Foo Fighters have officially premiered their acoustic show in London tonight (June 14).
The band who warmed-up with a secret gig in Ipswich on June 12, played stripped down versions of their songs in front of a sold out crowd at the Victoria Apollo Theatre.
Dressed in black – recalling Johnny Cash – frontman Dave Grohl kicked off the show playing ’Razor’ solo, before being joined by his seven piece band for the final verse and chorus.
The group – the Foo Fighters joined by founding guitarist and Nirvana member Pat Smear, violinist Petra Haden, keyboard player Rami Jaffee and percussionist Drew Hester – then played a full set that drew largely on the acoustic disc from recent album ’In Your Honour’.
“Thank you very much for coming out to see us,” Grohl told the crowd as the gig got underway. “We’ve just started doing these acoustic shows, this only our second one, but it’s almost as fun as screaming out your rock balls on a stage!”
With the set blending in older Foo Fighters’ material, the singer added that the softer approach had given some of their songs a new lease of life.
“This next song is the doosh,” he explained as he introduced ‘Next Year’. “At least the old version was the doosh, we’ve barely played it three times in the rock show, however it’s not the doosh any more.”
With the theatre venue providing a more intimate setting then his band’s usual rock gigs, Grohl was in a playful mood and used the occasion to banter with the audience, joking about fans going for loo breaks and sending-up their barely audible, heckled requests, before he playfully tricked the audience.
“This next song is ‘All My Life’!” He proclaimed before checking himself.
“I’m only joking! There’s no way we’re doing an acoustic version of that shit,” he told crowd before encouraging guitarist Chris Shiflett to play a short salsa version of the song.
However in the encore Grohl did played a stripped down version of one of the Foo Fighters’ loudest songs.
Returning by himself to play two songs solo, he performed ‘Friend Of A Friend and the majority of ’Best Of You’ acoustically – joking it was “emo bullshit” – before his band rejoined him on stage.
Foo Fighters also made the most of their violinist’s vocal talents, as Haden sang ’Floaty’ – something she had done when her old band That Dog toured with Foo Fighters ten years earlier – before taking Norah Jones’ part on ’Virginia Moon’, which also saw Grohl’s roadie, Joe Beebe, play lead guitar.
Foo Fighters played:
‘On The Mend’
‘Walking After You’
‘Over And Out’
‘Ain’t It The Life’
‘Cold Day In The Sun’
‘Times Like These’
‘Friend Of A Friend’
‘Best Of You’
Foo Fighters are now set to play two full rock shows at London’s Hyde Park (June 17) and Manchester’s Old Trafford Cricket Ground (18), something Grohl admitted he was relishing.
“This week is great, tonight we get to do this and chill out, then on Saturday Hyde Park will rock,” he declared. “It’s going to be messy!”
For ticket availability go to NME.COM/Gigs.