In 2018, it's particularly rare to come across a good rock and roll band, in between the shuffle of pop stars and hip hop moguls. Rock music isn't what it was 10, 20, even five years ago. Now it's a battle of who can last on the charts, who can make an impact, and who won't be forgotten when the song of the summer is over.
Rock bands now are either retiring, breaking up (and getting back together before breaking up again), or just getting their land legs in the rickety boat that is music. The floor can drop at any moment.
But The Foo Fighters have a particular magic about them. Similar to acts that emerged at the same time they did, like Green Day and Weezer, The Foo Fighters are one of those bands that can command a certain energy. Really bring people together from all ages, and put on a real authentic rock show. But what sets The Foos apart from the aforementioned bands, is they can do it in, as lead singer Dave Grohl lovingly put it, "a big ass rock stadium".
Touring in support of their latest effort, 'Concrete and Gold', The Foo Fighters brought a completely sold out show to Toronto's Rogers Centre. Things kicked off immediately with "All My Life" followed by hits "Learn to Fly" and "The Pretender". One rock song barreling into another, with Grohl pausing in between to ask the crowd "are you ready?!" To which the audience followed with a resounding roar. Sprinkled in between the set of hits were tracks from their latest effort including "Dirty Water" and "The Sky is a Neighbourhood", both of which featured four backup singers, one of which was Grohl's daughter, Violet.
Sandwiched in their catalogue of hits were a string of covers including Alice Cooper's "Under My Wheels", The Ramones' "Blitzkreig Bop", and Queen's "Under Pressure" which featured drummer Taylor Hawkins on vocals, and the lead singer of opening band The Struts making a guest spot in the duet. Even when Dave slowed things down in what the audience thought would be a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine", began to sing "Jump" by Van Halen, leaving for a confusing but hilarious moment.
Grohl paused the show a few times to speak to the audience, letting us know that we'd be here "all f*cking night" and to add that for those who had to work the next day, to use the excuse that The Foo Fighters played "all f*cking night." And for the most part, he kept his word! With a start time of 8:30, the group played until past the 11 p.m. curfew, to which the audience was a bit divided. Some were either incredibly enthusiastic about the potential all-nighter, or were ready to leave before the encore to beat the crowds.
The band powered through the rest of their set, playing more fan favourites like "Monkey Wrench" and "This is a Call" before ending it off with "Best of You". The band returned for a three song encore with "Big Me," "Times Like These," and finally finishing with "Everlong." If fans were anticipating a good, real rock show, The Foo Fighters absolutely delivered.
Leading up to last night's event, there was news earlier in the day, that parts of the GTA was threatened with a terror attack, one spot being the CN Tower, steps away from the Rogers Centre. There was a heavy police presence, and increased security. And with many reminded of the various attacks in recent months at concerts, it left people with an unsettling feeling. Many were posting to social media their fears of attending the show, some even giving up their tickets. But by the time the show started last night, that sort of gut-wrenching feeling was washed away, because as soon as the music started, fear was shaken off. This concert proved that hundreds and thousands of people could fill a room and celebrate music fearlessly. Fans danced, jumped around, hugged each other, sang, clapped, and cheered. We all celebrated what brought us together. Despite the different lives we all lead, and the stories we all have, at the end of the day, it's this great thing called music that brought us here. And that is something special that no one can take away from us.