I was seventeen years old when I bought my first two Foo Fighters albums. Their debut self titled album and their second, “The Colour and the Shape”. I listened to it locked in my bedroom so my parents wouldn’t hear as they thought I was headed the wrong direction by listening to what they considered to be loud and unorganized rock music. Yet it seems over the last thirteen years the Foo Fighters have been the most consistent for me, never letting me down with what they have to offer. That is why on October 11, 2011, I was not going to miss seeing them at the Maverick Center in West Valley City, Utah.
It was ten years ago when I first saw them live on the main stage during the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. My greatest memory of that night, besides the freezing cold was Dave’s clear guitar; a Lucite Dan Armstrong Ampeg. I thought at the time I couldn’t love the Foo Fighters more than I already did, but I was wrong. The most recent show at the Maverick Center flooded my brain with memories of why I have never stopped listening to one of the last great, raw, natural rock bands in history. Dave Grohl as a front man is his true calling in life. He plays guitar with pure heart. He sings with full conviction. It amazes me that he can sing the way he does for two and a half hours. So many full and good classic Dave Grohl screams. He has a raw love for what he is doing that draws you so far in you almost forget that there are hundreds of screaming people around you. Let alone what the guitars themselves do for your senses.
Dave had around 6 guitars changes as well as all of the other members of the band. The Foo Fighters are crowd pleasers playing their old and new melodies mixed well throughout the night keeping you on your toes. You keep hoping their next song is one you can cross off your list of favorites, which is exactly what they did for me. Dave also pleases all who attend by having a really long extension of the main stage so he can walk down through the crowd. It didn’t matter where your seat was, at some point you would always have a good close up of Dave. He doesn’t interact too much with the rest of the band except for when Taylor Hawkins sings “Cold Day In The Sun”. They show everyone how their long friendship stays in tact as Dave teases Taylor by singing harmony into Taylor’s mic instead of his own. Mid-way through Dave takes on Chris Shiflett for a guitar solo war in which the crowd equally cheers for both band members.
But Dave wants the world to know it’s not just about Dave as he takes time to fully introduce the band and give them their props. Even the keyboardist who only plays on four songs. The band as a whole is so engaging that you forget about the technical glitches; like the vocals not being loud enough on some songs and one of the TV monitors turning on and off throughout the night. Dave points out that if you want to be a true rock and roller, all you need is a guitar. He proves this by starting their encore with just his acoustic. They finish the show with Dave bringing out his memorable Lucite Dan Armstrong Ampeg, (he saves the best for last.) As the last few chords of “Everlong” are played, you feel the conclusion of an amazing night of memorable music.
Highlights of the night were “My Hero”, “Learn To Fly”, “Walk”, “Monkey Wrench”, “All My Life”, “Everlong” and the acoustic “Times Like These”. The entire set list, (at least to the best of my knowledge), is below. Truly one of the greatest highlights of the night was before The Foo Fighters even began playing. Cage The Elephant’s drummer had emergency surgery due to his appendix bursting and who better than Dave Grohl to fill in on their last 5 songs. No one plays drums quite like Dave. Salt Lake City really did get a special showing unlike any other. The band is touring to promote their lastest album “Wasting Light”. The album offers classic Foo guitars and drums with a solid, matured and well mixed sound. Dave also promised they would record another album and come back out on tour. If you missed this time around, be sure that you don’t miss the next because it was one true rockin’ night to remember!
Learn to Fly
Cold Day in the Sun
Let It Die
Skin and Bones
This Is a Call
In the Flesh?
All My Life
Long Road to Ruin
Best of You
Times Like These