tue 10/12/2019

Foo Fighters, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow - communal singalongs and career highlights | reviews, news & interviews

Foo Fighters, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow - communal singalongs and career highlights

Foo Fighters, Bellahouston Park, Glasgow - communal singalongs and career highlights

A muddy bucket list show from one of the biggest bands in the world

There's nothing workmanlike about Dave Grohl and Foo FightersRyan Johnston / Glasgow Summer Sessions

Foo Fighters are an unlikely candidate for one of the biggest bands in the world. There’s nothing workmanlike about the sheer joy with which Dave Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins approach playing live. They’ll play the hits, sure, but they’ll stick a 10-minute long jam session on the end of each one, and they’ll also play the 22-year-old deep cut that you used to sing 'Pat Smear backing vocals' along to with your first boyfriend. And you, the audience, will love every minute of it.

Here’s what a two-and-a-half hour open-air headline set from the Foo Fighters gets you: a selection of songs from across a 25-year-career, satisfying at least two generations of fans in the crowd. The drummer (Taylor Hawkins, below left) as both lead vocalist and lead musician, performing “Sunday Rain” on a giant illuminated floating platform feet above the rest of the stage. An extended introducing-the-band section, in which keyboard player Rami Jaffee’s crowd-pleasing snippet of “Flower of Scotland” gets snatched away from him and turned into a raucous park-sized singalong. And yes: the drummer from Nirvana jumping behind the kit for a cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure”, in what can only be described as a total bucket list moment for anybody over the age of 35.

Taylor Hawkins Foo Fighters drummer at Glasgow Summer Sessions by Ryan Johnston“Stacked Actors”, the full-throated screamed denunciation of celebrity culture that opens 1999’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose, seemed like a weird choice of opener, but 2007 hit “The Pretender” - stretched out to about 10 minutes in length, Grohl promising to play “until they kick us off the stage” while the big screen flashed between him and Hawkins rocking out at a dizzying pace - warmed everybody up properly. “Learn To Fly” was the night’s first big communal singalong, while a full-on midlife crisis of a chorus and Hawkins’ thudding drums set latter-day plodder “Run” apart.

A week’s worth of rain - and the Cure concert the night before - meant that the mud was shin-deep at Bellahouston Park, but the mood was great and the sound even better. A trio of female backing singers - including Grohl’s 13-year-old daughter, Violet - might have warned us to “keep it down” on the chorus of “The Sky Is A Neighbourhood”, but a glance to the left showed every window open on the high flats surrounding the park.

“My Hero” and “These Days” got the semi-acoustic treatment, each opening with just Grohl and guitar - give or take 35,000 Scots who knew every word - before swelling to end on huge, festival-sized choruses. “La Dee Da” let the band play out some punk basement fantasies on a massive scale while the ragged, rowdy “All My Life” got everybody jumping.

“I bet you can’t scream louder than me!” Grohl challenged the crowd, who were happy to prove him wrong in response to a “Monkey Wrench”/“Hey, Johnny Park” double-header from 1997’s The Colour and the Shape. The soulful “Dirty Water” brought us bang up to date while giving the backing vocalists the chance to show off their skills - before the band took a detour back to their 1995 debut and “This Is A Call”.

“Best Of You” was one of the highlights of the night, its chorus stretched to an extended call-and-response with the crowd, before an AC/DC cover and the magnificent “Everlong” sent us squelching into the night, still singing.

The band played out some punk basement fantasies on a massive scale

rating

Editor Rating: 
4
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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