After a year of mutual admiration, Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters finally jammed on stage with British tween drum phenom Nandi Bushell during Thursday night’s (Aug. 26) Los Angeles show.
The pint-sized pounder gained world-wide attention during the pandemic for her insanely good drum skills on covers of songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Muse and My Chemical Romance, which gained her thumbs-ups from Rage Against the Machine‘s Tom Morello and Foos frontman Grohl, whom she’s also covered.
But things kicked up a notch at the L.A. Forum last night when Bushell, 11, was the band’s special guest during their traditional show-ending jam on “Everlong.” After roadies rolled out an extra set of drums in front of Taylor Hawkins’ kit, Grohl explained the reason for the double-down. “There was this person … one day I pick up my phone and my friends are all texting me like, ‘Have you seen this s—?'” he told the crowd. “And I click on the link and I look at it and I see it’s someone is challenging me to a drum-off,” he continued as the audience roared. “So I’m like, ‘Well, isn’t that nice?'”
He said he thought it was whatever and brushed it off, until his friends explained to him that it was the real deal and that he had to step up to the challenge. By now you probably know that, as Grohl related, “she whips my f—in’ a– in front of the entire planet.”
So after she whupped him three times, Grohl said Thursday night was the first time he came face to face with his “arch nemesis.” And it was all good. “This person inspired me so much last year so much, and I’ll tell you why,” he said. “Because in a time when you would pick up your phone or turn on the computer and all you had was bad news, for that one day you could pick up your phone and see this connection between two people that have never met making music together and spreading joy and love all across the world.”
With her sticks in hand, Bushell walked out on stage with a giant smile and waved to the packed house as Grohl pumped his first and they chanted “Nandi! Nandi!” And sure, the Foos have jammed with Beatles, Stones and Pink Floyds over the years, but Grohl said, “This one right now takes the cake.”
And, as Grohl and company chopped out the song’s chugging intro, she spun one of her sticks and slipped right into the click-clack hi-hat bit like a pro, then ripped it as Hawkins looked on with a smile at the band’s ecstatic pre-teen protege flawlessly played them home like a pro.
Watch fan video of the drum summit below.