Foo Fighters Rock the Garden

So I went to MSG the other night to see Foo Fighters – their first ever show at the storied venue, surprisingly enough.

The first half of the show was heavy with tunes from their latest album. For me, the problem with seeing a band with many songs to play is that even with two hours, they’re bound to miss the one song you want to hear. Between plugging the new album and making sure they get to most of the hits, there’s not much room for something interesting. Unfortunately, that meant that the one song I was hoping for, “Hey, Johnny Park!” didn’t make the setlist. It would have been nice to hear a few rarities, but I did get a roaring “Stacked Actors,” which was great.

Foo Fighters at MSG-9

Midway through the set, the band moved to a small circular stage on the far side of the arena for a six-song acoustic set. I’ve always been a fan of Dave Grohl’s voice, and the acoustic stuff let him show it off without screaming. They played “My Hero,” which was great for a crowd sing-along, but it was “But, Honestly” from their fantastic new album which was the highlight for me.. “Everlong” began on the acoustic stage and wrapped up with the full band roaring back on the main stage.

Foo Fighters at MSG - Acoustic Set

My seats last night didn’t thrill me. I don’t usually like sitting to the side of the stage in an arena, I prefer to sit across the floor letting the sound come straight at me. That said, having a chance to watch Taylor Hawkins, one of my favorite drummers, in action, was a treat.

The show wrapped up with a five-song encore that featured a guest drummer sitting in on “Long Road to Ruin.” It was only after the show that I found out how special the guest was. It was Josh Shields, an eighteen-year old fighting cancer from New Jersey, who joined the band. I’m not sure how it came about, but it was a very classy way to wrap up the show.

I don’t know if there is a better showman in rock or anyone better suited to perform in an arena than Dave Grohl. He’s always good for a laugh, and he seems to truly enjoy what he does for a living. No shoegazing here. However, sitting in the upper deck at MSG that night, I realized how spoiled I’ve gotten and how used to seeing bands in smaller, more intimate venues I’ve become.

My set of photos from the show can be found here. Unfortunately, I only had my old 3MP point-and-shoot with me, so they’re not up to my usual standards. For an old camera they’re still passable.

Foo Fighters
February 19, 2008
Madison Square Garden


Let It Die
The Pretender
Times Like These
Learn To Fly
Cheer Up Boys, Your Make Up Is Running
This Is A Call
Stacked Actors
Skin And Bones (Acoustic)
Marigold (Acoustic)
My Hero (Acoustic)
Cold Day In The Sun (Acoustic)
But, Honestly (Acoustic)
Everlong (Started acoustic, finished electric)
Monkey Wrench
All My Life
Big Me
Long Road To Ruin (feat. Josh Shields on drums)
Best Of You