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  • Jazmin Pezzano

REVIEW: FOO FIGHTERS TAKE ON SYDNEY 

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Images: Jazmin Pezzano


Foo Fighters returned to Sydney for their biggest, hottest Australian show yet! Here are 5 reasons we loved their triumphant return to to our shores...



THE CLASSICS

With a catalogue of music spanning over 30 years, curating a Foo Fighters tour setlist is undoubtedly a huge task. Having experienced Foo Fighters live three times over the course of ten years, it is undeniable that the band’s founder Dave Grohl knows how to do it - unfailingly honouring his fans and the songs that built the bands career into what it is today.


Starting incredibly strong with All My Life, Foo Fighters were out of the gate like a bull in Pamplona and the crowd was running with them. The set moved through peaks and valleys maintaining a good pace, traversing multiple albums with some of their staple classics The Pretender, Breakout and Learn to Fly earning sensational crowd reactions. 


One crowd favourite was obvious, as the stadium erupted and the fans sung every word of the seminal bro classic, My Hero. Why is it a bro classic I hear you ask? Because whether you first heard it watching an iconic movie, during the Olympic Games or playing Amped 2 on XBOX with your Dad like I did, the song lights a timeless fire that encourages you to show your appreciation for your ordinary heroes and for whatever reason, it seems to give men permission to just love their bros. For four minutes and twenty seconds, I watched every man I could see embrace with their friends, enthusiastically point and dance, and serenade them in the most unadulterated and wholesome way. Even if it wasn’t 43 degrees, the crowd would have felt the warmth of the moment, yelling the song to Grohl in a capella - full out and with feeling.



THE BAND

Grohl - coined by many as ‘the nicest guy in rock n roll’ - is in my opinion also one of the most talented and entertaining frontmen in music today, with an exciting stage presence and a scream that endures. Foo Fighters fans respect his talent immensely but also get the feel that he’d be great to have as a friend, his personality constantly gleaming and activating waves of crowd laughter throughout the show.


He doesn’t do it alone though, Foo Fighters are a collective of some of the most seasoned and professional musicians in the business. Grohl dedicates a segment of the show to his bandmates, giving each individual on stage a glowing foreword and their time to shine and interact with the crowd by performing a solo, with a moment to enjoy their deserving applause.


In this time Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett, Nate Mendel and Rami Jaffee are presented to us as the Foo Fighters family, also welcoming their newest member Josh Freese on drums who has previously appeared in iconic rock bands Devo, Guns n Roses and Nine Inch Nails.



THE TRIBUTE

Noted by Grohl as being the first song he ever wrote with his late bandmate, he dedicates Aurora to the one and only Taylor Hawkins. He tells the audience anecdotes of Hawkins and himself causing mayhem when they’d visit Australia together - one of their favourite places to tour, or visit and write new music - the crowd hanging on every word as Grohl shares his memories in a very vulnerable and personal manner. He renders the audience speechless as he says that every day he thinks of his friend and every night they play, they sing this song for him.  



THE COVER

The band holds a very clear respect for rock ’n; roll music in all of its forms, integrating many snippets and riffs from tracks like The Beatles Blackbird, to Blitzkrieg Bop by The Ramones, into their own songs and solos throughout the night. They also make sure the audience is crystal clear in understanding their love for Australia, and their gratitude for the time they’ve spent here with the ever growing masses of fans since their very first Australian tour in 1995.


The synthesis of these two elements, rock and Australia, leads the band to discussing one of their greatest musical influences, and one of Australia’s most renowned musical exports - ACDC. To truly show us their appreciation they welcome the bands drum technician - Australia’s own Fiona Jeans to take the mic and perform Acca Dacca’s punchy and irreverent Big Balls. “This is the right song, and this is the right person” Grohl tells the audience before launching in to their rendition, with Jeans’ punky spoken word vocals cutting through and grabbing the audiences attention. A very cool tribute with an excellent special guest. 



THE GOODBYE

After spending two and a half energetic hours with Foo Fighters, the crowd were hanging on for an encore and for one song in particular.


As the band reemerged from side stage, the crowd are somewhat surprisingly first met with The Teacher, one of the bands newest, longest and slowest songs which could possibly be seen as a misplaced choice for the opening encore song. Understandably it deserved to be in the set list. However, running at around ten minutes in length, the song felt like a halt in momentum after the crowd had used the last of its energy to cheer the band back onstage, causing it to be the only part of the show where you could explicitly feel the audience’s fatigue. After hours of exerting all sorts of energy the crowd was exhausted and doing it in 43 degree heat under an unforgiving Australian sun was something for the books - but despite this the crowd persisted and held their places as they were still very hungry for that one distinct song.


As Grohl began to say his final thank you, he reminded the fans “So I never like to say goodbye.. because I hope to see you again. So I don’t say THAT.. I say this…” There was a hush over the crowd, allowing the unmistakable opening chords of Everlong to ring out across Accor Stadium. The audience dug deep into their energy reserves as Grohl told us all “This is it. This is time to dance,” and dance we did.x


Foo Fighters had a huge stage set up with screens spanning great heights, and you have to mention at no point in the show was there any pyro, fireworks, or confetti because they didn’t need it. There was just phenomenal instrumental work, lyrical classics and a frontman that made everyone in the stadium feel seen, as if it was an intimate gig at a local pub. Ending the night with a final bow together, the Foo Fighters left the stage and the crowd reflected on how grateful they were that the epic band were able to return to our beautiful shores.






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