“Do you guys have the new record?,” Dave Grohl teased four songs into the Foo Fighters’ surprise show at New York’s intimate Fillmore at Irving Plaza last night (Sept. 20). In on the joke, the capacity crowd of 1,100 cheered. “It’s not even out yet!,” Grohl minced, adding, “It’s cool as long as you sing along if you know the words.” They complied repeatedly during the two-hour, 20 song set.
Tickets to the special gig promoting “Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace,” due Sept. 25 from Roswell/RCA, had appeared and disappeared just as quickly on Ticketmaster earlier in the day. The last-minute logistics contributed to the giddy but somewhat dazed feel in the room, but the quartet, augmented by Pat Smear, Jessy Greene and Rami Jaffe, expertly deployed new songs like “Cheer Up, Boys, Your Make-Up Is Running” and lead single “The Pretender” into a mix liberally seeded with old standbys like “Times Like These,” “Everlong,” “My Hero” and “Monkeywrench.”
As the gum-chewing Grohl explained following the rapturous response to 1995’s “I’ll Stick Around,” the purpose of the show may have been hyping “Echoes,” but “it’s also a good excuse to play some old school sh*t.”
With Smear comfortably barefoot and Sony BMG mogul Clive Davis nestled in the balcony looking pleased, the band honored the club’s particularly pristine sound-system with their standard near-flawless musicianship. The show reached a crescendo during the main-set ender “Stacked Actors,” during which Grohl climbed a large ledge off stage right and headbanged into an extended guitar solo. It left him collapsed in a writhing heap while rock photographer Danny Clinch hopped out of the pit and onto the stage for an impromptu harmonica solo.
The Foos will play a few more U.S. dates in the coming weeks, including a Monday gig in Los Angeles, before heading out on a U.K. tour in early November.
Here is the Foo Fighters’ set list:
“Cheer Up Boys, Your Make-Up Is Running”
“Times Like These”
“I’ll Stick Around”
“Long Road To Ruin”
“Learn To Fly”
“Skin and Bones”
“Cold Day in the Sun”
“All My life”
“Let It Die”
“Best of You”