Review: Foo Fighters at nib Stadium, Perth, 20 January 2018

Powerful and Jovial

Musical prowess and charisma were the keys to success when Foo Fighters and Weezer took to the sprawling nib Stadium on Saturday night, for the first show of their 2018 Australian tour.

Perhaps intoxicated by the baying crowd, Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo jokingly lamented missing the chorus of ‘Pork and Beans’, preferring to hype up the audience by sauntering down the catwalk.

Their immaculately produced indie-rock went down well, a fine palate cleanser after Melbourne band Cosmic Kahuna gripped the venue in its undertow of abrasive screams and scorched, frantic guitar work. The two extremes gave a clear notion of what to expect from the main event; a show of ground-shaking proportions.

From the moment Foo Fighters walked onstage, you knew you were in for a wild night. The first three songs flowed together seamlessly, a testament to a vitality that hasn’t wavered in 22 years.

A visual feast as much as it was aural, for one song the platform on which the drummer, Taylor Hawkins, sat was raised, as he performed a ludicrous solo that lasted for minutes. Never did the grins leave the faces of the bandmates, proving just how much they love their art.

After a brief interlude in which lead singer Dave Grohl strutted down the catwalk to talk with the audience, he belted out ‘My Hero’, dedicating it to the young fan before him, as his compatriots formed a musical canvas behind him. It was the kind of gesture that shows that, as well as being a tactful performer, Grohl doesn’t think himself above his fans.

Sweetening this joviality were the soloes performed by each bandmate during their introduction midway through the set, which included brief snippets of other songs, such as Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust‘ and The Ramones’ ‘Hey, Ho, Let’s Go’.

A broad range of songs were on offer, with well-known numbers like ‘Learn to Fly’ packed up against old-school tracks such as ‘Monkey Wrench‘, ensuring those of all stripes were well-catered to.

The lighting and video effects that lit up the stage and its surroundings had the effect of increasing the collective adrenaline of those gathered, flashing strobe lights paired beautifully with the chaotic onscreen offerings.

After sounding off with ‘Best of You’, Grohl and Hawkins hijacked the camera that had been feeding onstage footage to the crowd, revving them up by acting like they didn’t want an encore.

After a minute or two of cheering, Grohl came out on his lonesome, performing a touching acoustic song based on the Beaconsfield Mine incident of 2006, followed by a sentimental cover of The Beatles’ ‘Blackbird’. In doing so, Grohl proved himself to be not only a bundle of energy, but also one of tender love and care.

Tapping out with fan-favourite ‘Everlong’, you could be forgiven for thinking the band had spent but ten minutes performing, such was their spritely nature.

As thunderous applause rose into the night sky, the Fighters came together and gave one last bow, promising to be back. The audience, of course, responded in kind; a promise that is certain to be kept.

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