On Saturday night, Foo Fighters played a nostalgic gig at The Roxy on Sunset Strip, Los Angeles. Tickets were only a mere $15, with a two-day playback facility of Grohl and the gang. A portion of the cover charge goes to the charity Sweet Relief Musicians Fund. The charity gives financial aid to musicians and music industry workers who are struggling financially due to illness, age, or disability.
Coors Light sponsored the gig, giving the band a special camera attached to a can of Coors Light. The ‘Can Cam’ gave fans backstage access and also gave them a unique view onstage. Although a US brewery giant sponsored the show, fans can note that a percentage of the concert’s proceeds goes to Sweet Relief, a charity which currently gives financial assistance to musicians affected by Covid-19.
Frontman, Dave Grohl was caught out by the start of the livestream, suddenly realising that he was live all over the world. The modest singer quickly got over his mistake and the band plunged straight into a raw version of their 2002 hit All My Life.
The show was played live to a virtual audience. Before it began, viewers got a chance to see roadies setting up equipment and the occasional backstage footage from Grohl’s “Can-Cam”.
The show was a perfect, no-messing greatest hits run-through, but it was plain and simple, no fancy stage props, just the guys and their music. Even the band were dressed without flamboyance, with Grohl rocking a casual grey T-shirt and dark jeans. But fans would not hold that against them as the band have a clear recipe for success with their low-level showbiz glitz. And In Times Like These, showbiz glitz can be put on hold, so people can concentrate on the one thing that matters; the music.
Although he was frustrated with the circumstances, Grohl’s banter was upbeat. He is one of the most perfect frontmen for this particular setup; modest, passionate, friendly and just an all-round buzzer! Playing out to the empty Roxy, Grohl encouraged his home audience to join in the chorus, to “share this awkward energy together.”
“This is usually the moment in the song where everybody sings along,” he said during My Hero, “but that requires people to actually be here.”
Grohl pointed out that viewers “can only imagine what it’s like being onstage pretending there’s people here,” before concluding, “you know it’s sad when the road crew starts singing.”
Dave Grohl once refused to play virtual gigs
Earlier in the lockdown, Grohl admitted he had refused to play without a physical audience. Thankfully, he reconsidered!
“When everyone started doing livestreams, I thought, ‘F*** that s***’,” says Grohl. “Eight months down the line, things have changed: “I realised the most important thing right now is bringing a little joy and happiness.”
The band roared through material such as The Sky is a Neighbourhood, their monster hit Best of You, and others like their set-concluding Nineties smash Everlong. Drummer Taylor Hawkins gave an incredible as usual performance, donning a U2 tee-shirt, giving it his all throughout.
Grohl warned fans of hearing some unfamiliar music, referring to their delayed tenth album Medicine at Midnight, which is rumoured to be poppier than previous material.
“If you hear something you don’t recognise, that’s likely a little piece of new s—,” he joked.
Fresh off the back of the song’s debut on Saturday Night Live, fans were treated to the newly released track Shame Shame from the new album, with backing singers that included Grohl’s 14-year-old daughter Violet.
In Times Like These, we must be grateful that a small bit of normality is creeping back into our lives. These types of virtual events can kickstart the industry into becoming a major part of our social lives, once again.