Foo Fighters – Etihad Stadium Review 19/06/06

Should have posted this a few days ago but I’ve only just recovered from it!

On their enormous world tour in support of  ninth album; Concrete & Gold, Foo Fighters roll into Manchester to perform at the Eithad Stadium which is packed to the rafters with 65,000 fans eagerly waiting to see Dave Grohl and co deliver a rock and roll masterclass and shake the stadium to its very core with shredding guitar riffs and thunderous drum solos.

“I want to do a song from every album we’ve ever done before we leave here tonight,”, teases Grohl, much to the delight of fans who have followed them over 24 years, so there are plenty of songs to choose from. However, they fall just short as songs from eighth album; Sonic Highways fail to make any appearances but they roll through their mammoth setlist performing hit after hit which bring mosh pits galore throughout the crowd. Over the years many people have made the statement that “rock and roll is dead” but Foo Fighters show that old man rock is still alive, kicking and usually trying to school pop music on musicianship. Having sold the stadium out in minutes, the band show why they have been a force to be reckoned with over the years.

Just after 8pm, the band announce their arrival on stage to a cacophony of noise from guitars and drums and much to the delight of fans they begin their show by launching straight into hit song; All My Life with the audience living up to expectations of what Mancunian crowd should be as they bellow back every word almost as loud as the band are performing. Favourites Learn To Fly and The Pretender follow suit before Sky Is A Neighbourhood from their latest album brings things down a bit, bringing an end to the raucous opening, allowing everyone to catch their breath.

This brings me to the only real complaint I have about the gig. The eleven minute jam and ensuing drum solo following the ending of Rope leans a bit too heavily into self-indulgence for my liking, occupying a space where two more songs could have been played instead. After this, the show starts to get back into full swing as they deliver the more anthemic songs  My Hero, These Days and Walk one after another again highlighting what an impressive back catalogue they have as this section of the gig went down the best amongst the crowd.

Each member of the band then gets their own introduction, an unexpected gem of this segment of the show was lead guitarist; Chris Shiflett being given the chance to flex his vocal chords by taking the lead on vocals for a cover of Alice Cooper’s Under The Wheels. After this each member of the band was given their own moment as they play parts of famous rock songs which went down very well with the crowd who were eager to participate with them. During this, we were treated to a mockingly sincere mashup of John Lennon’s Imagine and Van Halen’s Jump which was funny but like all good parody songs was still a good song in its own right. The covers section was wrapped up with what has become a staple of a Foo Fighters show with a pretty spot cover of Queen and David Bowie’s; Under Pressure, which gave fans the chance to see Dave Grohl playing the drums and being able to see how he started his career.

After the covers section, the usual suspects of a typical Foo Fighters show are rolled out one after another with Monkey Wrench, Breakout, Run and Best of You providing the reliable backbone to the main set with mayhem ensuing in the crowd and mass sing a longs. After the main set finishes, we are shown footage backstage of Dave Grohl and drummer; Taylor Hawkins teasing the crowd with how many songs they should come back on and perform in the encore, it is settled on three songs much to the delight of the crowd. The song choices were a good place to finish on with This Is A Call and Times Like These inspiring mass moshing and frantic jumping before the band finish on their most famous song with Everlong bring the nights proceedings to a deafening close having shook the foundations of the Eithad Stadium, and possibly half of Manchester to its very core.

This show was just as good, if not better than the last two times I have seen them. This showed why Foo Fighters belong in the pantheon of bands to come out of the 21st Century and also showed that rock & roll is very much here to say. And if you disagree, you are a very narrow minded individual.

If you missed the whole show, then someone kindly filmed it for those who couldn’t make it!