Sound Affects

what is this six-stringed instrument but an adolescent loom?

prelude to Foo Fighters

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The usual strike against the Foo Fighters seems to be one of two things…

1 – people hate them because they aren’t Nirvana

2 – people hate Dave Grohl because he used his fame from Nirvana to launch his own career of the back of Kurt Cobain’s still-warm corpse.

Both of these are, quite frankly, complete crap.

Firstly, the Foo Fighters have never once tried to be Nirvana, making their sound completely different from the outset.

Secondly, the first Foo Fighters album was uncredited, and no one knew that it was Dave Grohl making the music until much later. In fact, much of the first album’s material was written while Nirvana was still going, and they were just sitting around as demos that Grohl had recorded on his own.

So as you might be able to tell by now, I’m a huge fan.

There are very few bands who have been so consistently terrific in the last 15 years.

The Colour and The Shape is undeniably brilliant, There Is Nothing Left To Lose equally so, and while One By One, In Your Honor and Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace are perhaps not quite so seminal, they are still jam-packed with terrific songs – Home, Let It Dies, Erase/Replace, But Honestly, Best Of You, The Deepest Blues Are Back, Razor, All My Life, Times Like These and Come Back. (I’m sure you will have your favourites, but these are mine).

I had seen them before, back in 2005 when they were touring in support of In Your Honor. It was at a free concert put on by Channel [V], an Australian music channel, and it was absolute bedlam. There were hundreds, maybe even thousands of people there, not only standing in the open plaza where the gig was taking place, but standing on the roof of the parking station 200 metres away. People were moshing, jumping, swaying and crying as this powerhouse just let fly.

A perfect example of the day: as the crowd was gathering, the roadies came out to check all the equipment and set everything up for the Foo Fighters. And the drum tech comes out, does a few drum rolls, and looks satisfied. Then the bass tech comes out, plays a chord or three, and looks satisfied. Then this 6 foot 2, overweight, dread-locked guitar tech with big, black-rimmed glasses comes out, plays a riff on the ol’ guitar, and looks satisfied.

Then, with a nod, the three of them rip into The Offspring’s classic hit, Come Out and Play – the whole crowd swaying and jumping, and singing along to the riff.

It was pretty rad.

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