Foo Fighters at Wembley Stadium, London on Saturday 7 June, 2008
While certainly no strangers to big shows, Foo Fighters' pair of gigs at the iconic Wembley Stadium must surely be amongst their biggest. Granted, there are a few pockets of empty seats, but a stage set up allowing a performance 'in the round' and a floor section crammed to bursting means the atmosphere is breathtakingly electric for the arrival of Dave Grohl and his band.
So how does a rock band make the step up to such a huge show? In the case of the Foos, you play for over two hours with a career spanning set and a very impressive circular video wall above your rotating stage. Heavier tracks like 'The Pretender' and 'All My Life' send the audience wild, while 'Long Road To Ruin', 'Times Like These' and 'My Hero' provide a backing choir numbering somewhere above 80,000 people. There's an opportunity to catch breath during 'Skin And Bones', a turn for drummer Taylor Hawkins to take lead vocals on 'Cold Day In The Sun' and Drew Hester becomes perhaps the only man to ever play a triangle solo at the national stadium. Relentless in their energy, they show exactly how it is they've become a band of such stature.
It is with the arrival of the encore that the evening becomes truly special. Having earlier promised in his usual jovial way that 'tonight is gonna be the show we're gonna be talking about for the next 20 years', a clearly emotional Grohl reminisces about the band's 13 year history and how for six months they've planned to make tonight special. To a deafening welcome he introduces Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin, taking up drums as they perform the legends' 'Rock'n'roll' with Hawkins on vocals and then 'Ramble On' where Grohl returns to singing. As the quartet take a group bow, the thousands of camera flashes are testament to an incredibly special collaboration on a wonderful night, and the closing track that is 'Best Of You' couldn't be any more appropriate. A delighted crowd chants it in joyful union on a night where they've certainly had the best of the Foo Fighters.
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