Monday, November 28
The Dave Grohl and Friends Show rolled into Perth on Monday night, with just over 30,000 more friends packing into nib Stadium - a venue record according to promoters - to help Foo Fighters kick off their national visit.
The seven-date Australasian tour is in honour of the Foos' excellent seventh album, Wasting Light, a back-to-basics collection that re-establishes the band's rock cred after they threatened to drift into middle-of-the-road status.
All teeth, hair and rock chutzpah, it was a lean and mean Grohl who hit the stadium stage with the other Fighters, immediately dashing down the lengthy catwalk before the team clicked into gear for Wasting Light opener Bridge Burning. From the first scream of "These are my famous last words", the fans knew this was going to be a rock show to remember. After taking us back 14 years for the fist-pumping breakthrough anthem My Hero, our hero declared: "It's gonna be a long f…ing night. We're gonna play till the neighbours tell us to shut up."
Radio favourites such as Learn to Fly, This is a Call and recent single Walk were beefed up by the return of veteran punk guitarist Pat Smear, who joyfully bounced around next to bassist Nate Mendel. Motorhead homage White Limo shook the venue, while another Wasting Light track in Arlandria saw Grohl bark "you and what army" with that renewed rock attitude.
Declaring the gig "a big-arse Foo Fighters show, the biggest we've done here for sure", Grohl shared the spotlight, getting drummer Taylor Hawkins to sing lead on 2005 number Cold Day in the Sun before live staple Stacked Actors saw him sparring with pugilist-turned- guitarist Chris Shiflett from either end of the catwalk.
A loveable mix of the coolest kid at school and the class clown, the Foos frontman said things rock stars aren't meant to, like admitting recent song These Days is "my favourite song I've ever written in my entire life". Mid-90s hits Monkey Wrench and This is a Call were fan favourites, with Pink Floyd's In the Flesh? leading into the hard and nasty All My Life to end the main set.
Agreeing to a six-song encore via some hammy backstage acting shown on the two huge screens, Grohl returned to deliver solo acoustic versions of cheesy ballad Wheels and Best of You. The superb Times Like These saw the band kick in halfway, before new song Dear Rosemary proved too spiky for a singalong.
Segueing into Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' Breakdown, Grohl invited support acts Tenacious D, F…ed Up and Calling All Cars on stage. The resultant tomfoolery meant the intensity of the show almost petered out before a blast through Queen's Tie Your Mother Down (with Hawkins on vocals) got everyone rocking into the finale of Everlong in time for the 10.30pm curfew.
Four hours earlier, around half of the crowd was assembled for Tenacious D, the comedy acoustic rock duo led by Hollywood actor Jack Black and his sidekick Kyle Gass. Grohl played drums on both the D's albums, so some fans may have hoped for a cameo yet most would have been impressed with rockin' renditions of Kielbasa, Wonderboy, Double Team, Tribute and Roadie. Black joked that when asked to come Down Under, he told the Foos: "You shall bring the thunder, and we shall bring the lightning." The Foo Fighters brought more than that, enough to make for the biggest rock show of 2011.