This morning I woke up a bit on the sore side. And not just I overdid it in yoga sore…more like I just went snowboarding for the first time sore (it seriously hurts to walk)…I also have some nice little bruises, can’t really hear anything, and am suffering from a condition my friend accurately described as “brain pain”. I posted on my facebook wall that I think The Foo Figthers broke me and this may not be far from the truth.
Yesterday started like most any other. Then shorty after my noontime seminar, I received a call from a friend informing me that there was going to be another secret Foo Fighters show that evening. I had been aware of the series of last minute, small club shows The Foo Fighters had been playing in the area and knew several people to have gone and exclaim their awesomeness. I had always been a casual fan of The Foo Fighters but thought that this would be my chance to finally see them live and really understand what all the clamor was about. As I hung up the phone, I thought to myself “Tonight’s show is MINE!”.
I did some investigation which lead me to believe the show would be in Silverlake, most likely Spaceland (now The Satellite) which had a conspicuously empty calendar for the evening. Even though it was early afternoon, I thought it’d be best to position myself closer to the venue so I hopped in the car and jetted across town. My suspicions seemed confirmed when I arrived at The Satellite to a large vehicle in which several men were loading empty instrument cases. I hunkered down for what I thought was going to be a long afternoon of reading and waiting. Then we were informed that although the show was going to be at that location, wrist bands were to be handed out elsewhere…an undisclosed location somewhere in the vicinity. I realized that the quest for The Foo Fighter tickets had just begun!
Over the next several hours I met up with friends, made some new ones, placed phone calls, and did internet searches (thank God for smart phones and GPS systems). When we received a twitter clue about a pizza place, I crammed into a complete stranger’s car and took off to investigate the most likely locations. After more phone calls and interviews, several slices of pizza, plenty of wrong turns, hikes up hills (it’s always up), and twitter updates we landed at Two Boots next door to The Echoplex where a line had already begun to form.
We got to The Echoplex just about the same time as some pictures of “space” were released on The Foo Fighters twitter page. Between the mysterious pictures (certainly meant to direct people to Spaceland) and a radio broadcast telling people to come to The Echoplex, I was unsure that we were in the right location. Until I saw the limo.
Once wrist bands were secured, the rest was a breeze! Since there were only 200 people to get tickets, getting into the venue wasn’t crazy at all. We made our way up to the front of the room and readied ourselves for what we knew was going to be an epic set. The openers were a punk band for which Dave Grohl used to drum called Scream. I don’t think I would ever choose to go see this band, but being up front it was impossible not to get into it…although I wasn’t enjoying the set quite as much as Mr. Grohl who kept peeking out from behind the curtain and banging on some drums. The highlight of the Scream set, for me, was when lead singer, Peter Stahl, effortlessly threw his microphone up and around some pipes in the ceiling (I know from experience this is NOT easy).
The Scream set also gave me a tiny taste of what the crowd would be like for the main act. I braced myself for madness and as The Foo Fighters came out and began to play, the madness did descend. They started the set by playing their entire new album. I was so blown away by it all and being so close I’m fairly sure I spent most of this bit with my jaw on the ground. There were several songs that I know will know have the potential to become hits and I found myself singing along to many of them by the end.
someone snagged a snippet of one of my fave new Foo songs
The played the new album almost as one very long song. At the end of that portion of the set they finally stopped to breath, chatting with the audience before launching into the second portion of their set, a collection of Foo Fighter hits. I didn’t realize I knew so many of their tunes. Song after song I kept exclaiming “I love this one!!”. The audience loved it too. As enthusiastic as they were before, the front quickly became an almost dangerous mosh pit. People were being bandied about as others jumped around pumping their fists wildly in the air attempting to get closer to the stage. For those of us at or near the stage, it became much like a sardine can. At one point, I swear I could have lifted up both of my feet and still not have fallen down I was wedged in so tightly.
By the end of the night I had been kicked, punched, elbowed and knocked on the head numerous times (including once by Dave Grohl’s guitar). But never once did that smile leave my face. The Foo Fighters have this amazing ability to make every song a fist-pumping, head rocking, anthemic masterpiece. It’s impossible not to be moved by the music and impressed by their musicianship. Being able to see a band like this so close and really watch them play song after song for 2+ hours was a mind blowing experience that will certainly hold a place in my top concerting experience…
If only I had my camera. These pics on my phone will have to do.
I think everything I love about this band is somehow captured in this song:
someone caught Dave’s mid-set rant