Foo Fighters, Hyde Park, London, June 2006
Foo Fighters, Motorhead and Queens of the Stone Age on the same bill. A lovely summer’s afternoon in the park with fellow rock heads. The site was a fenced off beast, including carnival rides and stalls – I think it was used for other concerts over the period (like O2 Wireless) because it was so big to put up. This concert is available as a DVD, and it is easily th biggest one-off gig I have ever been to at 85,000 punters. And it was beery good fun. The thing was so big that we just settled in at the back for earlier acts ( who I can't even remember), and also for QoTSA and Motorhead before moving forward for the Foos. There was quite a crew of us, and the bar queues were really long, but some friends of friends proved unbelievably skilled at blagging their way straight in from the side, and we had a constant supply of cold ones. Bloody antipodeans. Queens were great. A little hard to hear, but their tense melodic rock is very cool. Motorhead were hilarious. Obviously a lot of 40+ year old art directors showed up in faded tour t-shirts, and I'm no expert on the band - but hearing ‘Ace of Spades’ live was pretty cool. Lemmy still has it and I think his son may have even been in the band. Now, the Foo Fighters: I love the Foos, and it’s almost not cool to say that sometimes, but really - they are a band that somehow strut along the line between rock credibility, and a slight cheesiness to their schtick. I don't mean that as a criticism, but as a compliment. Dave Grohl’s ‘aw, shucks’, heart-on-sleeve, doing-it-for-the-fans style is something to be appreciated.The most cunning thing about them is that they have this smidgeon of ‘wet’ to their music, a dash of it, like saffron, that makes it palatable to such a wide audience (check ‘Long Road To Ruin’ or ‘Wheels’ for almost Eagles-like levels of it). They kill it live, and their melodic hard rock has more hooks that a long-line. ‘All My Life’, ‘Best of You’, ‘Times Like These’, Learning To Fly’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’ were all top knotch. And Grohl rolled out a track from his Probot metal album ‘Shake Your Blood’, with Lemmy back on stage too. It was all about the event, and they really pulled it off. A lot of banter, a lot of how great we the crowd were… punch the air. Then for an encore they did two Queen covers, with Roger Taylor and Brian May playing - such UK crowd pleasers, but who else would get away with it? Jammy bastards. As I said, it was all about being there - the view of the band was mainly on big screens and we were by the back of the surround PA rig (and to be fair, these sorts of bands can ALWAYS be louder). However, just when you think its all over, up pops Grohl way out in the crowd, just over to our left where he starts to do an acoustic intro to ‘Everlong’ before rocking it to its conclusion. He’s a showman alright. Actually worthy of a DVD that show. brilliant. And for sheer schmaltzyness, I am going to make ‘Everlong’ my pick.