Saturday, July 26, 2008

Last night, Best Friend and I saw the Foo Fighters. I had seen them earlier this year in Nashville and yes, it is still the same tour, which is finally winding down. Dave Grohl told us he made sure Cleveland was booked on a weekend so we'd be able to sleep in this morning. I made it till 7:30 a.m.

Foo Fighters

As I've said, you know it's a rock and roll show when Dave Grohl is in town. And, in typical Foo Fighters fashion, it was.

The Venue: Quicken Loans Arena. The home of the $12 premium double shots. This venue has definitely improved with the addition the new seats. Of course, I think I sat for one acoustic song, so seating doesn't matter. It's location, location, location.

Dave Grohl: As usual, Dave was quite the entertainer. He went about six songs before he stepped up to the mike for some communication. That's when he promised us "2+ hours" of music.

"We're gonna play old shit, new shit, acoustic shit, rock shit". During the acoustic portion of the program when they use the alternate stage at the other end of the floor, he mentioned, "Hey, these shitty seats aren't so shitty anymore, huh?"

Also during the acoustic set, we got the triangle solo once more! You don't see that very often and now I've seen it twice. Dave, "That's pretty fuckin' good. Especially for an instrument you learn in the third grade." He also introduced Kelly Pavlik, the reigning middleweight champion of the world, as Dave said, "Please, don't hit me.". They brought him up on stage and he greeted us with an "O-H". Here we go. Anyhow, he wouldn't stop talking and they were finally able to get him off the stage. He promised us when he fights Bernard Hopkins the Foo Fighters would be there with him.

Dave (from Warren, OH) also introduced his Dad at the end of the regular set and said without him, well, we wouldn't all be together last night.

After the last song when everyone's waiting for encores, the video screen comes on. Night vision camera shows a wall backstage. It has sheets of paper taped to the wall. One reads "7/25 Cleveland". People cheer. Then the next long sheet has the setlist. So, the camera scans from top-to-bottom over the list of songs. Louder cheering. You see after the finale, there is a sheet of paper covering the encores. Then who do they switch to? Of course, it's Grohl standing there pondering with hand on chin. Are they gonna play? He cups his ear to the crowd, they go crazy. This goes on for a while and it is funny. Are they gonna do one song? Then Tyler Hawkins gets into the act. Eventually, they decide three is enough and they come back on stage. Very similar to the Music City show

The Tickets: We were in Section 108, Row B. Awesome seats. this allowed us a pretty good view of the main stage, but an excellent view of the acoustic stage, which was to our immediate left. We were quite close. Their female fiddler looks very nice from that range, I might add. The seats were folding chairs, which we didn't really use.

The Crowd: No need for the chaperone hat. But some of the upper section was curtained off. Not many sections in use up there. The floor was not overly packed, and the clubs and mid-level were not jammed either. I'd estimate about 10,000 were there. Lots of bandwagon room left. Greatest hits album drops in November, so we'll see if there are any latecomers to the party.

Mr. T.

Probably a good time to drop the jibber-jabber and watch Mr. T and the Foo Fighters fighting foos.

The Sound: I really do think the new seats have helped this venue soundwise. I didn't notice any harsh sounds and the acoustic set was especially clear. I was able to hear Dave Grohl's screaming and cussing with no problems. The main band's sound may have overpowered the additions, at times, but didn't distract too much.

They had two opening acts last night. The first was year Long Disaster. The second was Supergrass. We did not arrive until both of them were done. Although the lead singer from Supergrass participated in the Foo Fighters encore. We were in our seats barely 5 minutes before the Foo Fighters started.

The Stage: The setup is a rather sparse stage with a platform in the back. Stage juts out into the audience, so Grohl can run up front and a small addition on each side of the stage upfront allows for the typical gesturing and running around with your guitar. Four video screens behind the stage, not very elaborate.

The coolest thing though was a long ramp from the stage that ran down the center to the area where the circular acoustic stage is slowly lowered into use. As Dave said, it afforded people who thought they had shitty general admission seats, standing in the back, an opportunity to see the "Unplugged" section of the show up close and personal. While Grohl plays the to "Skin and Bones", walking down the ramp with his guitar, the stage (with full load of mikes and instruments) is descending from the heights. He does the vocals on that stage, and the band follows him down there. They do a really nice job with the arrangement.

As I said in Nashville, the Foos are now an eight-member band for this tour. We have four guitars, including Grohl up front. We have the female strings player, on the right. In the back, we have, left to right: Keyboards, Tyler Hawkins on drums, of course, and percussion. This outfit went back and forth, used mostly for the new album and all of the acoustic portion.

The Music:: A consistently strong performance once again last night. Terrific version of "The Pretender". The overall setup and conclusion of "Skin and Bones" was a joy to watch. The acoustic version of "My Hero" with the crowd joining in gives me the tingles. Grohl's SOLO version of "Everlong" remains stellar. Of course, "Monkey Wrench" and "Best of You" were also great. They did a slower version of "Big Me" for an encore, which they did not do in Nashville.


(Main stage)

Let It Die
The Pretender
Times Like These (First three songs, same as Nashville)
No Way Back (Not played in Nashville)
Learn to Fly (Folowing two songs, same order as Nashville)
Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)
Young Man Blues (The Who song, not played in Nashville)
Long Road to Ruin (Not played in Nashville)
Breakout (Moved further down setlist from Nashville)
Stacked Actors (Same as Nashville)

From this point forward until the encore, the show mirrored Nashville.

(Acoustic stage)

Skin and Bones
My Hero
Cold Day in the Sun
But, Honestly

(Main Stage)

Monkey Wrench
All My Life


Big Me (Not played in Nashville)
Bargain (Yes, The Who song. Gaz Coombes from Supergrass with the vocals)
Best Of You (Same conclusion as Nashville)

Drops from Nashville:

This is a Call
Keep the Car Running (Arcade Fire)

Additions in Cleveland:

No Way Back
Young Man Blues (The Who)
Long Road to Ruin
Big Me
Bargain (The Who)

It shows how a lengthy tour keeps fresh over time.

Once again, a great performance by the Foo Fighters. Very high entertainment value for the dollar. First-rate music, toss in some antics from the band, and a terrific atmosphere makes for a fun time. Hard to believe you could walk away disappointed after one of their shows.

PD review is here.

Meal of Links

Looks like bombs away in old Bombay. Seems to be a religious reason for the actions.

What's this? The NFL is airing games over the Internets. F-R-E-E, that spells free.

Melt gets some pub. I'm jonesin'.

Exercise Yard

It looks like Casey Blake won't be getting used to that new locker of his, after all. He was traded today to the Dodgers. Not sure there will be a public outcry on this deal.

I believe Jake Westbrook remains the Indian with the longest tenure.


14 Across: "I and the Village" artist (7 letters) Answer: Chagall

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