Foo Fighters in Calgary

You are now watching the throne

You are now watching the throne

I’ve been on a bit of a concert tear lately. Foo Fighters, who I saw for the fourth time yesterday, was #6 since June 21, and span that’s included Faith No More, Smashing Pumpkins, the Decemberists, Rush, and the greatest band in the world (twice). I like the Foos: they’re not my favourite band, but I’ll rarely pass up the opportunity to see them. Plus, given the number of shows I see, I’m running out of concertgoing firsts. Seeing a frontman perform the majority of his band’s set while seated in a guitar-encrusted throne constitutes a first I’m sure no one–least of all Dave Grohl–ever saw coming.


  • Everlong
  • Monkey Wrench
  • Learn to Fly
  • Something from Nothing
  • The Pretender
  • The Big Me (preceded by a lengthy–i.e., 10+ minutes–retelling of Grohl falling off the stage in Sweden; the story, and the subsequent dedication to Dan the soundman, was as entertaining as any of the actual songs)
  • Congregation
  • Walk
  • Cold Day in the Sun (Taylor Hawkins on vocals)
  • My Hero (acoustic)
  • Times Like These (acoustic; hearing this live was special, since the acoustic version of “Times Like These” is one of the rare songs that’s legitimately helped me cope with life)
  • Under Pressure [Queen] (Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins on vocals; it was fine, but I’d have much rather heard, say, a deep cut from The Color and the Shape…and on that note, keep scrolling!)
  • All My Life
  • These Days
  • Outside
  • Breakout – the first Foos song I heard live, at Summersault 2000 in Winnipeg almost exactly fifteen years ago
  • Arlandria
  • Wind Up – hey, speaking of deep cuts from The Color and the Shape!
  • Miss You [The Rolling Stones] (again with Dave and Taylor on vocals; again, it was fine, but I’d have much rather heard, say, a Foo Fighters song…)
  • This is a Call (…like this one, for instance. Grohl could’ve retired after writing “This is a Call” and the Foo Fighters would’ve still been worthy of at least a footnote in the annals of 90s rock.)
  • Best of You

One minor complaint: as much as I love Dave Grohl, I wish he’d dial down on…well, the Dave Grohl-isms, I guess you’d call them. Every single song was drawn out, sometimes effectively (see: “The Big Me”), othertimes not so much (see: “Outside,” a weak song to begin with). I know it’s part of his shtick, and therefore part of what makes his band so entertaining, but it wore a bit thin by the end of the night. Just a bit; it’s not like I wouldn’t see the Foo Fighters again because of their tendency to draw their songs out a bit too much. But it’s a tendency that does occasionally thwart their momentum.

Another night: last night’s audience was the loudest I’ve ever been part of. It was deafening inside the Saddledome. The bands themselves (Royal Blood opened with a functional yet impressive set) were loud in their own right–but the crowd had my ears ringing, quite literally, till earlier this morning.


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