Dave Grohl hinted that the band could play a week of shows at Wembley Stadium
Foo Fighters thrilled a rammed Concorde 2 venue in Brighton earlier tonight (September 10) with a set packed with rare songs and hits, plus hints of “a week at Wembley Stadium”.
As the band, billed as The Holy Shits, arrived onstage to rapturous cheers, Dave Grohl greeted the crowd by saying, “That’s why we came to play here. Here’s what I’d like to do. How many of you people have seen Foo Fighters before? Usually it’s in the bigger places. How about we do some of the stuff we wouldn’t usually do in the big places, some old songs.”
The band then launched into ‘Enough Space’ from 1997’s ‘The Colour And The Shape’, followed by ‘I’ll Stick Around’ and ‘See You’, during which they broke into a jazz section and Grohl joked, “I can tell it’s gonna get fucking hot in here. I’m already receiving your perspiration. Your sweat is going in my fucking mouth, which I find disgusting. Only joking, I love you.”
The rarities kept coming with ‘New Way Home’ and ‘Up In Arms’, also from ‘The Colour And The Shape’, the latter introduced by Grohl as “a love song – we don’t play it enough because when we play it at festivals the line for the toilets get really long. I don’t think anyone’s going anywhere tonight, though, if you have to go do it on the person in front of you.”
He also explained his thinking behind the tiny club show: “I seem to remember years ago we played this club and it was also hot as balls. When we were asked to come over and play the Invictus Games on Sunday I thought, ‘We haven’t played in the UK in years, and I thought we’d try to play gigs like this pretty much every night we’re here until we have to go home. And it gives us a chance to see your faces before we play that week at Wembley Stadium.”
Grohl then pointed out that their UK covers act the UK Foo Fighters were at the show, saying “we don’t wanna shit the bed in front of the UK Foo Fighters. They’ll be like, ‘That’s not how it goes’.” They then played ‘Big Me’ from their self-titled debut album and asked the covers band, “How did we do?”
Bigger hits followed in the shape of ‘Generator’, ‘Rope’ and a passionate ‘The Pretender’, complete with Pat Smear guitar solo. “That’s the first time I’ve heard you do an improvised solo,” Grohl said to his guitarist, “that shit was jazz. You should do a solo every night, people like that more than the song.”
“From this point out we’ll try to play every song a little bit different then we usually would, just to make it interesting for you,” Grohl said before leading the band into early hit ‘Learn To Fly’ which grew into a double speed thrash and included a quiet “breakdown”. Grohl explained his trick: “You speed it up as fast as you can, then you realise it’s hot as fuck in here and you break it down and say something funny until you don’t want to throw up any more. There, you have the Foo Fighters. OK, the nausea has passed.” The band then built back into the final chorus.
Grohl then asked Jay, the singer from the UK Foo Fighters onstage saying, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome… Me!” The cover singer took Grohl’s place for ‘White Limo’ from ‘Wasted Light’, moshing with Grohl during his solo. Grohl hugged him as the song finished and plugged the covers band’s upcoming show at the same venue. “I was on vacation for three and a half minutes,” Grohl quipped.
‘Arlandria’ was also adapted to include an AC/DC call and response section before drummer Taylor Hawkins told a story about being slapped in the face by Prince Harry the night before: “We were on our way to the stage and I went ‘look, there’s Prince Harry, he’s cool’, so I went up to him and said ‘hey man, I’m so tired. I really need someone to slap me in the face right n… Boom!”. Grohl then introduced Taylor’s vocal on ‘Cold Day In The Sun’ as “‘Sunday Bloody Sunday'”. The song ended with synth and drum solos.
An extended ‘Dear Rosemary’ gave way to a bluesy cover of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers’ ‘Breakdown’. “You guys wanna sing a couple more?” Grohl asked before a euphorically received ‘Hero’, complete with rock’n’roll jam outro, before admitting: “We’re kinda working on the fly tonight.”
The main set wound up with ‘Hey, Johnny Park!’ and ‘Everlong’, Grohl declaring, “The only way you get used to playing like this is playing like this.”
The crowd chanting “Holy Shits! Holy Shits!” brought the band back on for an encore, Grohl saying, “Since we’ve been inside this fucking sweatbox there’s been about two thousand people outside listening to the rock show. I’d rather be out there than in here motherfuckers, it is hot as shit. This one I want to hear everyone sing as fucking loud as they can but I wanna hear the people outside shouting at the top of their fucking lungs.” The band then finished with ‘All My Life’ which prompted venue-wide moshing.
Foo Fighters played:
‘I’ll Stick Around’
‘New Way Home’
‘Up In Arms’
‘Learn To Fly’
‘Cold Day In The Sun’
‘Breakdown’ (Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers cover)
‘Hey, Johnny Park!’
‘All My Life’