performance. Cuz commented how hard working they were. If you’re a fan they’re a must see, if you only like three songs go to see an indefatigable rock show.

Near the end, Dave was, as ever, down to earth and heartfelt. He said the only problem with a show like tonight was he wished he could come back to do it every week. If only. He then added “I don’t like goodbyes, I know we’ll see each other again, so instead I’ll say this…” and they closed with Everlong.

 

“And I wonder

When I sing along with you

If everything could ever feel this real forever

If anything could ever be this good again

Only thing I’ll ever ask of you

Got to promise not to stop when I say when

She sang…”

 

 

Dave Grohl, with a packed Etihad Stadium in the palm of his hand.

Dave Grohl, with a packed Etihad Stadium in the palm of his hand.

 

[1] © Paul Campbell.

[2] © Paul Campbell.

About Paul Campbell

Lawyer, left footer. Loves the Hawks and follows a few U.S sports.

Comments

  1. Thanks Paul. Reviews everywhere for this tour have been great. Huge fan, but concert ticket prices just beyond me these days, that and how quickly they well out. Sounds like an awesome show and very happy you were there and to share it.

    Sean

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