By the time the Foo Fighters took the stage for a one-off
afternoon free show in Rockville, Maryland on Friday (May 16), the clouds that
had plagued the area in the morning had largely disappeared. But the 800 or so
people who turned out at the Congressional Plaza parking lot a half hour before
show still had an un-May-like wind to contend with.
Some bided their time
by clamoring for promo junk at the radio station vans that were on hand; others
ducked indoors to pack the aisles of concert sponsor Tower Records. The music
chain encouraged die hard Foo fans to pre-order (and pre-pay for) their copies
of the band's new album The Colour And The Shape four days before the
disc hits the streets. In exchange for their advance cash, fans took home a
four song sampler from the album. An informal survey of cashiers revealed that
response to the offer was a bit underwhelming. The operative word for this
Friday afternoon was "free."
By the time Foo Fighter leader and local boy
Dave Grohl greeted the crowd promptly at 4 p.m., the number of folks awaiting
him had grown to about 1,500. Wearing a long-sleeved white T-shirt and a big
grin, Grohl offered a buoyant "Hi," mentioned the upcoming album, and launched
into a new track called "Wind Up." The breeze had not yet died down, however,
making the song a muddy wash of vocals and drums, as sound from the guitar and
bass were carried off toward the rush hour traffic behind the stage. That wind
may also have been the cause of an airborne hat that popped Grohl early on,
although the cap may have been tossed by one of the kids packing the pit up
front. The parking was filled with more school cutters than Beltway work
ditchers, although there was a sizable contingent of parents there to watch the
youngest of the young 'uns.
Though the sound remained sketchy...
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