Concluding the Australian leg of their Concrete and Gold tour, the Foo Fighters rolled into Melbourne bringing hurricane level chaos to those descending into Etihad Stadium last night.
The die-hard fans that turned out early were treated to a smaller display of the chaos that was come later on in the evening, as Melbourne’s own Clowns took to the stage just after 5pm; even though they were only allocated 30 minutes, the band made the most of their time as they got those in the pit flying throughout their seven songs! If you haven’t seen Clowns take the stage before, the best way to explain their sound is a mixture of pop-punk and speed metal; make sure you get out to a show before too long as they will most definitely blow your mind.
Weezer walked out to an ever growing audience and a cheer much louder than the number of people in attendance; front-man Rivers Cuomo was sporting a stunning red jacket that was accentuated under the stage lights. Kicking off the set with Surf Wax America, the crowd were singing along from the get go and appreciating the fact that Weezer were on our shores for only the third time ever! Pork and Beans and El Scorcho had the energy of long-time fans being elevated, before the well-known introduction to My Name Is Jonas started over the speakers; Cuomo, Patrick Wilson and Scott Shriner all stood together in the middle of the stage and jammed out together during the bridge. After treating fans to newer song Happy Hour, Cuomo mentioned how Weezer are also touring with The Pixies later in the year; this resulted in the band deciding to learn and cover Where Is My Mind. Crowd favourites Beverly Hills and Buddy Holly kicked off the last part of Weezer’s set, before concluding with Say It Ain’t So and Island In The Sun. After finishing their set, Bell and Cuomo took off running down the T-stage and looking like they were going to stage dive off the end; unfortunately this wasn’t the case, as they were only having a race down to the end before turning around and running back again.
After approximately a thirty minute wait, anticipation grew in the enormous crowd that was still funnelling in as a giant black banner showcasing the Concrete and Gold logo was draped across the stage; roughly fifteen minutes later, the stadium lights dim as the band walk out and assume their positions on stage. The band starts playing Run as they are very dimly illuminated with stage lights, as the huge banner drops when the song really kicks in and the performance has officially kicked off! Taking a step back in time, All My Life got bodies flying and fans singing alongside front-man Dave Grohl before Grohl made his first statement of the night to those in attendance during the breakdown; ‘Look motherf**kers, we’re going to have to dance all night so let me get you warmed up!’ before making his first of many forays down the T-stage, this time only making it about a third of the way down before making his way back to his microphone.
Learn To Fly continued the trip into older territory, before starting to return towards Concrete and Gold as the band seamlessly transitioned into The Pretender; by this point Etihad Stadium had completely filled and everyone in attendance was headbanging or jumping around, regardless of whether they were in the mosh or in the seats! During an extended break in The Pretender, Grohl has made a request of ‘turn up the lights so I can see everyone…OH SH*T!’ before asking everyone ‘are you here to see rock ‘n’ roll? The Foo Fighters play rock ‘n’ roll; you know this so let’s play you some rock ‘n’ roll tonight!’ After the conclusion of The Pretender, Grohl has gone to speak into the microphone to introduce the next song, but was instantly silenced by the roar of appreciative fans.
The Sky Is A Neighborhood had drummer Taylor Hawkins showcasing his vocal abilities as he took over the vocals duties. Halfway during the song to point Hawkins out to the crowd; mind you there was no way you could miss Hawkins as his kit had been elevated a good 10+ metres above the stage! The crowd made sure to show their appreciation for the talents of Hawkins, whilst Grohl made his way down to the end of the T-Stage much to the delight of fans there. After pointing out that ‘tonight is the last night of the Australian tour, so you better be the f**king loudest’, Grohl then took time to get a little more intimate with the crowd as he expressed that ‘we are sorry it took us an hour to say hello, but hello! The reason it took so long is because we have a f**k ton of songs to play and it could take all night to play them all…we are happy to do that though! Actually; you guys can stay all night, I have a room service cheeseburger waiting at 2am!’
After launching back into the music with Rope, Grohl had to point out that ‘damn this place is so big…this is possibly our biggest Foo Fighters show, just so you know.’ You wouldn’t know it by the loudness of fans, but My Hero was the first song in which Grohl actually requested that those in attendance sing along; once everyone in attendance started singing, this reviewer broke out in goosebumps from head to toe! After the first two choruses, Grohl asked if Melbourne was going to be the loudest audience on the tour before instructing us to show him why as he made the long run back up the T-stage to join the rest of the band. Once making it back, Grohl introduced These Days by pointing out that ‘this song always reminds us of Australia as we made the film clip here!’ before following up with Walk. The Foo Fighters then bought out a real blast from the past in the form of Let It Die; as this is a song that only long-time fans knew, Etihad Stadium was eerily lacking the audience harmonisation with Grohl!
Breakout had everyone singing along again and this song showcased such a beautiful moment of the evening; halfway through, Grohl has asked for ALL the stadium lights to be turned off as ‘I am going to play this in the dark’ before then asking the crowd to pull out their lighters/phones. The amount of light that resulted from this request was so bright, that this reviewer could clearly see the band on stage from where he was sitting! After Breakout Grohl took the time to introduce all the band members one by one starting with Chris Shiflett, who performed a little sole that received an appreciate cheer from the audience; apparently that wasn’t loud enough for Grohl’s liking, as he demanded that the crowd make themselves known! After Grohl observed that about half the crowd was really firing on all cylinders, Shiflett took over vocal duties as the band performed a cover of Alice Cooper’s Under My Wheels; Grohl took this opportunity to closely monitor the crowd and see where the most action in the mosh pit was.
After Under My Wheels concluded, Grohl pointed out how ‘this is the greatest f**king job in the world!’ before proclaiming that Shiflett’s side of the mosh was absolutely chaotic, whilst the other side of the mosh were like hippies; this paved the way for Grohl to then introduce bassist Nate Mendel, who delivered a bass solo that electrified the crowd so much that people were slam dancing much to the disbelief of Grohl! The crowd was then treated to a small solo from keyboardist Rami Jaffee, before Pat Smear was introduced and took control over the jam fest as the band treated us to a cover of The Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop; mind you, there was still one last member of the band to be formally introduced to the audience. After introducing Hawkins, Grohl pointed out that he had been focusing on the people on the floor for the last ten minutes, so it was upto Hawkins to reach out to the fans in the seats; after Hawkins warmed up his voice again by doing his best Freddie Mercury impersonation. After this warm up was concluded, Grohl ordered Hawkins off the kit to come sing a song for the fans, but this was preceeded by Grohl pointing out how that was the first solo where the pit was calm; there was a bit of friendly banter between Grohl and Hawkins, as Grohl took a seat behind the drums and the band launched into a cover of Queen and David Bowie’s Under Pressure.
After the crowd cheered so loudly in appreciation that they raised the closed roof once more, Hawkins and Grohl swapped positions before kicking things into high gear as Monkey Wrench got the bodies flying in the pit once again. Grohl took the time to dedicate Big Me to his good friend Ross, as he explained how they were out record shopping earlier in the day and Ross was eating Mentos candy; Grohl also told the crowd how the next time the band performed Big Me after releasing the video clip, he had to go to hospital as a result of all the candy that ended up being thrown on stage! Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo came out and joined the Foo Fighters on stage; this resulted in Grohl taking a small trip down memory lane, pointing out that this is like a re-union tour for the bands as they last toured together back in 2005. Cuomo took over vocal duties, as he donned his guitar and played the opening notes to Detroit Rock City by Kiss, sharing separate moments with both Grohl and Shiflett in the middle of the stage.
After launching into Best Of You, the Foo Fighters were met with a cheer that lifted the roof off once again; after allowing the audience to take over the vocals for part of the song, Grohl has declared to the crows that ‘it is official; you are the loudest audience of the tour and I’m not just saying that!’ The band said their goodbyes and ran out the back for a well-earned rest, as the crowd started chanting for one more song; after a few minutes of this chant taking place, a video appeared on the screens of Grohl and Hawkins relaxing with a beer. There was some playful banter between the audience and Grohl, as he kept increasing the number of songs that he was suggesting that the band were going to come out and perform in their encore; suddenly Grohl runs out of camera shot and appears back on stage with his acoustic guitar, before making the walk all the way down to the end of the T-Stage.
Once making it to the end, Grohl started by telling the crowd how he loves playing this upcoming song for Australian fans as it means the most to us, but didn’t give away what song it was; Grohl took the time to talk about the Beaconsfield mining incident and how when asked what he wanted, one of the miners replied with how he wanted a bottle of water and an iPod with the Foo Fighters on it. Grohl continued to tell the crowd how he managed to meet that miner after a show, they shared some beers together and Grohl wrote a little instrumental piece called Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners. Grohl then mentioned how he promised that he was going to include it on the upcoming album, but completely forgotten until a week before the record was meant to be finished; after a small chuckle from the crowd, Grohl then kicked off into Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners.
Second song of the encore Times Like These was dedicated to all those fans at the very back of Etihad Stadium, as Grohl pointed out that he could see each and every one of them; after switching back to an electric guitar, Grohl sang the first half of the song by himself before the stage lit up, revealing that the rest of the band had taken the stage once again. Before introducing the third song of the encore, Grohl pointed out how it came about being played; he did a TV appearance with Hawkins the night before and this lady wouldn’t shut up all recording and kept requesting that For All The Cows get performed at the Melbourne show! After Grohl made her wish come true, he commented how he was so glad he remembered everything, before continuing the encore with This Is A Call. After dedicating their cover of Let There Be Rock to the recently deceased Malcolm Young, the audience were treated to not only a very beautiful image of a younger Young on the screens, but Grohl sounding so much like Bon Scott that it bought on another set of goosebumps for this reviewer.
You would think that after over two and a half hours of music, that concluding your set with Let There Be Rock seems like the perfect way to end a show; obviously you’ve never been to a Foo Fighters show if you think that was the case, as there was clearly one song missing from the set that is a staple! Grohl pointed out that ‘we don’t like saying goodbye; not only are we not very good at them, but that also insinuates that you’re not coming back; so until next time Melbourne’ before the opening notes of Everlong came through the speakers. The moment they did, the ground that Etihad Stadium is built on shook so hard as everyone was up on their feet jumping around and singing their lungs out. As the song and the night drew to a close, the Foo Fighters gathered together in the centre of the stage and took a bow to the very thankful and somehow still ultra vocal audience.
All My Life
Learn To Fly
The Sky Is A Neighborhood
Let It Die
Under My Wheels – Chris Shiflett Vocals (Alice Cooper cover)
Blitzkrieg Bop – During Band Intro (The Ramones cover)
Under Pressure – Taylor Hawkins Vocals (Queen Cover)
Big Me (For Ross)
Detroit Rock City with Rivers Cuomo from Weezer (KISS Cover)
Best Of You
Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners
Times Like These
For All The Cows (Tour Debut)
This Is A Call (Replaced Wheels)
Let There Be Rock (AC/DC Cover)