Foo Fighters Show Review 05.25.2003

Foo Fighters Show Review

Chicago : 05.25.2003

Not at All Tired
Arriving at the UIC pavilion before the Foo Fighters show, I really had high expectations for what that would be like. However, the Foo Fighters managed to even surpass those lofty expectations! The Foo Fighters made the show come alive by changing song tempos, stopping in the middle of the song for a split second or extra guitar solos. This kept the crowd quite engaged with Dave Grohl and company as the show wasn’t just a verbatim performance of album tracks, which is all too sadly the case today in so many rock shows. This started during a beautiful and stirring rendition of “My Hero” three songs into the set and continued periodically throughout most of the other songs on the bill. Musical highlights of the evening included “My Hero”, “Hey Johnny Park”, “Tired” (Dave solo singing with only his guitar – a beautiful moment), “This is a Call” and “Everlong”. The band was tight and appeared to be enjoying themselves and the sound quality, usually not that good in the UIC Pavilion, was above average.

To quote Dave Grohl directly, he “likes to talk shit” a lot during the show – just talking about whatever was on his mind. This ranged from talking about his life experiences in Chicago – playing shows in Chicago or seeing Naked Raygun here with his cousin as his first concert experience as a teenager, to the UIC Pavilion smelling like popcorn (although in my humble opinion, I disagree, I think it smells like these quite addictive, Mr. Robinson’s #1 Rib sandwiches!), burping into the microphone at the end of a song or telling some girl who apparently lost her shoe to the stage in some manner to “meet him backstage after the show”. I don’t fully understand why Dave is a shoe magnet exactly, but I remember a Nirvana show back in 1993 in New York City where someone tossed a shoe at the stage and Kurt Kobain stormed off the stage in anger. Without getting into that subject too deeply, seeing Dave diffuse and actually have fun with the situation was really neat and 180 degrees different than the last time I saw a shoe thrown in his direction a decade ago.

Before ending, I’d like to praise several operational aspects of the Foo Fighters team. They have one of the best e-mail newletters on the net which makes fans aware of every pre-sale in a timely fashion, so many artists don’t do this right and don’t “get it” as to how much this increases fan loyalty and the fan concert experience.

Their website’s message board is tightly moderated and while still fun, is one of the more civilized message boards on the internet; they actually have rules of conduct about “respect” that are enforced. It was quite refreshing to poke around it prior to the show. Lastly, the publicity team communicated exactly what would happen and then it occurred exactly in that manner, which is a rather rare event. Hopefully, next time through, we can get an interview done for you to enjoy as this show provided a wealth of material that is worthy of further discussion. The efforts of the entire team make the Foo Fighters concert experience one of the best among arena rock bands currently out there, hopefully it will remain that way for many years to come.

Foo Fighters Setlist
01 All My Life
02 Times Like These
03 My Hero
04 The One
05 Have It All
06 Breakout
07 Up in Arms
08 Generator
09 Stacked Actors
10 Low
11 Hey Johnny Park
12 Monkeywrench
13 Tried
14 This Is A Call
E1 Learning to Fly
E2 Aurora
E3 Everlong

Dedication and thanks:
Wayne Dennon – thanks for driving 5 hours one way just to take 1 minute worth of pictures, they came out outstanding!
Anne Kranowski – Thank you for buying me my first Foo Fighters CD, without which this review might have never taken place! For that I dedicate this review to you. You are an outstanding woman and friend and I miss you. On this night I could feel that you were there with me in spirit, as I found three coins face up throughout the day (this reminded me of your superstitious nature), the first I had found in many months – coincidence? NO!