Foo Fighters rock Wembley Arena for NME Awards Big Gig

Cee Lo Green, Band Of Horses and No Age also play London show

Foo Fighters played their first huge show of 2011 tonight (February 25) – headlining the NME Awards Big Gig at London‘s Wembley Arena.

Frontman Dave Grohl picked up the Godlike Genius award at the Shockwaves NME Awards on Wednesday (23), and celebrated tonight by playing a sold-out show in front of over 12,000 fans.

Cee Lo Green, Band Of Horses and No Age also played on the bill.

Grohl chatted to NME before the show. He said that after playing a series of secret gigs over the past few months he was looking forward to hitting the big stage to kick off his band’s year.

“There’s something about doing clubs and sneaky little gigs that’s really exciting,” he said. “Because you feel like you can be loose and it’s so intimate that you don’t have to become this ‘thing’ and full up the room.”

He added: “[But] I kind of miss being that thing that fills up the room. So tonight I’m going to make them sing. And we haven’t heard [over] 10,000 people sing in a couple of years.”

Before the Foos played, Los Angeles noise-rockers No Age performed an early evening set. Their set included ‘Teen Creeps’, ‘Depletion’ and ‘Common Heat’, then Band Of Horses took to the stage.

The impressively-bearded Seattle band played their hazy country-rock as the venue filled to almost capacity. They performing songs including ‘The Great Salt Lake’, ‘Is There A ghost’, ‘Cigarettes, Wedding Bands’ and set-closer ‘The Funeral’ before Zane Lowe kept things moving with a DJ set ahead of Cee Lo Green‘s performance.

Cee Lo was getting in the rock spirit by wearing a Ramones t-shirt for his show, for which he was backed by an all-female leather-clad band.

As well as his own hits, including set-closer ‘Fuck You’, which he mashed with The Clash‘s ‘Rock The Casbah’, he played his Gnarls Barkley songs ‘Smiley Faces’ and ‘Crazy’. He also led cheers for his “very good friend” Grohl.

Following Cee Lo‘s show Foo Fighters kicked off their headline slot with new song ‘Bridge Burning’. They then ripped through a setlist melding new material and hits including ‘All My Life’, ‘Times Like These’ and set-closer ‘Best Of You’.

Dave Grohl and co played in front of an enormous lit-up ‘FF’ logo, with the frontman taking time early on to acknowledge that the show was their first big announced show of the year.

“You realise this is our first official show in like, two years?” he said. “It’s good to say we’re fucking back.”

He also joked that due to curfew restrictions the band were “only gonna play the good songs,” and acknowledged his recent NME accolade by declaring: “I’m a fuckin’ Godlike Genius!”

Drummer Taylor Hawkins took on lead vocal duties for ‘Cold Day In The Sun’, then later the band encored with a cover of The Who‘s ‘Young Man Blues’ then their own ‘Skin And Bones’, ‘This Is A Call’ and ‘Best Of You’ to bring this year’s NME Awards Big Gig to a close.

Foo Fighters played:

‘Bridge Burning’
‘All My Life’
‘Times Like These’
‘White Limo’
‘Learn To Fly’
‘My Hero’
‘Up In Arms’
‘Long Road To Ruin’
‘Cold Day In The Sun’
‘Stacked Actors’
‘These Days’
‘Monkey Wrench’
‘Hey Johnny Park!’
‘Young Man Blues’
‘Skin And Bones’
‘This Is A Call’
‘Best Of You’

Foo Fighters’ new album ‘Wasting Light’ is out on April 11.

Watch video interviews from the Shockwaves NME Awards ceremony at NME.COM/awards/video.

The Shockwaves NME Awards in photos

Shockwaves NME Awards – all the winners, what do you think?