HOLLYWOOD — Foo Fighters’ show at the Wiltern on Tuesday was not billed as a CD release party, but Dave Grohl made it clear the band would be celebrating One by One.
“Our new record came out today so we’re going to play a bunch of songs from it,” the singer announced excitedly to the sold-out house. “And then we’ll play ‘Everlong’ for the ladies.” (Click for photos from the show .)
The show was the third in a string of club dates the group has announced individually just days before each show (see “Foo Fighters Plan Mini-Tour Dates One By One“ ). The Foos next play on Thursday at Slim’s in San Francisco before wrapping the trek November 2 in Philadelphia.
At the first of two Hollywood dates, Foo Fighters lived up to Grohl’s promise, playing nearly all 11 tracks from One by One, beginning with the infectious new single, “All My Life.” Along the way, the band tossed in most of its greatest hits as well, including an extended version of “My Hero” complete with a fantastic strobe-light display.
Most of the new material was received just as warmly as such fan favorites as “Learn to Fly,” with a few exceptions. “Low” seemed to be missing the friendly hook found in most of Foo Fighters’ work, and “Overdrive,” like the lyrics go, went “on and on and on.”
Much more intriguing was “Tired of You,” which showed Grohl’s growing range as a vocalist. On the gorgeous tune, which features Queen’s Brian May on the album version, Grohl sang with only his own guitar and Chris Shiflett’s gentle plucking serving as the musical backdrop.
“Pretty sexy, huh?” Grohl joked after the song, during which only one white spotlight from the back of the stage illuminated the singer.
Other highlights included new tracks “Times Like These,” which Grohl called “his favorite song he has written,” and the roller-coaster ride “Disenchanted Lullaby,” which opens softly but ends with the singer blaring, “I’m the only one who fits you.”
For the more familiar songs, the Foos selected some of the group’s most aggressive stuff, including “Monkey Wrench” and “Stacked Actors,” giving drummer Taylor Hawkins and bassist Nate Mendel a chance to pound out some solid rhythms. Grohl introduced “Actors” with this bit of dialogue in one of his hilarious voices: “I used to live in L.A., in a little bungalow in the Hills, but it wore on me so I moved back to Virginia and I wrote this song about it.”
The crowd, of course, booed. Perhaps remembering where he was, Grohl answered, “It was just too fun.” Still, more boos. Finally, he gave an answer that pleased. “I am, of course, living here now.” Cheers ensued, which encouraged one last comment before Grohl launched into the song. “It feels more like a neighborhood now … not just t–ty bars.”
Back in good relations with the fans, the band treated them to a few more hits, ending the first set with “This Is a Call” and “Breakout,” with the crowd belting out the chorus to Grohl’s stretched-out microphone on the latter.
Before ending the encore with, as promised, “Everlong,” Grohl offered a few thank yous:
To the fans for selling out the hefty theater
To One by One producer Nick Raskulinecz for finishing the album in 12 days (“If there are any bands here, he’s cheap,” he advertised)
To the band’s record-label execs for being great drinking buddies
And lastly to … Shakira, “who wrote half of our album”
Foo Fighters set list:
- “All My Life”
- “Have It All”
- “Times Like These”
- “Learn to Fly”
- “My Hero”
- “Stacked Actors”
- “Monkey Wrench”
- “Disenchanted Lullaby”
- “This Is a Call”
- “Tired of You”
For more sights and stories from concerts around the country, check out MTV News Tour Reports.