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Foo Fighters Concert (Saskatoon 2007)

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Concert review: Foo Fighters (Saskatoon 2008):

The venue was littered with scatterings of people as the roadies started the sound check. Immediately as I arrived in view of the stage I noticed the long walkway to a covered circular stage in the middle of the arena, far from the original stage. Not long after this, the hi-fi hand grenades came on stage to get the crowd into the show. I had only heard a few songs from this band prior to the show but they were basically what I had expected; a fast paced, ramones-esque group that powered through a short set list to limited applause from the sparse, but steadily growing, crowd. Up next came Against Me, a band I have seen opening shows several times before. I appreciate their music, but their on stage "persona" has a lot of work to be done. Very little emotion seemed to come from any of the band members despite the rather large number of supporters who had obviously come just to see the band. After a quick and forgettable 45 minute set, the band left the stage as the roadies began to prepare the stage for the main event. The arena filled up almost instantaneously after this moment, reaching a capacity of just over 10 000. The lights fade and seconds later comes the opening riff of "The Pretender", the hit single off of the latest Foo Fighters album "Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace". Immediately I can tell that Dave Grohl is a man who has played many, many rock shows. He is flying around on stage and singing/screaming his heart out. As the set progresses towards the 1 hour mark Grohl starts teasing the crowd more and more as he begins to walk towards the covered circular stage in the middle of the arena. Eventually the cover is lifted off to unveil a drum set, keyboard, several guitars and 3 microphones on all sides of the stage. All band members walk the runway towards the small stage and the crowd erupts as the view is great from all angles. The tempo of the set changes drastically on this stage as the band plays mostly slow acoustic songs and the feeling is now very intimate between the band and the crowd as Dave Grohl keeps the crowd laughing between songs as he speaks of his incredible past. As Grohl starts talking about his days in Nirvana he introduces the crowd to Pat Smear, a second guitarist for Nirvana during 1994. Following this they play the only Nirvana song of the set, "Marigold" (which was written by Dave Grohl). After just over an hour on this small center stage all the band but Grohl leaves back to the main stage. He picks up an electric guitar for the first time in nearly an hour and a half and he begins playing "Everlong", to the deafening roar of the crowd. Halfway throughout the song he ups the tempo and begins charging back to the stage as his band mates kick into their individual parts. One more hour of great rock and roll is played here until the Foo Fighters eventually leave the stage after thanking the fans. Immediately after they set foot off stage the crowd starts chanting for an encore. At this point a huge projection screen turns on and it appears to be a live stream of Dave Grohl backstage; he looks at the camera and holds up ten fingers as the crowd goes wild. Eventually he dwindles his fingers down to three and the band comes back out and plays their final 3 songs of the night. While the opening bands may have not lived up to the billing, the Foo Fighters certainly did with their excellent 3 and a half hour set. It is clear that the Foo Fighters are one of the most experienced live acts out their right now, and it would be highly suggested that any rock fan check them out.





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