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all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

foo fighters, at pantages theatre, august 29th, 2006


"are you guys ready? i am." was the way dave grohl prefaced the evening, solo in the spotlight, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar. the crowd hushed as he quietly played in your honor album closer "razor", towards the end of which the full band joined him on stage and promptly kicked the song into high gear. the music was perfect, the lights were perfect, the crowd was perfect. this was going to be goooooood. it's difficult to think sometimes that, at one point, dave grohl was known only as "the drummer for nirvana". he has so successfully reinvented and, purposefully or not, distanced himself from those years, beginning of course with the switch from drums to guitar, that you can't help but be amazed by how much talent this guy has. he is one of the most complete performers i think i have ever seen--he plays drums, he plays guitar, he writes good music, he writes good lyrics, he can sing the ballads, he can scream the rockers, he's engaging, funny, and witty, and, through all of that, still comes across as completely genuine and down to earth. he just loves what he does. and it was all on full display last night. i have to admit--i'm not a huge foo fighters fan and thus i was not overly excited to go to this show. but wow. i'm pretty sure it goes beyond the relative ease of surpassing low expectations, because these guys just sounded great. they were incredibly tight, every instrument seemed to be leveled perfectly, and they played a good mix of new songs and old classics. perhaps the only misstep of the night was when petra haden took the lead vocals of floaty, off the foo's self-titled debut. maybe it was just her microphone level was too low, but she just did not sound very good. add to that the striking difference in stage presence between her and dave grohl (although, to be fair, not too many people can match his stage presence), and it just seemed like a hiccup in an otherwise fabulous performance. i really hate to say that, because i was actually very excited to see petra perform. i was delighted when dave grohl introduced her and made note of her time playing with that dog, even though i think i may have been the only one in the audience who had any clue what he was talking about. but the song, with her vocals, just sounded, well, amateurish. ouch.

the absolute highlight of the evening though was the beginning of the encore, when dave came back out solo and told the audience that the great thing about these acoustic performances was that it gave him a chance to talk to the audience and tell some of the stories behind some of the songs. to my complete surprise, he then went into how he and his band were stranded in LA so many years ago and eventually got hooked up with kurt cobain and krist novoselic. it was fascinating to hear him tell about his initial reaction upon first meeting the two: "oh no....these guys are weird". it never really occurred to me until as he was telling the story, but dave grohl really only knew his two new bandmates for four years and, considering how vastly different the personalities seemed to be, it doesn't seem to have been as close of a friendship as i always seemed to imagine it. eventually, dave and kurt shared a one-bedroom apartment and when they weren't practicing it was, according to dave, hell. he took to writing songs on an acoustic guitar during those times and wrote a song about his two new friends, called "friend of a friend", that he put on the new foo fighters album. the best part about this whole sequence was that, after he had introduced the song and said "it sounds like this", the plug for his guitar malfunctioned. he tried it a few times ("it sounds like this...") and then finally a guitar tech came out to bring him another guitar, to which dave said "this tension right here is not unlike the tension i felt in that house". pure, spot-on brilliance...


foo fighters : "friend of a friend" (mp3)

from the album in your honor (2005)
he needs a quiet room
with a lock to keep him in
it's just a quiet room
and he's there
he plays an old guitar
with a coin found by the phone
it was his friend's guitar
that he played

he's never been in love
but he knows just what love is
he says nevermind
and no one speaks
he thinks he drinks too much
cause when he tells his two best friends
'i think i drink too much'
no one speaks

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all songs posted are for evaluation only. if you hear something you like and would like to hear more, please go ahead and support the artists by buying their music--i will always include links for you to do so. copyright holders: if anything on my site needs to be taken down, please email me and it will be removed immediately.

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