It may have been two years after it was originally scheduled, but Foo Fighters proved they were worth the wait with an epic two-and-a-quarter hour set to headline Glastonbury‘s Pyramid Stage tonight.
Dave Grohl made reference to the broken leg that prevented him and his band from playing the festival in 2015 at the start of the set. He dedicated opening song ‘Times Like These’ to Florence & The Machine, who stepped in to replace them, and added that he thought they should have been headlining anyway.
Starting the song alone with an acoustic guitar, he was then joined by the rest of the band as the song kicked in. This set the tone for the night, as the band extended almost every song into a beefed-up version of itself. Grohl never met a ballad he couldn’t turn into a rock epic.
After playing ‘Learn To Fly’, Grohl announced his intention to play as long as he could. “It’s going to be a long night,” he said. “We’re going to play until they kick us off the stage. We can do it. You know we can.”
The band played with a minimal stage set, needing no distractions from their 20-song set. They attracted a vast crowd, even if it didn’t quite match the level of Corbynmania audience earlier this afternoon.
Grohl referred again to his broken leg when he dedicated ‘Walk’ to his surgeon. “I want to dedicate that last song to my surgeon,” he announced. “His name’s James. I went to him and I said: ‘I know I have a broken leg, but could you make me look older?’”
Grohl was obviously delighted to finally make it to the Pyramid Stage, and impressed by the crowd’s response. During a singalong of ‘These Days’, Grohl remarked: “Leave it to Glastonbury to have a singalong in a part where we’ve never had a singalong in 20 fucking years.” He dedicated ‘My Hero’ to a naked man he spotted in the crowd.
Foo Fighters have been playing shows for 22 years, but it was clear that tonight was a special occasion. Still, the band are practised masters at negotiating the ebb and flow of a festival headline slot. “We like to work this like a rollercoaster,” joke Grohl. “We’ve got to hit you hard, then we’ve got to bring it down a bit. We could play all night. What’s the curfew? I don’t know what it is. I’m not really asking. We’ll keep playing. You can take a break, come back, we’ll still be playing. There ain’t no party like a Foo Fighters party.”
Grohl couldn’t miss his chance to drum on the Pyramid Stage, so for the penultimate song of the set he switched places with Taylor Hawkins for a cover version of Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’. Before the song he asked if the crowd liked Queen. “They obviously love Queen,” replied Hawkins on our behalf.
After an explosive set, the only actual pyrotechnics were saved for the end. Closing song ‘Everlong’ was the moment of togetherness that the crowd had been waiting for. Fireworks launched. The crowd roared along in unison. Foo Fighters finally got their Glastonbury moment.
“I feel loose,” said Grohl. “I feel good. This is the big one, and I like it.”