Foo Fighters at US Airways Center, 10/16/11

Categories: Last Night
Foo Fighters (26).jpg
Maria Vassett

Foo Fighters
US Airways Center
October 16, 2011

Last night I got my face melted off by one of the greatest acts in present-day rock 'n' roll. Everything about the band's show, from the guitar showdown to their two hour and 45 minute set, proved why the Foos deserve their place on top. The whole show was feverishly exciting.

A Foo Fighters show is a bit of a spectacle, but it's done all in good fun. Dave told the crowd that they would proceed to play as many songs as they could till they puked. "Let's try to get as close to three hours as we can get!" Dave proposed, and he kept his promise. At one point he claimed that this was the loudest audience on the whole tour. "For all the people that have seen this 70 fuckin' times, you know I don't say that shit!" he said.


Foo Fighters (20).jpg
Maria Vassett

It was evident that the fans were connecting with Dave on every song he sang. Likewise, the band certainly wasn't shy about letting everyone know how much fun they were having. Dave screamed as loud as he could at every opportunity he had to do so. He even utilized the catwalk right from the get go to work every section of the crowd.

The Foo Fighters opened with a furiously intense performance of "Bridge Burning." The rest of the show followed suit. The band poured out so much energy in every song that it was a mystery as to how they played for so long. Guitarist Chris Shiflett and Grohl's playful call-and-response guitar battle that took place from opposite ends of the catwalk was definitely a highlight of the show.

Right before the encore, Dave and drummer Taylor Hawkins were featured on a night vision camera from backstage and got the crowd excited over how many songs they would be playing in the encore. Once Dave came out to do a solo acoustic bit, he instigated a wave around the stadium and then reminded everyone that they were at a rock concert. He seemed to experience a momentary lapse in his voice during "Wheels," which he admitted as he prefaced "Best of You" by inviting everyone to help him sing, but that's expected when a guy sings for as long as Dave did. "Times Like These" was performed acoustic for the first half of the song, and then the rest of the band joined Dave for the second half for the continuation of a quality encore.

Foo Fighters (11).jpg
Maria Vassett

Hawkins was a wild beast on the drums. Pat [Smear, of the legendary Germs] may be a little weird, but man, can he play a guitar. Mendel held it down on the bass. Chris could really shred. Dave was a goofy motherfucker. He kept a playful rapport with the crowd, running all the way to the back of the sound booth to play for the fans in the back and even playing his guitar literally right in fans' faces. He blew kisses to the crowd and maintained a bit of a theatrical mood throughout the show, taking a break for a hilarious series of lavish band member introductions in the middle of the set. Plus he provided all of the head banging you would expect to see at a Foo Fighters show, thrashing his thick mop everywhere.

To every other band on earth: good luck impressing me with your live performance ever again because the Foo Fighters have set my concert standards a little higher. It was one hell of a rock show.

Critic's notebook:

Personal bias: I remember watching the "Learn to Fly" music video on MTV when I was nine years old and thinking it was fantastic, but I didn't really get into the Foos until I was someone played "Times Like These" for me at summer camp when I was 13. I've been a big fan ever since.

The crowd: Most of the crowd was made up of dudes around age 30. I saw a lot of parents there who took their kids to show, and to those parents I say that you are the best parents ever.

Overheard: "Do you think Dave loves Taylor because he kind of looks like Kurt?" and after Grohl announced he would try to play for as close to three hours as they could get: "Does he really think he can play till midnight?" -- Ed Masley (of our esteemed competition).

Random notebook dump: Not that I would ever doubt Grohl and the gang, but I was a little surprised that their show almost dragged into the wee hours of Monday morning. Kudos to those guys. In addition, my ears are still ringing nine hours after the show ended, but it was worth it.

Set list:
Bridge Burning
Rope
The Pretender
Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo

Arlandria
Breakout
Cold Day in the Sun
Stacked Actors
Nate & Dave's guitar battle
Walk
Monkey Wrench
Let it Die
These Days
This is a Call > Into the Flesh (Pink Floyd cover)
All My Life

Encore:
Wheels (Dave solo acoustic)
Best of You (Dave solo acoustic)
Times Like These (half acoustic)
Dear Rosemary
Breakdown (Tom Petty cover)
Everlong

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Location Info

Map

US Airways Center

201 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: Music


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11 comments
ralph
ralph

no love for mariachi el bronx, huh? i know it's hard to love songs you haven't heard a million times on the radio.

Rollem45
Rollem45

Seen McCartney at ASU, Seen ZZ Top in their prime, Seen Brian Setzer w big band, Soundgarden this summer at Red Rocks in Denver, all were great but in comparison to Foo Fighters in Phoenix- Best Concert EVER! Dave Grohl is absolutely one of the most talented musicians and song writers ever! He almost killed Hawkins a couple of times during the show. I was proud of the way the Phoenix fans responded. Usually our crowds are just a bunch of unappreciative and lazy idiots at concerts. Now if Americans could learn to rock a concert like the British, well then that would be something.

David Bickford
David Bickford

Nice review, Lenni. I'm a dude closer to 50 than 30 and thought it was a great show. The experience reaffirmed my enthusiasm for this band over the past 16 years.

Yadaboat
Yadaboat

<----parent who took his kid. should've got into that cage the elephant set. wonderful act to pump me and my son up for the Foo.

Robhhh
Robhhh

What a starry-eyed fan-boy! I'm sure that the concert was amazing but after reading the review I am left to wonder if this was written by a ninth grader who had never seen a decent band before.

Chyldoftyme
Chyldoftyme

That show blew my mind. I have seen them before. But that show was the Best. Bravo FF!!! Come back soon

Ade
Ade

Great review, Lenni!

Guest
Guest

it was an awesome show.  your review is helping me to share the experiences with my (lame) friends who didn't want to go.

Note: your set list is missing "White Limo" after Learn To Fly

Lenni Rosenblum
Lenni Rosenblum

1. I'm a girl.2. I've been to plenty of excellent concerts, but this one was impressive at a level that you just had to see in person to believe.

Lenni Rosenblum
Lenni Rosenblum

Thanks for the heads up! I added it in with the rest of the set list.

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