Jordan Strauss, Invision LOS ANGELES (AP) - Rush fans can relax. The band is…
- Posted on Jun 5th 2011 11:30AM by Steve Baltin
Noel Vasquez, Getty Images
Immediately following Rise Against's highly anticipated and energetic 40-minute set, the stage rotated, as it had all day and night, and the familiar opening riff of the Foo Fighters' 'All My Life' rang out, with Grohl punctuating the frenzy of the guitars and the crowd with a bellowing "Surprise!"
Though there was plenty of speculation that the Foos would make an appearance -- fans knew they were in town for Sunday night's MTV Movie Awards -- the band's first large-scale hometown show since the release of 'Wasting Light' was still an almost completely unexpected bonus for the sold-out crowd at Irvine's Verizon Amphitheater.
Grohl played up the event, saying, "I'm so happy to be the surprise guest at the Weenie Roast," adding, "It's been a long time." He treated the show as very much a hometown gig, bringing his family and telling the fans how he had just watched 'Empire Strikes Back' in a rented RV with his daughter, to whom he dedicated 'Times Like These.' Taking a page from Prince, whose recent Forum shows he attended, Grohl declared, "We've got too many hits." Actually they had what seemed to be the perfect amount to fill the hour, mixing Foos' standards like 'Best of You,' 'Monkey Wrench' and 'Everlong' with new songs such as 'Rope' and 'Walk.'
Despite having a hard time fitting in all of their hits, the group still managed to throw in a rocking cover of the Who's 'Young Man Blues' (written by Mose Allison) calling it, "Real rock 'n' roll." Grohl then asked, "Do you like real rock 'n' roll, the kind where people can barely play their instruments?" The question has a large sense of irony as the Who, with John Entwistle on bass and Keith Moon on drums, had arguably the greatest rock rhythm section of all time. Playing with a fervent abandon, as seen in Grohl's and drummer Taylor Hawkins' long hair flying wildy, the Foos have reached that level of tightness and professionalism where even their sloppiness is precise. In short, they have become an elite live rock band, and the crowd treated them as such.
In fairness, the Foos had that element of surprise that instantly sent the crowd into ecstasy. There were several other highlights at the day-long fest, starting early in the afternoon on the second stage where a couple of hometown acts, Foster the People, riding on never-ending infectiousness of their 'Pumped Up Kicks' single, and the Airborne Toxic Event, who delivered a Clash-esque set that even included a cover of that band's 'I Fought The Law,' stood out.
Over on the main stage, the day was, as usual, a mix of both old and new alternative acts, with L.A. heroes Bad Religion receiving the requisite love for such hits as 'Infected' and 'Sorrow,' Cage the Elephant scoring massive points when lead singer Matthew Shultz jumped into the general admission pit with the crowd, and the Strokes, representing the East Coast, again delivered a rock-solid 40-minutes.
Linkin Park had the unenviable task of following the Foos, but the differences between the bands -- Foos going straight garage-rock and Linkin's loftier production both musically and visually -- served the latter well. The crowd's energy didn't seem to waver, with the entire venue singing along to 'What I've Done' and more of the band's hits.
Read Spinner's Interview With Dave Grohl
Follow @Spinner on Twitter | Like Spinner on Facebook