ACL Review: Foo Fighters

Sonic Highways, all the hits, and even Gary Clark Jr.

Two things were apparent as Foo Fighters closed out the first Friday of ACL Fest. First, these L.A. rockers have had a lot of hits in their 20-year career. And second, Dave Grohl has a lot of fun being Dave Grohl.

Game of Foo: Dave Grohl (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Not even a foot injury he sustained onstage in Sweden in early summer could repress this man. Instead, he performed the entire two hours from a seat straight out of Game of Thrones, the Foo Fighters’ logo directly behind him and guitar necks radiating from the base. Nor did the imposed restraint diminish his trademark enthusiasm, the Foos seemingly catching their breath in his wake.

Beginning with “Everlong,” the hits flowed thick and fast: “Monkey Wrench,” “One by One,” “Times Like These,” “There Goes My Hero.” Even with roughly half the set devoted to Sonic Highways, last year’s HBO miniseries tie-in LP, the meat of the show was songs FM radio and certain video channels had played so much they now qualify as classic rock. Then as now, they make radio more artful and bearable, and show up their playlist neighbors as so much pathetic, pandering noise.

Even with a comically dubious meet-the-band spot built off snippets of prog-glue-factory rejects like “Roundabout,” the Foos’ 120 minutes proved high entertainment, and even featured a Gary Clark Jr. cameo. It’s not for nothing their appeal now spans generations, and Grohl’s a ubiquitous rockumentary talking head. Like Tom Petty, Foo Fighters prove commercial rock doesn’t have to suck.

Gary Clark Jr. (r) guested (Photo by David Brendan Hall)

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Foo Fighters, ACL Fest 2015, Dave Grohl, Gary Clark Jr., Sonic Highways, Game of Thrones, Tom Petty

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