As I made my way across the river and over Camden July 13, I considered going to a Foo Fighters show as just a way to cross something off the bucket list, a way of accomplishing something my seventh-grade self only dreamed of doing. Walking in and seeing a crowd composed of mainly older adults, I was suddenly struck by the thought, “Are the Foo Fighters not cool anymore?”
Usually the older folks only showed up for bands like The Who and Bruce Springsteen, not the Foo Fighters. But then I realized I was in the lower section whose tickets prices can be afforded only by those with disposable income. A quick walk back to lawn revealed all my fellow twenty-somethings. Then, as soon as the opening riff of “Everlong” rang out I realized all my worries were for naught. I’m an idiot. The Foo Fighters will always be the rock ‘n’ roll demigods I’d imagined them to be, cool as ever and right for rock ‘n’ roll fans of all ages.
Before Dave Grohl and the gang took the stage, the British rockers Royal Blood came out with “99 Problems” by Jay Z being piped in through the venue’s speakers. The duo from Brighton, England created a tremendous amount of noise with only a bass guitar and drums. Although to call their instruments by their names alone is doing them a disservice. Mike Kerr’s bass guitar is fed through what has to be one of the most complex effects pedal configurations I’ve ever seen. They somehow made his bass guitar sound like an electric guitar and everything in between. The setup is a bit unorthodox but it most definitely got the jobs done. Not to be left out, Ben Thatcher’s drum kit is outfitted with numerous crash cymbals and what looked like two snare drums.
Together Kerr and Thatcher created this often times sinister sounding hard rock that slammed you right in the chest. Decked out in all black with his low slung bass, Kerr repeatedly spurred the crowd onwards before going back to jam in front of Thatcher drum set. The last song, “Out of the Black,” was a display of sheer power as they pounded through it — the crowd loved every minute of the track. Kerr even ended going up on the drum riser to bash on the cymbals with Thatcher at the end. It was a great way to end their emphatic ten song set. Royal Blood is definitely a band you should to keep an eye on in the future.
This being their second time around at the Susquehanna Bank Center, everyone was well aware of Grohl’s now famous guitar-laser throne that he sits atop of ever since he broke his leg after falling off a stage during a concert in Sweden. With his broken leg propped up, Grohl flailed around like a man possessed as his played guitar and screamed into the microphone. The contraption even moved back and forth on stage, taking Grohl out onto a catwalk right in the middle of the pit section. It was quite a site to see and almost made me want to grab one of the “Break a leg” T-shirts sold at the merchandise stand.
The opening salvo of “Everlong,” “Monkey Wrench” and “Learn to Fly” set the tone for the entire night. Masterfully controlling the energy of the set list, the band sandwiched hits like “The Pretender” and “All My Life” around a nice acoustic break featuring “My Hero” and “Times Like These.”
There was also a plethora of covers, something you don’t see too often nowadays. Grohl jokingly referred to the band as “the highest paid cover band in the world” and it turned out to be pretty accurate. Featuring covers of David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure” and Tom Petty’s “Breakdown,” among others, the guys did not disappoint in the cover department.
All in all, it was a fantastic show from a band that’s established themselves as one of the premier arena rock bands. Seeing the Foo Fighters celebrate their 20th anniversary, you get the feeling that they have no intentions of stopping any time soon and for that, we can all be thankful.