After three days and some 70 performances — which included stand-out sets by Friday and Saturday headliners Kanye West and Outkast — the Foo Fighters had their work cut out for them as they closed the 2nd annual Life Is Beautiful festival in downtown Las Vegas on Sunday (Oct. 26).
At 9:45 PM, the guttural growl of guitars sent festivalgoers scurrying for the Downtown stage as the Dave Grohl-led band emerged in front of the raucous crowd. Many in attendance were likely weary from the marathon of performances over the weekend, but the Foo Fighters’ 2-hour set proved to be worth the wait.
“We haven’t played here in a long f–cking time,” Grohl exclaimed after a rousing opening salvo of songs, which included classics “My Hero” and “The Pretender.” “So you know what that means? We are about to play a bunch of songs we normally don’t get to play. And we’re going to play as many songs as we can until they shut us down.”
No matter how much fatigue had set into the crowd, the relentless assault of favorites from a near two-decade catalog delivered an adrenaline rush like no other. Those that were awaiting a barrage of new material would walk away semi-disappointed, as Foo Fighters only played one song off of the upcoming Sonic Highways album — the already released “Something From Nothing.” But considering that the last time Foo Fighters played Las Vegas was in 2008, the set of tried and true hits was warmly recieved.
“Do you want us to not do what we are supposed to do,” Grohl inquired as he soon deviated from the expected set list in favor of a collection of surpriing covers. “Let’s just have some fun.”
Fun came in the form of Grohl harkening back to a 9th grade talent show when his band poorly played the Queen and David Bowie collaboration “Under Pressure.” But in 2014, Grohl and company nailed it as the Foo’s front man declared the 33-year-old song as the greatest of all-time. The band also delivered covers of Tom Petty’s “Breakdown” and The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You” before cruising into another barrage of songs, spearheaded by 2005’s “Best of You” from the group’s fifth album, In Your Honor.
Drummer Taylor Hawkins pulled double duty with a performance of “Cold Day in the Sun” and a ballad version of “Big Me” dedicated to a 70-year-old fan in attendance highlighted the set that never let up. Even the cliché encore was skipped in order for the band to play as many songs as possible before their 11:45 PM cut off time.
“This is the sh-t I end up remembering for the rest of my f–king life,” Grohl said before closing the set out with “Everlong” as fans braced against a chilly front that had swept through the desert air. “One of you assholes will come up to me at the airport with your camera saying ‘Dave, do you remember that show where you did what the f–k you wanted?’ and I’ll tell you yeah and take the picture.”
All kidding aside, 120 minutes of the Foo Fighters sent the crowd home happy and closed out an impressively booked festival with a bang.