A tale of three gigs. One disappointing, one fantastic and one epic. I’m not sure at which of the three I bought this tee but it’s no surprise to anyone that there’s a Foo Fighters tee amongst my collection.
Hyde Park, summer ’06. We’d made a weekend of it and spent the Friday in Brighton before heading up to London for what should have been a legendary rock show. The supporting bill included Angels & Airwaves, QOTSA, and Motörhead and it was a glorious summer afternoon. But the four of us left disappointed. Way too quiet and way too short.
Some have it marked down as a spectacular show, Brian May & Roger Taylor of Queen came out and jammed a coupla Queen songs with them but, for us, we wanted more. More Foos. We’d seen them do festival sets before, we wanted a Foo Fighters show celebrating their first ten years. And the volume thing at Hyde Park is beyond a joke. Fine, it’s noisy for the locals, so stop using it as a venue. End of.
It’s rare to come away from a gig as down as we were after that. Maybe our expectations were simply too high but it’s noticeable that they’ve not played as short a set ever since so maybe they got it too.
November ’07, Birmingham NEC. ‘Production Seats’ became available on the day – basically a section of the arena is set aside for staging etc., the crew comes in and builds the stage set and it then becomes apparent they could sell another block or two of tickets so there’s a flash sale of tickets on show day. I grabbed my bro Tom and headed for the NEC to discover that the inimitable Serj Tankian was supporting so we were already onto a winner. Highlight was the exchange of looks between the parents either side of the teen boy in front of us when Serj introduced ‘Beethoven is a cu*t’.
We then got over two hours of Foo Fighters being utterly awesome. Making their way out to a second, mid-arena stage, for a five song acoustic set mid show before blasting back onto the main stage with Grohl in full on stadium rock god mode, holding the audience in the palm of his hand. It put the memory of Hyde Park well and truly to bed, that’s for sure.
It wasn’t a difficult decision therefore to snap up tickets for what Dave breathlessly described from stage thus; “Welcome to the greatest day of my whole entire life.”
June 2008, Wembley Stadium, London. We’d already been treated to a fabulous 18 song set when this band that were rapidly establishing themselves as modern rock legends, were joined on stage by two bona-fide ones in the shape of John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin. The Grohlster fulfilled a fantasy by taking to the drum kit whilst Foos drummer Taylor Hawkins bravely stepped up to the mic for a stunning rendition of the Led Zep classic Rock n Roll. They then swapped places for Ramble On, followed by the Zep boys leaving the stage to a beaming Dave Grohl who uttered the above gushing statement. All we needed then was Best of You to finish a show that had become a genuine ‘I was there’ moment and send the same boys that had left Hyde Park two years earlier so disgruntled, off into the night well and truly gruntled!!!
If you click on the dates I’ve given for these gigs you can see the setlist for them with credit to setlist.fm for compiling these lists for us fans. Tbf, these lists alone show the difference between the HP show and the others.