In retrospect I should have written this review much, much sooner. Alas, it was not meant to be, until now. So here she be, a recap of a truly wonderful night.
On Tuesday, Dave Grohl and his posse strolled into Rogers Arena with one single agenda, to put on a real rock show. Not some measly, two-hour, or even some pansy two and a half hour show, but a true three-hour epic display of rock history. And so it was; a simply amazing, passionate, and long-ass show (not to mention kick-ass) show.
I walked out on to the floor at the arena, and immediately noticed a platform running out from the stage straight down the middle of the floor. The music lovers seemed pretty casual. Everyone was well spaced, no one was pressed up against the person ahead of them, clambering to gain those precious inches forward. It was all fairly relaxed.
Then the lights extinguished. from the darkness, stepped the five boys from Bowling Green, Kentucky, known as Cage The Elephant. They attacked their set with an animalistic ferocity. Lead singer, Matt Shultz, is a unique force, his style seems to be a summation of music greats. His eccentric swagger is much like that of a Jagger or an Iggy Pop, he peacocks around the stage with hypnotic gyrations and possessed feet. But his vocals are more like a Cobain, in there tortured emotional release and mumbling, muddy feel.
The horde in attendance were mesmerized by the band, but mostly by Shultz. During some banter with the crowd, he took a moment to say, if he for some reason was to die or get knocked out while diving into the crowd, he hoped that they would keep his body surfing around until the end of the set. This sent a roaring cheer across the stadium.
Shultz finished the night by singing Sabertooth Tiger, which by the end had him writhing around on his back, his face turning red as he squeezed out the last of the lyrics with a tortured passion. This rounded the set off nicely.
Cage The Elephant Set List:
In One Ear
Tiny Little Robots
Around My Head
Back Against the Wall
Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked
Shake Me Down
Cage The Elephant left the stage, and immediately the roadies began to shuffle the equipment in preparation for the Foo. In walked the army of photographers, lining the perimeter of the platform. It seemed like at that exact moment a flood of new spectators had arrived. As I was right at the front of the horde, I could feel the increasing eagerness of the folks behind me. The once civil audience was now in territorial mode, pushing and shoving; jockeying for position. Things were starting to intensify.
It wasn’t long before the darkness swallowed up all the light in the arena. From the shadows emerged Dave Grohl, with his crew in tow. The people in the stadium started to lose their minds. A mob of screaming fans, eager to quench their thirst for the Foo Fighters, were just about to get a nice tall glass of awesome.
Dave announced, that this would not be some puny two-hour show, but an epic rock experience. One for the local concert addicts to drool over, in years to come. They then started firing off the songs in rapid sequence. First up was Bridge Burning, then Rope, The Pretender, and My Hero. They played each song with an aggressive power, the audience were in awe.
Grohl spent the majority of the set in the walk way that ran up the center of the floor. Hundreds of outstretched hands, reached towards him as if he was some sort of messiah.
I felt the floor come alive, as bodies started to skim across my fingertips. I tried my best to be aware of the waves of crowd surfers, but they kept coming; one after the other. Occasionally one would crash into me, slamming my person into the metal fence. I will tell you this now, it was all worth it.
For the better part of three hours, Foo Fighters put on one of the best shows I have ever seen at Rogers Arena. At one point Dave Grohl jumped down into the audience and danced with a random fan. It was one of those shows, that you feel special for being a part of. Not to mention the set list was killer.
Foo Fighters Set List
Learn to Fly
Cold Day in the Sun
Let It Die
This is a Call
In the Flesh? (Pink Floyd cover)
All My Life
Wheels (Dave Grohl solo acoustic)
Best of You (Dave Grohl solo acoustic)
Times Like These (Dave Grohl solo acoustic into full band)
Breakdown (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover)
Overall I would say that the Foo Fighters have come a long way. A few years ago I found some of their shows to be hit or miss. But now they are up there in the top levels of rocks great bands. They can keep an audience ecstatic for hours, and they do it with grins the entire time. Hats off to Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear, you are the real deal.