I went to the Foo Fighters on Tuesday at the Vector Arena. Honestly, I don't know where to start. There were so many awesome factors that made the night one of the best gigs I have ever been to. Although I've done this recently I thought to make it easier reading (and for my ability to express how the night was) so I've put together the top 10 things of the night.
So here we go:
1. The greatest walkway.
So my good friend Kevin decided that although the gig started at 8, and the Foos would still only come on at 8:45, he would take a half day off work and cruise in to get good general admission placing - arriving at the prompt time of 4pm. Can somebody say "what a legend friend"? The stage was set up in a way that also had a huge walkway, approx 30m, that went right through the middle of the crowd, right into the centre of the stadium. Kevin just happened to get their early enough that we managed to be standing right next to the walkway - 1.5m away. Everytime Dave Grohl ran down the walkway with his arm furiously strumming his strings I was there with my arms stretched as far as possible with a camera capturing every moment. I've decided that one day when we get our own church building I shall demand a walkway that goes right into the centre of the congregation - with some sort of pully system that pulls my drumkit along it.
2. The falling, fully set stage.
At the end of the long walkway was a circular hole which at the time seemed useless. But, while they played one of the best songs of the night, nobody seemed to notice a second stage slowly falling from the roof. It had a drumkit, mini grand piano, percussion kit, bass, electric guitar and 3 mic stands sitting all set up ready for the Foos to run down the walkway and play an acoustic session right next to us.
3. The triangle solo
This guy was a legend. Never have I seen a triangle solo done so well in my life. It obviously wasn't as good as a drum solo, there's only so much you can do with one metal piece in the shape of triangle and a tiny metal rod, but it definitely inspired me to reconsider my destiny as a drummer and begin thinking seriously of the possibility of my future as a professional triangle soloist.
4. "Everlong", the band explosion and the now-famous guitar throw
Personally, one of my favourite Foo Fighters songs is called Everlong. If you haven't heard it... well, shame on you. Half way through the acoustic set the rest of the band left and Dave Grohl played some acoustic songs on his own.
When he started playing the song Everlong the crowd went manic and were crazy in expectation of it being played. The song is often played with just an acoustic guitar for the first 3 or so verses and going into the chorus again the band explodes, coming to life to create a huge array of volume, energy and dynamics for the rest of the song. Dave Grohl was in the centre of the stage coming to the end of the third verse with still the band nowhere to be seen and expectation going through the roof - when suddenly he throws his electric guitar with strength at the stage just as the rest of the band explodes into the mighty chorus. Needless to say you don't need video footage to imagine how crazy the entire arena went when this happened.
5. The lights, screens and deaf light techies
You can understand that for a band and tour of this magnitude the lighting was always going to be epic. They didn't disappoint. Screens came to life full of live footage from the stage and more lights than I could count were alive and kicking in a spectacular, hugely colourful way. As the stage crew were setting up in preparation for the band, we chuckled (with style, of course) as 4 lighting techies climbed dodgy ladders to the top of the lighting rig, strapping themselves in so they could light the band wherever they walked. We could only imagine how their ears were going to feel by the end of the gig with an unimaginable amount of front-of-house speakers right next to them. No amount of earplugs mashed into ear casums could save their eardrums up there. I wonder if they're beginning to hear something else other than a ring yet?
6. Everybody's favourite gig goer - the moshpit hash smoker.
Yes, there always has to be one. And this one just happened to be close enough to us that I was beginning to feel abit trippy but still just far enough away for me not to discover who the loser was. There would be these wafts of the pleasant smell of pot being smoked and slowly making its way towards my friends and I, conveniently coming to rest just above where we were standing. From then on I found I enjoyed the night so much more :)
7. Taylor Hawkin's drum solo
I haven't always been a fan of the bogan, bearded, cigarette-hanging-stylishly-from-the-mouth look (not my first choice of look for playing drums at church) but dispite that the guy can play the drums. His drum solo was legendary. Not many words can describe the talent and skill of a guy whose toured the world numerous times over and probably plays triplets in his sleep. One word can - legendary.
8. The male stripper
It was one of the band's guitarists birthday that night and near the end of the set, in the middle of a song, what seemed to be a rampant fan jumped onto the stage. Suddenly he stripped right down to undies and began dancing for the guitarist; a thoughtful birthday gift from the rest of the band. You can understand why I didn't take a photo. Actually, I don't know how this made the top ten list. That's awkward.
9. The live feed encore
The band 'finished' their set and went backstage while the lights continued to stay on and people were left hoping they were a cool enough band to still do the cliche encore. After a good few minutes, when it seemed all hope was almost lost, up came a live feed on the screens of backstage. The camera went up against the back wall and began going down the setlist of the night until it came to the bottom of the page and sat their for a second or two. Slowly, the camera turned around and there, with the entire screen full, was Grohl's face. He teased the crowd with the possibility of 1 more song and they went mental. Seconds later the band came on to play the one final encore song. Which in fact turned into 7 songs.
10. The great rock-loving, concert-experience friends
It was awesome to experience an awesome band with such awesome friends. There is nothing worse than travelling the world or seeing an amazing sunrise without anybody else to talk about it with or to experience it with. These guys were the whole reason I went and made the whole time 10x better because I knew they were having the same great time that I was. And, without them I wouldn't have had anybody to hold me up by my hips and help me see over the ridiculously tall general admission people standing in front of me who really should have been standing at the back. Ahh, got to love friends... with long legs.