Foo Fighters in London: rock and roll and digs at Taylor Swift

Foo Fighters in London: rock and roll and digs at Taylor Swift

“I have a question. Want some rock and roll? For the next three hours we’ll kick your ass”: this is the warning, which sounds more like a promise, then keptwith which Dave Grohl kicks off the Foo Fighters’ second concert at London Stadium.

The American band is in Europe for a series of dates after only two lives at Rock am Ring (here is our story) and the twin Rock im Park in Germany last year. The concerts at the German festivals marked the return of the “Best of you” lineup to the Old Continent after about four years. If you don’t consider the 2022 Taylor Hawkins tributes at Wembley (here is our story from London) And Los Angelesthe group instead had been missing from the UK since 2019before the arrival of the pandemic and the death of the drummer on March 25, 2022.

The day of June 22nd, which sees the Foo Fighters return to the London Olympic stadium in the district of Newham two days after the first date, opens with the emo pop rock of the English Hot Milk and the Australian’s rock songwriting Courtney Barnett The sun of a warm Saturday afternoon illuminates the area, while the fans who have been waiting at the gates since morning begin to fill the parterre.

When on stage the technicians begin to reveal the instrumentation of the band of Kurt Cobain’s former friend, even the stands of the London Stadium are about to reach maximum capacity. Meanwhile, from the speakers, between “The chain” by Fleetwood Mac and “Free fallin’” by Tom Petty, you can even hear “.Something big” by Lùnapop (who knows who decided to include it in the pre-concert playlist!).

If there is a more than apt nickname, it is the one commonly attributed to Dave Grohl, now defined as the “nicest guy in rock”, someone who thinks a hundred things and does a thousand things, who despite all the difficulties faced so far in his private life and in his career, is always ready to demonstrate that we can recover from every slap that life has in store.

And it is therefore Grohl himself who appears first on stage, running out of the wings and immediately moving to the center of the catwalk in front of the stage to greet the audience. “Are you fucking ready, motherfuckers?”: with his usual liberating cry the frontman is ready to start the dancing, followed by his bandmates now in position. “.All my life” opens the concert at the London Stadium at precisely 7.30pm, as scheduled, and the response from the parterre and stands is immediate. We start like this, with enthusiasm and determination, in the name of three hours of rock and roll, as promised. “No son of mine”, from “Medicine at midnight”, finds the Foo Fighters ready to have fun in the long instrumental moments that are built live around the songs, with Grohl and his companions improvising and inserting echoes of “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath and “Enter sandman ” by Metallica. Alongside the leader of the group, each member of the band brings their own character to the stage with him: Pat Smear he is on stage in an elegant blue suit, the “new” drummer Josh Freese he’s wearing one of his cute t-shirts and shorts with a poodle’s face printed on them, Nate Mendel he’s just busy on his bass lines, Rami Jaffee to the keyboards he hides his charm under a wide-brimmed hat and Chris Shiftett gives body to the guitar passages. “Walk”, “Times like these”, “White limo”, “La dee da” and “Breakout” take us back to the times when the band toured in vans and anticipate the presentation of the lineup by Dave Grohl, who in in the meantime he lights a cigarette with “his friends in the Foo Fighters”.

The first guest of the evening follows, Shane Hawkinsthe son of the late Taylor Hawkins, who returns to the stage with the band to play “My hero”. The audience never misses an opportunity to sing the songs at the top of their lungs, from the most recent ones such as “Rescued” to the best known as “The pretender”, with the frontman intervening when the spectators continue to sing anticipating him: “That’s my fucking line”, “Those are my verses”, he blurts out ironically.

Throughout the concert Dave Grohl is a showman, managing to focus all the attention of the audience on himself, not wasting a moment to entertain with jokes and speeches, even going so far as to launch.digs at Taylor Swift, taking place a few kilometers away at Wembley Stadium. The frontman takes advantage of the pop star’s presence in London to entertain fans, who burst into screams of dissent just by hearing her name mentioned. Halfway through the concert, while there is still more than an hour left to go, it is the acoustic moment of the show, with Dave Grohl moving to the center of the catwalk approaching the parterre. To the “bu” of those present, the frontman never misses an opportunity to make a few jokes referring to the voice of “Anti-hero”. “I know we’re joking about Taylor Swift’s tour, but be careful: you would never want to suffer the wrath of Taylor Swift or the Swifties“, jokes Grohl before adding: “We should call our tour ‘The errors tour’, not ‘The eras tour’, because I have several eras behind me and some fucking mistakes. Just a couple, this is because we really play live. Just to say. I’m a live music man. You guys like real, raw rock and roll music live, right? Then we are in the right place. Also tonight, we’ll play a couple of songs that we didn’t do the other night. Some songs we play every now and then, but not all the time.” While the Foo Fighters frontman, accompanied by Chris Shiflett, plays one of his best little-known songs acoustically, “Statues”, some on social media are starting to wonder if Grohl really implied that Taylor Swift doesn’t really play live. The impression is that of a joke without direct attacks, also considering the “friendship” between the two consolidated at a Paul McCartney party.

The acoustic moment then continues with “Skin and bones”, with Rami Jaffee on accordion, and “Under you” played by only the visibly emotional Grohl. While behind him the whole band returns to the station, to the tune of “Nothing at all” the frontman also leaves the catwalk to return to the center of the stage. It is therefore time to “Monkey Wrench”, followed by two songs featuring Dave’s daughter, Violet Grohl.

With her on second voice and backing vocals, “Shame shame” and “Show me how” are performed, dedicated to the memory of the frontman’s mother Virginia who passed away in August 2022. The tribute to Taylor Hawkins also arrives with “.Aurora”, his favorite Foo Fighters song, and the inevitable “Best of you”. At this point the Foo Fighters allow themselves a short break before the encores, opened with the long and introspective “The teacher” from their latest album “But here we are” (here is our review), with Dave Grohl playing a double-neck guitar. As has been the case for some time, the task of closing the live performance is entrusted to one of the group’s strong points, “Everlong”, played here electric with the entire lineup on stage. Fireworks then form the background to the farewell of Dave Grohl and his companions, who take their leave when it is now 10.30 pm, while the public can leave the stadium more than satisfied.

Here’s the lineup:

All My Life
No Son of Mine
The Pretender
Times Like These
White Limo
La Dee Da
Introducing the band with nods to “Sabotage”, “Blitzkrieg Bop”, “Whip It” and “March of the Pigs”

My Hero (with Shane Hawkins)

The Sky Is a Neighborhood
Learn to Fly
These Days
Skin and Bones
Under You
Nothing at All
Monkey Wrench
Shame Shame (with Violet Grohl)

Show Me How (with Violet Grohl)

Best of You


The Teacher