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Review and photos by Philamonjaro
On the heels of Foo Fighters’ headlining Lollapalooza set, the band continued its tour with the next stop at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, Maryland Heights, MO. It was an indisputably uplifting event.
As the band took the stage, piercing white backlights dramatically gave way to a single spotlight on Dave Grohl at the mic. He scanned the crowd with the sincere gratitude of an artist finally back in the presence of his audience.
A church organ drone accompanied Grohl as he sang a church-like version of “Times Like These.” Fans sang along, joining the chorus of “It’s times like these that we learn to love again.” It was a fitting sentiment for the many who had returned to live music after a year and a half. Then like thunder, the band kicked in, repeating the chorus with force through the song’s dramatic ending.
“Listen, we are going to sing all f*cking night long! Are you ready?,” Grohl shouted before launching into “The Pretender.” Mid-song, Grohl repeatedly shouted “Do you love Rock and Roll?” as the boogie guitar-jam took a sharp turn into the recognizable 1971 rock riff from the song “Focus” by Hocus Pocus (sans the yodeling). Taylor Hawkins nailed that iconic drum roll. Then the band segued back to the guitar boogie. It was campy, nostalgic, corny, and cool. Everyone loved it.
Settling into the show, the band launched into the mega hit “Learn to Fly” then “The Sky Is a Neighborhood” before playing new songs from the new 2021 release Medicine at Midnight. The title track, “No Son of Mine,” single “Shame Shame,” and “Make a Fire” were peppered between older favorites including “My Hero” and “These Days.”
Midway, Grohl surveyed the fans asking “How many of you all have seen the Foo Fighters before? I have a better question, how many of you saw the Foo Fighters at Mississippi Nights in ’96?” Grohl continued, asking “We have like a thousand f*cking songs, how the f*ck are we going to fit a thousand songs into tonight’s setlist? I’ll tell you how. We are going to try. Basically, we have to play until they kick us out.” This set the vibe for the remainder of the night.
Grohl was nonstop sprinting from one side of the stage to the other, trying not to miss a single moment to engage with fans. His ability to charm old fans and win new ones is one of a kind. Sincere and fun-loving, Grohl is what rock showmanship is all about.
Taking a turn into 70’s disco, the band went into a highly charged version of The Bee Gees “You Should be Dancing.” It was a cut from the Record Store Day vinyl drop Hail Satin, recorded under the alter ego name of The Dee Gees.
A favorite part of the concerts is when Hawkins and Grohl swap places, as Grohl plays drums while Hawkins takes a turn on lead vocal. Hawkins sang Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” hitting Freddy’s Mercury’s melodic range. This playful lineup change demonstrates Foo Fighters’ versatility, talent, and appetite for fun.
The band finished with early singles “Monkey Wrench” and “Everlong,” clocking in at two and a half hours. The show was over within moments of curfew.
Only a few dates into this tour, there were no signs of a half gap of live-audience concerts.
Foo Fighters will tour through November of 2021, including stops at Bonnaroo and New Orleans Jazz Fest. The tour closes in November with two dates in Mexico.
The opening act was Radkey, St. Joseph, MO’s own power-punk trio. The band warmed up the audience and made a strong showing.
Foo Fighters Set List:
Times Like These
Learn to Fly
No Son of Mine
The Sky Is a Neighborhood
Medicine at Midnight
You Should Be Dancing (Bee Gees cover)
Somebody to Love (Queen cover)
All My Life
Making a Fire
This Is a Call
Best of You
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