The band kicks off a busy 2023 live schedule this week. Here's what we're hoping the shows end up looking like.
Now more than a year removed from the tragic death of drummer Taylor Hawkins, the Foo Fighters return this summer with a heap of headlining festival gigs spanning four continents. Bonnaroo, Boston Calling and Riot Fest are all on the stateside docket, as are Japan’s Fuji Rock, Germany’s Rock AM Ring and a pair of monster performances in Brazil.
The roadshow will feature Josh Freese, well-traveled session and touring vet (Weezer, Nine Inch Nails), on the kit, as the band confirmed during a streaming event Sunday. The schedule kicks off Wednesday, May 24, in Gilford, New Hampshire.As Dave Grohl and company soldier on, celebrating one of the most successful rock careers of the last 30 years — plus the upcoming June 2 release of their bittersweet 11th album But Here We Are — it’s time to get nerdy with the Foos’ hit-filled catalog.
Sure, there are the dozen or more raging standards every fan expects at a Foo Fighters show, but what about the rest of the rather prolific songbook — the stuff that holds up but doesn’t always make it to stage? And of course, as the band has consistently dropped worthy records since its debut in ‘95, there’s value in the newer cuts, too.
With all of this taken into consideration, we’ve devised what would make for the most epic Foo Fighters concert that could possibly exist in 2023, showcasing where they’ve been, who they are and where they’re going. This crop of tunes caters to fans both casual and deeply committed and delivers some deserved surprises.
While this list of 24 songs may run a bit longer than the average Foo Fighters festival set — we’d clock this in between two and two-and-a-half hours — few bands are better at blasting past their sky-high expectations. Also, it’s our dream set and we do what we want. Let’s break it down!
Unlikely circumstances call for an unlikely beginning. The show kicks off not with fury but with Grohl solo at center stage. Single spotlight, single guitar, band waiting in the wings. He begins “Doll,” the wistful prelude from 1997’s fan-beloved The Colour and the Shape, strumming it live for the first time since 2003. The first verse takes on new meaning: “You know in all of the time that we’ve shared, I’ve never been so scared/ Doll me up in my bad luck, I’ll meet you there.” Thousands of men in backward baseball caps cry like children.
"Times Like These"
Grohl finishes, shakes a tear from his scruff and the band trots out. Grohl hammers his dissonant chords, yells his requisite “alright, you motherf–kers!” and Freese hits his kit — kick-kick-snare. All bets are off, as the band flies through its first of many monster-rock anthems of the night. It’s a new chapter for the band and it’s gonna be a good one.
A classic early-set favorite, keeping the tone light and energy high, as fans of a certain age think fondly upon the days of Guitar Hero II and nailing that big, bright melody 15 times in a row.
“No Way Back”
Another deep-ish cut; a fan favorite from 2005’s In Your Honor (overshadowed by the runaway success of “Best of You” at the time). It’s the first time the Foos have jammed it on stage in 15 years, and diehards roar as soon as they place the rollicking riff.
Grohl and Co. take a breather as the frontman properly addresses the crowd for the first time. He calls them “motherf–kers” at least three more times, mentions how great it is to be back and how music heals all wounds. He then asks the crowd “will you motherf–kers run for your life with me?” before swinging into the lead single off 2017’s Concrete and Gold, which starts slow but builds to loud, shouty punk mayhem in due time. A few fans try to mosh, most wouldn’t dare; they have to be in the office on Monday.
The new lead single from the band’s upcoming LP tugs at the heartstrings as the crowd shouts with Dave “are you feeling … what I’m feeling?!” The song slots in easily with crunchy, fun guitars and a towering chorus — it’s as Foo Fighter-y a single as the band has released in its last few cycles (no shade to Medicine at Midnight; it was fine).
“Learning to Fly”
Fans are rewarded with a world-beater, which the band typically slips in earlier than later in sets, saving the more dramatic sing-alongs for later. “Fly” is all summer breeze and looking for the sky to save you. A few cans of Michelob Ultra are heaved heavenward, floating across the festival in triumph.
“Long Road to Ruin”
The second single off 2007’s Echoes — generally forgotten by casual fans, well-loved by diehards — was a set staple until about 2015 then lopped off in favor of newer tunes. But no more! “Long Road” is back, longtime guitarist Chris Shiflett nails the solo and all is well.(Video) Foo Fighters ft. Shane Hawkins Perform "My Hero" | MTV
Another quintessential “oh yeah, this song!” from the Foos’ catalog — even though they’ve played it consistently since its release almost 25 years ago. “Breakout” is a good time, almost pop-punk in its speed and sentiment.
Grohl pauses again, hurls a few more warm expletives over the crowd of tens of thousands, and asks rhetorically how many fans remember 2011’s Wasted Light album — everyone cheers for what might’ve been the last truly great Foo Fighters album. The nerdiest fans tell their friends how the album was recorded in Grohl’s garage and it was their first to tap Butch Vig as producer, the drummer for Garbage who famous produced Nirvana’s Nevermi— the song mercifully kicks in, the chorus is killer, the geeks are silenced.
The Wasted Light suite rambles on for two more tracks, first another winner in “These Days,” with Grohl’s excellently serrated hook: “Easy for you to say, your heart has never been broken/ Your pride has never been stolen, not yet, not yet!”
One more, the most anthemic of the bunch, laid over an opening guitar riff that sounds a whole lot like Tal Bachman’s “She’s So High.” Then the heavy chug swoops in as the crowd croons “I believe I’ve waited long enough.” The track builds to its incendiary finish: “I never wanna die, I never wanna die, I’m on my knees, I never wanna die!” Catharsis abounds.
“This is a Call”
Grohl takes it all the way back, to the first album, the first single, the first track any early adopters of the Foo Fighters ever heard. It still plays like a McCartney-meets-Cobain pop-grunge banger (as does so much of Grohl’s songbook).
“Hey, Johnny Park!” (acoustic)
The romp slows down for a while here. Grohl, Smear and Shiflett grab acoustic guitars. Freese leaves the main kit for a smaller set-up. Maybe there’s a cajon. God, let there be a cajon. The band gets closer, a tight semi-circle for a 15-minute, stripped down mini-set, beginning with a fan favorite off Colour, which has rarely (if ever) gotten the three-guitar, acoustic-chug treatment. Warm lamps light the stage, it’s a vibe.
They pivot to this deeper cut, included as a promo single for the 2009 Greatest Hits compilation. The new arrangement gives the Tom Petty-ish cut an almost countrified lean. More cursory fans run to the beer tents and port-a-Johns. Hey, every set needs a bathroom moment!
“Big Me” (acoustic)
The stakes raise a little with “Big Me,” a well-loved sing-songy stalwart off the 1995 debut, which is basically a Beatles song and in this unassuming setting feels like a Foos version of Get Back. It’s unclear who Lennon is in this scenario.
“Waiting on a War” (acoustic into full band)
The night’s lone cut from Medicine is used as a brilliant transition back to mega-rock spectacle, as the tune natural builds from humble beginnings to a very “Free Bird”-like jam session, as the rest of the band plugs back in and goes off, dueling short solos — a tech tosses Grohl his Gibson just in time for the final, piercing notes.
It’s all gravy from here on out. Grohl is merely a vessel for perspiration as he hammers his guitar, screaming “What if I say I’m not like the others?!” The audience barks back, happily relinquishing use of their vocal chords for the next 48 hours.
Remember last fall, when Taylor Hawkins’ 16-year-old son, Shane, emerged during his father’s tribute concert to play “My Hero”? Well, the teen beast is back again, trotting out for a guest spot in dad’s honor, as the crowd cheers (between heaving sobs). Shane crushes the song, the night’s biggest moment so far, as the chorus reaches Earth’s thermosphere. Even the security guards are singing along. And somewhere better, Hawkins is smiling.
“Everlong” (with “February Stars” intro)
Shane jogs off, 20,000 dads use their t-shirts as handkerchiefs and the band finishes the main set with its calling card — but with a twist! They begin with a few telling lines from “February Stars,” which precedes “Everlong” on the album. Solo and sad, Grohl whispers: “Watched you come and go/ How was I to know/ You’d steal the show.” Before most fans even realize what’s happening and how special a moment it is to hear the snippet (the band hasn’t played it live since ‘06), the familiar riff begins. Then the second, louder guitar. And it’s alt-rock euphoria. Dave bless us, everyone.(Video) Learn to Fly - Foo Fighters Rockin'1000 Official Video
ENCORE: “All My Life”
The stage darkens, the band leaves, Grohl discards his sweat-soaked black tank-top for an identical black tank-top. They return to a roar, but the lights stay down. Then you hear it: “da-da-da, da-da-da,” that unmistakable riff. “All my life I’ve been searchin’ for something, something never comes, never leads to nothing…” It’s very loud and it’s freaking awesome. “Done! I’m done! And I’m on to the next!”
ENCORE: “The Colour and the Shape”
The band stays heavy — as heavy as they’ve ever been — on the mostly screamed, garage-punk title track, performed live for the first time since ‘98. New fans don’t know it and that’s okay, the dudes who’ve been on the Foos train since the Clinton administration become feral.
ENCORE: “Live-in Skin”
One more gem for the true fans, who will forever be able to say they saw the first-ever live rendition of “Live-in Skin,” an awesome album track from 99’s There Is Nothing Left to Lose, which has developed a sort of mystique on the Foo Fighters subreddits, mainly for its scarcity.“I’m amazed that I’m still standing” Grohl sings in the hook, the lyric meaning so much more now.
ENCORE: “Best of You”
Grohl slugs down a beer, thanks the gigantic crowd for sticking with his band of misfits for nearly 30 years and shouts, “Oh, and one last thing — I GOT ANOTHER CONFESSION TO MAKE!” One more titanic sing-along for the road, as the song extends with extra guitar breaks and the fireworks boom above. The shrewder fans book it for the parking lot, all but floating on their high of witnessing one of the last monster-rock bands unleash the set of their lives — and find redemption in tragedy.
Get weekly rundowns straight to your inbox
Want to know what everyone in the music business is talking about?
Get in the know onVisit Billboard Pro for music business news
What was the longest Foo Fighters concert? ›
The band played for more than three hours, which lead singer Dave Grohl said was their longest show ever, running through their entire first album as an encore. Grohl kept it about the music, leaving politics to the larger venues across town. “Thanks a lot, you guys,” he said, before leaving the stage.Who sings for Foo Fighters? ›
The band's first single, "This Is a Call", was released in June 1995, and its debut album Foo Fighters was released the next month.How many songs does Foo Fighters have? ›
The discography of Foo Fighters, an American rock band formed in 1995 by Dave Grohl, consists of ten studio albums, ten extended plays (EPs), six video albums, and 57 singles (including promotional releases).What are Foo Fighters fans called? ›
FooArchive - the ultimate Foo Fighters fansite - online since 1999.What is the heaviest Foo Fighters song? ›
- 5) Foo Fighters - 'Weenie Beenie' (1995) ...
- 4) Foo Fighters - 'Podunk' (1995) ...
- 3) Foo Fighters - 'The Colour & The Shape' (1997) ...
- 2) Dream Widow - 'March of the Insane' (2022) ...
- 1) Foo Fighters - 'FFL (Fat F---ing Lie)' (2005) ...
- Dave Grohl through the years:
Josh Freese is taking over as the permanent replacement for Taylor Hawkins in Foo Fighters, the group has announced. Freese recently played with the Offspring and is a renowned session player. He will fill the chair vacated when Hawkins died.What is Dave Grohl's net worth? ›
But saving money is one thing Foo Fighters frontman and 18-time Grammy winner Dave Grohl doesn't have to be reminded about. Sure, you might say, it's easy for him to save: He's worth an estimated $320 million dollars, according to Celebrity Net Worth, but he goes above and beyond.What Foo Fighters song did Kurt Cobain hear? ›
Foo Fighters, "Marigold"
The musician had been shy to share his work initially, but with some encouragement from Cobain he eventually did. “Kurt heard that [I recorded something], and kissed me on the face, as he was in a bath,” Grohl revealed, as shared by Far Out Magazine.
Who is Dave Grohl wife? ›Who is bigger Foo Fighters or Nirvana? ›
As of 2017 Foo Fighters have sold 12 million albums in the US. Nirvana has sold over 27 million. It's important to keep in mind that Nirvana existed at a time when the CD was the prominent base of music consumption and album sales were still robust.What is the shortest Foo Fighters song? ›
Doll is the 1st song off of the album "The Colour and The Shape". The track is the shortest on the album, and it features an electric guitar without any distortion.Did Foo Fighters play Woodstock 99? ›
Who played at Woodstock '99? Foo Fighters were originally meant to play the festival, but pulled out as they were working on their third studio album There Is Nothing Left To Lose.Does Foo Fighters have 3 guitarists? ›
Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear are two of the three guitarists in the biggest live band in the world - Foo Fighters.Who will replace Foo Fighters drummer? ›
Foo Fighters have announced that musician Josh Freese will be the band's new drummer following the death of Taylor Hawkins in March 2022.What was Taylor Hawkins cause of death? ›
Taylor Hawkins was the drummer of alt-rock band Foo Fighters. Over his career, he had also played with Alanis Morissette and his own band. He passed away after suffering sudden cardiac arrest while on tour with his band in March 2022, shortly after his 50th birthday.What is the best-selling Foo Fighters? ›
According to Sony Music Japan, FOO FIGHTERS sold over 32,000,000 albums worldwide, including 9,065,000 in the United States and 5,260,000 in the United Kingdom. The best-selling album by FOO FIGHTERS is GREATEST HITS, which sold over 2,775,000 copies .What is considered the best Foo Fighters album? ›
- Dream Widow (2022) RCA. ...
- Concrete and Gold (2017) ...
- There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999) ...
- Medicine at Midnight (2021) ...
- In Your Honor (2005) ...
- Sonic Highways (2014) ...
- The Colour and The Shape (1997) ...
- One by One (2002)
Foo Fighters boast 11 No. 1s among a record 29 top 10s on Mainstream Rock Airplay and 10 leaders among also a record 28 top 10s on Alternative Airplay. The band first topped Alternative Airplay with “Learn to Fly” in 1999 and first ruled Mainstream Rock Airplay with “Best of You” in 2005.
Who could replace Taylor in Foo Fighters? ›
Congratulations to Josh Freese. It's his 20th anniversary as a Paiste Artist. We are proud and very grateful to have such an extraordinary musician and drummer in the Paiste Family.Will Foo Fighters continue with a new drummer? ›
Foo Fighters announced a new drummer following the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins in 2022. The band revealed in a livestream event that Josh Freese, 50, will be behind the drum set on the upcoming tour with members Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.Who is Foo Fighters new drummer 2023? ›
Foo Fighters welcome Josh Freese as the group's new drummer : NPR. Foo Fighters welcome Josh Freese as the group's new drummer The reveal of the new drummer was a performance in itself. It began with cameos of other drummers — such as Tommy Lee bringing in some take-out and Danny Carey leading the poodles he groomed.Who is Dave Grohl's favorite drummer? ›
Grohl has called Bonham the “greatest” to pick up the sticks multiple times. “John Bonham is the greatest rock drummer of all time,” Grohl said definitively in a piece in Mojo. “Bonham played directly from the heart.Who is Dave Grohl's favorite Beatle? ›
I loved every single one of them for different reasons, but I kind of connected to George Harrison's sense of melody more than anyone”. After Harrison's tragic death in 2001, Grohl wrote his own quasi-obituary for the fallen guitarist: “George Harrison was always my favourite Beatle.Does Dave Grohl get royalties from Nirvana? ›
Cobain, who wrote the lion's share of the songs, separately collected the largest cut of the publishing income. (Though it has been reported otherwise, Grohl and Novoselic share in publishing royalties on only eleven Nirvana songs - including 12.5 percent each of "Smells Like Teen Spirit.")Did Dave Grohl know Kurt Cobain? ›
Dave Grohl opened up about his relationship with Nirvana bandmate Kurt Cobain in a recent interview with Vulture. Despite their close bond, the Foo Fighters frontman revealed that Cobain once considered replacing him with a different drummer in the legendary punk-rock band.What song did Dave Grohl wrote about Taylor Hawkins? ›
After a show, Taylor had been partying and ended up overdosing on heroin, spending days in a coma with Dave by his side. While Dave was worrying about his friend, he had written the song “On the Mend” about those days in recovery, saying: “I've never told him it's about him.Did Dave Grohl use earplugs? ›
Despite his hearing loss, Grohl refuses to wear earpieces when he performs on stage; he says they distort his spatial experience of the music. He has used the same sound mixer for over 31 years, and he knows what everything is sounding like.Where did Dave Grohl get his money? ›
After Scream was disbanded, Grohl went on to play in the well-known band, Nirvana where he and the other members were wildly successful. With more than 75 million albums sold around the world, this was the beginning of massive earnings for Grohl.
Why was Courtney Love mad at Dave Grohl? ›
Courtney Love would go on a rant saying she heard from her daughter's roommate and driver that Dave Grohl hit on Frances Bean Cobain. Frances Bean would push back against the rant and Grohl would respond and Love would be forced to apologize to her daughter a few days later on Twitter.What ethnicity is Dave Grohl? ›
Early life. David Eric Grohl was born in Warren, Ohio, on January 14, 1969, the son of teacher Virginia Jean (née Hanlon) and newswriter James Harper Grohl. He is of German, Irish, and Slovak descent.Why did Nirvana break up? ›
Nirvana disbanded following Cobain's suicide in April 1994.Why did Dave Grohl leave Nirvana? ›
Nirvana rose to prominence in the early 90's due to the astronomical success of their second album in 1991, Nevermind. Two years later, amongst all the band's success and internal tensions that came along with it, drummer Dave Grohl briefly quit the band.Is Dave Grohl a workaholic? ›
The Chief Foo Fighter is a self-confessed workaholic who winds down by sitting in traffic, shooting clay pigeons and eating as much as possible, as often as possible. Oh, and "freaking out" members of Slipknot . .How much do Foo Fighters make per show? ›
No matter: The Foos and their extensive catalogue have been hitting the road hard, playing 71 shows in our 12-month range, with an average gross north of $1 million per stop.How does Dave Grohl feel about Nirvana? ›
In the same interview, Grohl admitted part of his time in the group “was a bummer” but maintained that “it wasn't always a bummer”. He claimed this was the “biggest misconception” about his time with Nirvana. He continued: “There were times when it was so outrageously hilarious and fun.What was the largest Nirvana concert ever? ›
January 1993, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The biggest shows Nirvana ever played were in Brazil in January 1993 with attendances of over 100,000 people each night. It seems appropriate, given the bands history, that Cobain gave some of the most unhinged performances of his career.
Nicholas Bullen, writer of the song's four-word lyrics, said that the brevity of "You Suffer" was inspired by Wehrmacht's 1985 song "E!". The song has since been recognized by Guinness World Records as the shortest ever recorded.How hard is it to learn Everlong? ›
Everlong is actually really simple to play on electric guitar or acoustic guitar. You only need to learn three different parts. The verse, the pre chorus, and the chorus.
Is Foo Fighters emo music? ›
We tried out Foo Fighters – Foo Fighters is not an emo band. “No matter how much Dischord Records is featured in the documentary, it's still a no.” The Strokes is not an emo band. “You're really not too smart on the uptick for these emo bands huh?”What band destroyed Woodstock 99? ›
Violence and vandalism occurred during and after the Saturday night performance by Limp Bizkit; this included fans tearing plywood from the walls during a performance of the song "Break Stuff". The band's vocalist, Fred Durst, stated during the concert, "Don't let anybody get hurt.What band broke Woodstock 99? ›
As the new three-part film shows, tensions in the huge 400,000-plus crowd led to riots, arson, multiple cases of sexual assault and even three (accidental) deaths. For over 20 years, blame for the Woodstock '99 disaster has been laid at the door of Limp Bizkit, most notably by the festival's organiser John Scher.Who turned down Woodstock 99? ›
Singer Ian Anderson explained the decision in a Q&A with SongFacts.com, saying, "The reason I didn't want to play Woodstock is because I asked our manager, Terry Ellis, 'Well, who else is going to be there?'
He is a better drummer. His technical drumming skills are higher than his technical guitar playing skills. Dave is a very mediocre player - both drums and guitar. He is not world class at this instruments.Is anyone from Nirvana in Foo Fighters? ›
Dave Grohl (pictured in 2019) founded Foo Fighters after his band Nirvana disbanded in 1994.What is the longest concert ever recorded? ›
The current Guinness record for longest concert by multiple performers is held by Ri Ra, an Irish pub on the Las Vegas strip whose 2014 gig clocked in at 372 hours, 10 minutes. Dublin's Dave Browne was one of the key organizers for that event.Who holds the record for the longest concert? ›
Kevin Ker, who doggedly oversaw the 437-hour live-music marathon at the Earl of Whitchurch Pub over 18 sleep-deprived days between March 17 and April 4 of last year, got the call on Wednesday morning saying that both the New York and London offices of the Guinness World Records had signed off on the Stouffville bid as ...What is the world's longest concert performance? ›
Performances. Diane Luchese played Organ2/ASLSP from 8:45 am to 11:41 pm on February 5, 2009, at Towson University. This 14-hour-56-minute performance was the longest recorded individual performance until 2022.What is world's longest concert? ›
The concert was part of Canada's celebration of their country's 150th anniversary. It lasted for 453 hours, 54 minutes, and 40 seconds.
What is the shortest concert? ›
On 13 March 2007, a concert staring The Who (UK) at the Ford Amphitheatre in Tampa, Florida, ended after just 13 seconds when lead vocalist Roger Daltrey (UK) realised that due to illness he could not sing that night.What is the smallest concert in history? ›
“The White Stripes were in fact recognized in the 2009 edition of the Guinness World Records book for the shortest music concert ever when, on July 16 2007, they played just one note at St John's in Newfoundland, Canada,” they said.Who holds the record for the most concerts in 24 hours? ›
The most concerts performed in 24 hours is 65 and was achieved by Helge Toft with his musicians Jens Rimau, Paul Inge Vikingstad and Anders Bjelland (all Norway) at venues in and around the city of Haugesund, Norway, from 21-22 June 2012.What band currently holds the record for highest grossing music tour of all time? ›
At the top of the list is Elton John's Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, which grossed an impressive $853 million, according to Billboard Boxscore. The tour began in 2018 and after a Covid-related break, is still ongoing, so that record-breaking sum will increase before the piano player is done on the road for good.Which music artist has done the most concerts? ›
According to one source, that distinction goes to the Grateful Dead, who performed an estimated 2,318 concerts between 1965 and 1995. Other artists who have played a large number of live shows include the Rolling Stones, U2, and Bruce Springsteen.What is the longest concert by a single artist? ›
The longest performance by a solo artist lasted 501 hours and was achieved by Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan (India) at the Rhythm Therapy Hall, Nandavanam Hospital, Ottapalam, Kerala, India, on 5-26 July 2009 This record is the overall category for music marathons - Kuzhalmannam Ramakrishnan also holds the record for ...What is the longest solo concert ever? ›
Chilly Gonzales: 27 hours 3 minutes
Canadian Chilly reckons music is 'part art and part athleticism', so he went for the world record for longest solo concert in 2009. He sat down at the piano in Paris on Saturday night and played through 'til 3am Monday, racking up 300 songs including Britney Spears and Bee Gees.