Foo Fighters play secret gig in Brighton

There's new songs, classics and an Arcade Fire cover

Foo Fighters played an intimate gig tonight (August 17) at the 550-capacity Concorde II venue in Brighton, covering Arcade Fire and playing a batch of songs from their forthcoming album.

Tickets for the show had been snapped up in minutes, but fans who missed out still had the chance to hear the gig in full, as it was broadcast at 6pm tonight on BBC Radio 1.

Warmed up by a singalong DJ set from Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe, the crowd chanted “Foo! Foo! Foo!” and held beer glasses aloft as Dave Grohl and his band took the stage at 5pm.

Opening with a new song, Grohl, sporting a clipped beard and white T-shirt, led his band, featuring a live cellist, through a selection of new tracks and fan favourites.

During ‘My Hero’ Grohl invited fans to sing the chorus, shouting, “Scream it as loud as you can!”, and was met with mass cheering and singing along.

“I’ve been here since 7.30 this morning,” Grohl said, donning a semi-acoustic guitar then adding, “It’s not the first time I’ve been at a bar at 7.30 in the morning, but it’s definitely the busiest bar I’ve been to at that time.”

The band then performed a new acoustic-led country-rock song, with drummer Taylor Hawkins on vocals.

During the following number, the band, including a cellist/violinist introduced as “Jesse” took turns in playing solos.

“This is the first time we’re playing a lot of new stuff,” said Grohl. “I hate to think of it as a rehearsal, but it is.” When the crowd boo-ed, he said, “But it’s the best rehearsal ever!”

Following cheers after the statement, the band played a cover of Arcade Fire‘s ‘Keep The Car Running’, which Grohl said he had previously “butchered”, referring to a performance he had made earlier in the day on Radio 1.

The following new song, ‘Come Alive’, showcased a new slower direction for the band, featuring tender cello and acoustic guitar, but still with the Foos‘ trademark shout-through chorus.

“I do love PG Tips,” Grohl then said, bizarrely, before leading his band through ‘Best Of You’, during which fans formed a moshpit in front of the stage, shouting the tune back to Grohl as he leaned towards them.

As the song ended two crowdsurfers were carried to the front of the stage, before Grohl paid tribute to fans who had queued for up to five hours for tickets.

Foo Fighters closed the gig with ‘One By One’, which saw most fans in the packed venue sing along and jump manically to the chorus.

The show was a warm-up gig for the band’s scheduled headline performances at this weekend’s V Festival (August 18 and 19).

NME.COM will be bringing you news, reviews and pictures live from both sites throughout the event. Check out or main festival index now.