Glasgow Barrowlands

With countless [a]Nirvana[/a] T-shirts still in evidence, it's worth remembering that [B]Grohl[/B]'s former band never played a Scottish venue of this scale, and to these people the man is a hero,

A threadbare Celtic clichi claims audiences at this decrepit old ballroom are better than anywhere else in the country, perhaps even the world. But as with all clichis, scratch away the layers of bullshit and you’ll find an element of truth. For one David Grohl, this realisation dawns as a roadie fixes a length of plastic piping to his mic stand. “This,” he declares, “is a talk box. It’s not a catheter, it’s not a colostomy tube and it’s not a beer bong. It’s a…!” A white T-shirt has flown from the beer-soaked bear-pit and landed squarely on Grohl‘s head. Then, for no obvious reason and without the slightest prompting, 1,500 people break into a synchronised chant of [a]Queen[/a]’s ‘We Will Rock You’. The power of the Barras? You’d better believe it.

Grohl is speechless, but he should have known this was special when it became clear the crowd knew all the words to all the new songs, and were perfectly prepared to sing them. ‘Breakout’ has been in the public domain for less than a month and yet we witness a gobsmacking a cappella mass rendition as the Foos bow to the inevitable and let the real stars of this show have their say.

Of course, this doesn’t happen with just any band, or just any ex-drummer. With countless Nirvana T-shirts still in evidence, it’s worth remembering that Grohl‘s former band never played a Scottish venue of this scale, and to these people the man is a hero, pure and simple, a decent guy who’s witnessed evil first-hand and had the strength to rise above and sing his own songs.

Great songs at that. Regardless of which surgically-enhanced blonde star-faker it may or may not be about, ‘Stacked Actors’ is a pulverising initial gambit, a knee to the groin of anyone who’s condescendingly dismissed this fellow as a sap just because he says “please” and “thank you”. ‘My Poor Brain’ outrocks all newcomers, with wit to boot. In the face of ‘Monkey Wrench’ Limp Bizkit get soggier by the second. A punter called Jimmy is brought on, rescued after he’d been mugged for his ticket outside – a very Foo thing to do. By the time Grohl does get his lips round that plastic tube for the sinful ‘Generator’, most observers are as moist as Taylor Hawkins‘ dangerously frank pants.

It’s fun and it’s moving and it’s true, and a whole load of other emotions life does its best to grind out of us on a daily basis. Which is really why Dave Grohl and his band strike such a chord, especially with Glasgow folk. They recognise that “Civility costs nothing,” as Brendan Behan wrote, and in a wicked world the Foo Fighters seem an increasingly priceless commodity.