As polls closed across the country, Dave Grohl stood before a crowd at the Electric Factory and announced “I don’t give a shit about the election right now. We can talk about that later. For the next hour and 45 minutes, WE ARE YOUR GOVERNMENT!”
Election night saw the Foo Fighters playing a headlining gig in Philly for the first time since their latest album, There Is Nothing Left To Lose, was released last fall. The beauty of their position as the main draw – not an opener, not part of a festival lineup – is that they weren’t resigned to just playing their hits. Touring with the Red Hot Chili Peppers this summer, the Foos performed radio song after radio song, trying to win over the crowd. And they no doubt succeeded…but at the same time, the set was very bland to watch.
But the crowd that packed the Factory on Nov. 7th didn’t need to be won over. They knew the Foo Fighters, they were there to see the Foo Fighters, and the Foo Fighters in turn delivered a show for their fans.
An overwhelming majority of the set list was culled from either There Is Nothing Left To Lose, or their 1997 LP, The Colour And The Shape, with “I’ll Stick Around” being the only song performed from their 1995 self titled debut.
Hits like “Learning To Fly” and “Monkey Wrench” were present, but more prominent were lesser known tunes like the resonating mellow number “Aurora”, the anthemic “Hey, Johnny Park!” and cute ditties like “Next Year” and “See You.”
During an extended jam of “Stacked Actors,” Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins played dueling drum solos, after which Grohl climbed the speakers up to the Factory’s balcony bar. After shaking hands of people in the audience, he jumped the barricade and dangled over the people on the floor a la Eddie Vedder in the “Even Flow” video. However, unlike Mr. Vedder, Grohl merely laughed and playfully flipped off the crowd before returning to the stage to finish the song.
And while that may not be as rock ‘n’ roll as Eddie Vedder’s triumphant dive into the crowd, how many frontmen do you know these days who would go that far to connect with their audience?
Not too many.