Mt. Smart Stadium
21st February 2015
Reviewed by PATRICK CAMPBELL
Dave Grohl is the man. I already knew he was a cool guy, but after last night it is 100% confirmed. Not many people can front a band for nearly three hours and make it look effortless, but he did.
The now 20-year-old Foo Fighters performed tracks from their newest album Sonic Highways – as well as all their past hits and a few covers – to a nearly packed out Mt. Smart stadium last night, and it was incredible. The level of talent in the band is immeasurable, and they are all just so cool.
They opened the set with the lead single from the new album, Something From Nothing, which slowly built to a roaring pace that would be continued throughout the night. Many of the tracks performed reached near the ten-minute mark with extended solos and improv sections. This almost always meant that you would see Grohl running down the runway to the middle of the stadium. He knew how to play the crowd just as well as his instruments.
Drummer Taylor Hawkins was also a stand-out. Aside from his insane energy and ability, he also had great banter with the crowd. Early in the set, Hawkins led the crowd through a vocal warm-up. Later, he took on lead vocals for their cover of Under Pressure.
For me that was the highlight; the series of covers on a smaller stage down the runway. When they tackled Under Pressure I was blown away, genuinely in awe; this was two hours into the show and they were pulling out cover after cover. This was when the large screens behind the main stage began to pull apart, revealing a complex, mind-blowing lighting rig. The layered rig above the stage was not enough, so they had decided to add more to create a true visual spectacle.
In a world of dramatic stage shows, pyrotechnics and millions of other stage props, this band kept it simple. No fireworks, no props. Just the band, some video screens, and lights. They didn’t need to hide behind anything else; their performance alone was mesmerising. When they did stop occasionally between songs, Grohl bantered with the crowd naturally, proclaiming his love for our small country and apologising for the cancellation of their Town Hall show.
In the slower, acoustic portion of the gig, when it was just Grohl at the end of the runway, he made a promise to return to the Town Hall for a gig as soon as possible, and then reminded us to do anything we could to support the rebuilding of Christchurch. On top of being an awesome musician, he also manages to be charitable, thoughtful and genuinely kind-hearted.
Foo Fighters doesn’t believe in encores, so they finished off just as the curfew hit and left the stage after playing for two hours and 45 minutes. Whilst the crowd could have seen more and more, everyone was content with what they had been given.
Dave Grohl’s hair
Taylor Hawkins’ teeth
The Queen/Bowie cover
Dave Grohl did not put his hair into a manbun
They did not cover Dancing In The Street
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