By Clare McCabe
Artist: Foo Fighters
Date / Venue: Saturday 21st February, Mt Smart Stadium, Auckland
To be honest, I have seen our chums the Foo Fighters many times in the last 20 years but this is the first time I have had the pleasure of reviewing them.
It is still light when we arrive at Mt Smart (oh I miss the BDO) and we take a seat just in time for a few tight numbers from the second support band Rise Against. They seem very pleased to be back playing in NZ and even welcome Mr Schifflett from the Foos onstage for a quick rendition of a Jawbreaker song - nice touch.
A short break (to collect beer) and here come the Foos. Dave with his signature blue Gibson, Taylorhammering on the drums at the back, Chris with his jaunty red bandana, the lovely Pat and Nate rounding up the rhythm section. Ooh and we also have Rami (a new edition) on keyboards and various other keyed instruments. Looking good boys.
They swing into Something From Nothing from the new album and we KNOW it is going to be a great night.
I personally am a huge fan of the large screens either side of stage - in case you can't quite see what is going on up close. Tonight we also have the fabulous runway down the middle of the stadium which Dave immediately takes advantage of and runs into the crowd during the first couple of songs.
"It's going to be a long fuckin night", he says. Bring it on we say, bring it on.
We get Breakdown. And My Hero (You gotta sing real loud on this one...).
We love this country, screams Dave between songs. The Town Hall event is mentioned (sorry). He talks about Christchurch (beautiful) and dedicates Big Me to his injured truck driver (one lucky motherfucker).
Then Dave introduces the band members one by one and lets them play a little tune each to show how good they are - Smoke On The Water anyone? These guys are tight together tonight. As per usual.
Name me any other band who will give you over 2 ½ hours of rocking tunes and still want to play more. Love you guys.
Ooh here comes Arlandria and Monkey Wrench. "What have we done with innocence", screams Dave. And the crowd go wild. We are treated to Skin and Bones with Rami on accordion (who says we're not experimental?). And then Dave breaks out a few acoustic numbers by himself. During one song he even takes great pleasure in asking the audience NOT to sing along. But of course they do anyway.
OMG and then could it get any better - the band move out to the round on a little revolving stage and they launch into some cover songs (what?) - there is Kiss and Rush and even AC/DC's Let There Be Rock which Dave clearly REALLY enjoys playing if the headbanging is anything to go by. Lucky he has long hair again... Last cover is Under Pressure and then the band troop back to the main stage leaving Dave by himself. "That's my band" he says. "I'm a lucky man." Just too cute.
And off we go into All My Life and One of These Days - Dave my friend, how can you still be screaming so loudly after nearly three hours of solid rocking? I so don't want to go home, Dave says and then swings into Best of You.
A few thank-yous go out and then the last song of the night. Everlong. Obviously.
Guys. Seriously. You are welcome back anytime. New Zealand loves you. Thank you and good night. And what a night it was.