Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Thursday January 25, 2018 :
The last time I was lucky enough to catch Foo Fighters performing live would have been at The Big Day Out circa 2003, so I cannot begin to say how excited I was when a media pass to shoot and review the Brisbane leg of their Concrete And Gold World Tour landed in my inbox earlier this week.
We were lead into the grounds of the massive Suncorp Stadium as the sun was setting on a blistering hot day as the crowds were pouring in to watch Weezer take the stage. These guys quickly warmed the crowd up with singalongs to some of their greatest hits, including ‘El Scorcho’, ‘My Name Is Jonas’, and ‘The Sweater Song’, along with a great cover of The Pixie’s ‘Where Is My Mind’. Highlights of the set included ‘Buddy Holley’ and ‘Beverly Hills’, and they wrapped up the set with the oh so lovely ‘Island In The Sun’, bringing back many memories of years gone by.
By this time it was completely dark, the stadium was full and the energy was electric… As Dave Grohl came racing down the stage and out into the crowd, the collective screaming of the 40,000 strong crowd was overwhelming.
Launching straight into ‘Run’ off the recent Concrete and Gold, myself and the other photographers in the pit scrambled around each other, trying to find the best vantage spot to capture Dave in full flight, bounding across the stage with hair flying and fists in the air. I have got to say, it’s been a while since I’ve seen these guys play live and oh my God they still play with the same passion and the same energy as they did 15 to 20 years ago.
Our allocated three songs in the photo pit passed by in the blink of an eye as I stood in awe of the rockstar whom I’ve loved for as long as I can remember, with the boys smashing out ‘All My Life’ and ‘Learn To Fly’. As promised, we would be treated to songs off all their records and that we were. What followed was a best of set sprinkled in with just a couple of new tracks, including the instantly memorable ‘The Sky Is A Neighbourhood’, complete with female guest vocalists.
As we took our seats in the stands the band launched into an extended jam of ‘Rope’, from 2011’s Wasting Light, followed by and epic drum solo by Taylor Hawkins, with his drum riser lifting up high above the stage, before launching into ‘Sunday Rain’. One of my personal highlights of the set was Dave playing an acoustic version of ‘My Hero’ while out in the middle of the adoring crowd, before the band joined him for ‘These Days’.
Dave then introduced the band one member at a time, with each of them playing one of their favourite covers, including Alice Cooper’s ‘Under My Wheels’, Queen’s ‘Another One Bites The Dust’, and then ‘Under Pressure’, with an inexplicable addition of Andrew Stockdale from Wolfmother joining the band onstage. Pat Smear then closed out the medley with The Ramones ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’, with the crowd singing along “Hey, Ho, Let’s Go!”
At this time Dave noticed a fan in the crowd holding up a sign asking to play ‘Monkey Wrench’, and he bought him on stage, handed him his guitar and the kid, Joey, absolutely tore it up, running down the stage and playing up for the crowd as Dace sang along. The set wrapped up with an epic rendition of crowd favourite ‘Best Of You’.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Dave came back for the encore, out onto the stage in the middle of the crowd, on his own and lit by a single spotlight to play a few acoustic tracks, including ‘The Ballad of The Beaconsfield Miners’, and a beautiful cover of The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’. He then continued with ‘Times Like These’ before the stage lit back up and the rest of the band joined him to wrap up the night with my all time favourite, ‘Everlong’, sending goosebumps up my arms and leaving me with a massive smile on my face.
It’s not often you get to witness a gig of this magnitude and I know it’s only January, but I think it’s safe to say tonight’s Foo Fighters stadium show will be one of my favourite gigs of 2018.
Reviewer and Photographer : Chrissy Kavalieros
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