Foo Fighters / February 19, 2008 / New York (Madison Square Garden)
It's hard to believe it took the Foo Fighters this long to headline Madison Square Garden. Practically born into its arena-ready status thirteen years ago, the band has more than earned its Garden-sizIt's hard to believe it took the Foo Fighters this long to headline Madison Square Garden. Practically born into its arena-ready status thirteen years ago, the band has more than earned its Garden-sized audience, with six albums of accessibly aggressive alt-rock and pop sensibilities.
During the New York show, which came a few nights after they added two more Grammys -- best rock album and best hard rock performance -- to the trophy case, the band nevertheless demonstrated that its humility was still intact. "We're playing Madison Square f*ing Garden!" ever-charming and goofy frontman Dave Grohl shouted with kid-in-a-candy-store excitement as he darted back and forth across the stage.
Foo Fighters kicked off the night with "Let It Die" and mammoth hit single "The Pretender" from 2007's "Echoes, Silence Patience & Grace." The response from the rowdy sold-out crowd was loud and appreciative.
The 19-song set was paced with just the right mix of bold anthemic rockers and stripped-down acoustic numbers drawn from "Echoes" as well as the band's ample back catalog. In addition to obvious headbangers like the screeching "Breakout" and the mosh pit-inducing "All My Life," the group played "Monkey Wrench" with a particularly mean twin-guitar assault from Grohl and guitarist Chris Shiflett. "This Is a Call" and "Stacked Actors" were both extended to near epic proportions.
The Foos relocated to a smaller stage in the middle of the arena for the evening's acoustic set, which featured the violin-backed oldie "Marigold" and an interesting "triangle solo" by percussionist Drew Hester. One of the acoustic segment's highlights was crowd favorite "Everlong." It began as an intimate take with Grohl and his electric guitar alone onstage and culminated with the full band -- Grohl, Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins -- bursting in.
The three-song encore was the fitting close to a night filled with hits. Following the major 1996 single "Big Me," 2007's "Long Road to Ruin" a fuller, took on a heavier sound live. Although Grohl initially promised a two-plus hour set, the three-song encore saw the show wrap up at just the two-hour mark. The Foos wrapped up the two-hour show by pummeling through a show-stopping version of "Best of You" and it's a safe bet everyone left the Garden satisfactorily rocked.
"Let it Die"
"Times Like These"
"Learn to Fly"
"Cheer Up Boys (Your Make Up is Running)"
"This is a Call"
"Skin and Bones"
"Cold Day in the Sun"
"All My Life"
"Long Road to Ruin"
"Best of You"