REVIEW / VIDEOS: Foo Fighters @ Madison Square Garden, NYC 11/13/11

Welcome Dana Montanari to the LMB NYC team! For her first show review on the site, she’s tackling a whopper of a show in the Foo Fighters MSG gig this past Sunday night. And thankfully for us fans at home, our Phish-y YouTube friend mkdevo was there to record the action, too. Get some popcorn, crank this baby up and read on for Dana’s thoughts from the show…

Me versus Parkway traffic: it’s a gamble I’ve taken time and time again on account of good music and really, it could go either way. And for me this past Sunday, it was traffic that won. Cost me the opening act, The Joy Formidable. En route to The Garden, we walked through a small caravan of shiny big rigs and I began to get excited to see what had potentially been unloaded from those trailers just earlier in the day. Flask full of Black Russian (that’s right) through security, tickets scanned and I was onward to the show. By the time seats were found, Social Distortion was finishing up with their ever-popular cover of Ring of Fire, originally done by the late and great Johnny Cash. It is amazing that these guys have been rocking the hell out of that song for over 20 years.

This was about to be my first live Foo Fighters experience. In anticipation for what was yet to come, partook in conversation with fellow fans about the amazing complexity that is Dave Grohl; one of the most successful and talented artists of my time. He is a true testament to getting out there and getting it done. What an amazing ensemble of talent that stemmed from a true one man band. I couldn’t wait for that sexy blue guitar and company to take the stage!

The house lights went down, the stage lights came up and the Foo Fighters made their start with “Bridge Burning” and “Rope,” the first two tacks off of their latest album Wasting Light.

Early on we were promised that it was going to be a long night, and we were all ready for the band to bring it! Ripping through their setlist, they played to the hearts of the crowd with hits (and not limited to) “My Hero,” “Monkey Wrench” and “This is a Call.” At one point, Grohl and lead guitarist Chris Shiflett dueled from opposite ends of the arena, a jam that dropped my jaw to the floor. A good guitar duel sends shivers up my spine—great ones tend to leave me wanting a smoke when they are done! With Taylor Hawkins on vocals, they slowly led into a cover of Pink Floyd’s “In The Flesh?” just before closing their set with “All My Life.” The Floyd cover was unexpected and they really nailed it.

In closing the set, the Fighters left a room full of screaming fans and even vendors in the corridors cheering and clapping. The band had all sweat through their clothes and one (drummer, Taylor Hawkins) had even taken off his soaked shirt! The crowd had gotten their workout in jamming out to their air-guitars, banging their heads and, yes, even pumping their fists. At this point, one would think that there were only a few more minutes left of this amazing Sunday night performance in New York. That is until the stage screens popped on and captured the boys back stage teasing us claiming that they were going to perform seven more songs!

WHAT!?

Grohl took the spotlight towards the back half of the arena with his acoustic guitar in hand and a mouth full of sass. “Who has the shitty seats now?” he says as he looks back from his high-rise platform towards the fans sitting front and center. He started the seven-song encore with acoustic versions of “Wheels” and “Best of You.” The band joined in on the third song, “Times Like These,” while Grohl ran back through his GA runway to the main stage. Bob Mould, guitarist of the 80’s hardcore punk band Husker Du and also Grohls “fucking hero”, was welcomed on stage to join the band to perform songs four and five (of seven). “Dear Rosemary” to start, co-written by Mould for Wasting Light, and a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’ hit “Breakdown” to finish.

Just when I had thought that the Fighters couldn’t top what they have already done, but they did. Most legendary and most awesome Joan Jett was warmly welcomed on stage by Grohl as “the baddest mother-fucker I know”. She and the band wailed into her hit “Bad Reputation” — no words can describe the energy of the crowd at that moment in time. She taught us “how to rock and roll” while being on stage for all of four minutes. God bless rock and roll and amen to a 53 year old goddess who still has ALL of it! The show could have really stopped then and there, but to close and in dedication to the city of New York, Foo Fighters ended with the ever-amazing “Everlong.”

Quote of the evening:

“Parents…save your money on bass lessons and get your kid a fucking AC/DC album. They’ll be fine.” Dave Grohl