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Concert Reviews

Foo Fighters! It’s True…We Love Foo!

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Foo Fighters worked the crowd at The Gwinnett Arena Monday night.  For three solid hours, the music was loud, the energy was high and the crowd ate up every moment.

Selling out, which is no small feat at around 13,000 seats in the arena.

It was flawless, from start to finish…. great sound work by the crew and great lighting effects added to wonder that was Foo Fighters.

The Foo’s by nature are obviously just fabulous and beyond talented….everyone knows that!  This show…this SHOW….just blew my mind, and I KNOW shows!  They were spot on from the start and never missed a beat the entire night….not in their music nor in their wacky wonderful wit!  Dave…ahhhh Dave….he’s just one of those guys that you feel you know, like really know…or at least you wish you did.  He’d be amazing to hang out with and I feel like I did for a few incredible hours on a Monday night with several 1000 of our closest friends.  Foo Fighter’s people…that’s what we are, and I’m good with that.  After that performance, I can honestly say…..I’m impressed, really impressed (and pleasantly exhausted)!!!  Hats off to Dave, Taylor, Nate, Chris and Pat…. thank you for giving us here at The Backstage Beat some great Foo for thought….until next time….ROCK on! – Ashley Staley

 

You never realize that you’ve never been to an arena concert until you’ve been to a real arena concert. Well, I’ve never been to an arena concert before seeing The Joy Formidable, Social Distortion, and the Foo Fighters at the Gwinnett Arena on Monday, November 7th. I got there right before one of my favorite bands, Social Distortion took the stage. I love Social D, but opening in the second position for an arena concert just doesn’t do the band justice. The sound was held back and a bit muffled (apparently traditional of what happens to opening bands at an arena show). Then their set was cut to only 30 minutes long. Honestly, I’ll wait to see Social D when they are the headliner again. As for the Foo Fighters – all pistons, amps, and everything else you can imagine was firing away – loud, proud and ultra rock ‘n’ roll! The power of the Foo surged through the crowd as they all jumped to their feet and screamed their heads off. (I didn’t realize that my ears would be ringing – or singing the praises of the Foo Fighters – after I left the show from my far away seated ticket spot.) Dave Grohl was a head bangin’ fool while ripping into a gorgeous, old fashioned-styled blue electric guitar and then swapping out for a sleek, modern designed blue electric guitar. His shirtless drummer wasn’t half bad either – actually they were both phenomenal! The whole band was solid and Grohl is a superb showman as he controlled the crowd through guitar riffs, lyrics, diatribes, jokes, a big smile, and more head banging. Of course, the Foo Fighters played their popular hits as well as other crowd pleasing favorites throughout the night. Between the bright stage light show and Grohl’s screaming, I’m pretty sure I was blinded by the light and sound of the Foo for three hours! (Yes, the Foo Fighters played for close to three hours!!) – Laura Jorgensen

Setlist for the night was:

Bridge Burning
Rope
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo
Arlandria
Breakout
Cold Day in the Sun
Stacked Actors
Walk
Monkey Wrench
Let It Die
These Days
This is a Call
In the Flesh?
(Pink Floyd cover)
All My Life

Encore:
Wheels
(Dave Grohl acoustic)
Best of You
(Dave Grohl acoustic)
Times Like These
(Dave Grohl solo acoustic into full band)
Dear Rosemary
Breakdown
(Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover)
Everlong

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Having grown up on Nirvana,  I was excited to see the Foo Fighters perform at Gwinnett arena is an understatement.  The last time I saw Dave Grohl perform live it was at The Omni here in Atlanta in 1993 and he was the drummer for Nirvana.  That was a great show too, but paled in comparison to the rock n’ roll magnificence the crowd was treated to last night in Gwinnett by “the hardest working man in rock n’ roll” and his cohorts.  The crowd was demographically diverse and clearly eager with anticipation.  The Joy Formidable and Social Distortion did a fantastic job building the anticipation for the Foo’s….but the best was definitely yet to come.  The Foo Fighters burst in the stage to wild applause and right after the opening song Dave Grohl began the first of several humorous interchanges with the crowd by letting us all know this was not go to be a quick and dirty show, and in fact they were going to “play until they puked”.  Soon thereafter he also taunted the crowd to sing louder than their fellow German fans and if successful he promised they would play the Masquerade again….in 2027.  Throughout the three hour set (yes three hours), the Foo’s played the majority of their hits ranging from “The Best Of You” to “Everlong” to “My Hero”.  Intermittently the boys would break into fabulous covers of random classic rock hits, but the best cover of the night was their version of “Breakdown” originally by Tom Petty.  They blew the doors off that song and played it like Tom can only wish he could.  The thing that really blew me away is that throughout the entire three hour show Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins played with an energy and intensity that was non-stop at all times.  The Foo Fighters clearly love what they do, love their fans and take none of their huge success for granted.  I am considering hopping a plane see one of their few remaining North American shows before they head off for the Australian leg of their tour.  Bottom Line: I have seen a lot of rock shows and this show was literally the best performance I have ever witnessed.  This show is now the benchmark by which I will judge all others.  The Foo Fighters are the real deal, and when I speak the name “Dave” from this day forth you can bet I am not talking about Mr. Matthews. – Sam Ivey
I honestly do not know what to say about this show.  Out of the hundreds of shows The Backstage Beat has had the pleasure of reviewing and shooting, this was by far the best.  I could not believe the energy I saw on that stage.  The bar is set so high for live shows and this is at the top.  I suggest that all up and coming bands out there take a page out of the Foo Fighters book and learn how to put on a show.   Dave Grohl clearly loves what he does and it shows.  One of my favorite moments was when we was talking to all of his “old” fans…. the ones that know him from Nirvana (yes kids, he was in  a band called Nirvana) and he made a joke about how we all work and drive mini vans now. We are all in our 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s and it was so true.  What made it all better was when Dave said, “It’s okay, I drive one too”. My hat is off to The Gwinnett Arena staff who were so great to work with to by the way. – Ange Alex

 

Concert Reviews

Jonah Parzen-Johnson at Lilypad

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Jonah Parzen-Johnson has an innate ability to make the baritone sax sound like bagpipes, and maybe that’s why I cried.

Mostly I cried because Jonah tells radiant stories with his saxophone and analog synth, working the brass and pedals to recreate the framework which surrounds his album Remember When Things Were Better Tomorrow: Parzen-Johnson wanted to make “something of myself that’s for everybody else.”

Jonah opened his set with “Stay There, I’ll Come to You,” showcasing the harmony between synth and sax right off the bat. With haunting lilts, the two combined into a ribbon of melody, pulsating inside the ear as well as the heart. Much like the song’s title, Jonah was the one approaching the audience as an experimental troubadour of tête-à-tête.

The back stories and thoughts behind each song tied in so well with the raw, almost throaty sax, developing such strong, emotional resonance with the musical layers. The skeleton shook.

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Concert Reviews

Speedy Ortiz “riiiiise above and gliiiiiide away” at The Sinclair

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The Sinclair was a packed house Wednesday night for the Speedy Ortiz CD release party; as a hometown gig for the Northampton, MA-based band, kinetic warmth buzzed through friends and fans alike as Sadie Dupuis and crew played their freshly-release Foil Deer track-by-track.

What’s a party without some guests, though? That’s where Krill and Mitski come in.

Krill kicked off the night with some tracks from A Distant Fist Unclenching, other goods from Lucky Leaves. Lead singer/bassist Jonah Furman brought to mind early (read: good) Billy Corgan, which I’m not sure he will appreciate. But I think he’ll appreciate this: I couldn’t stop laughing because then I kept thinking about Marilyn Manson telling Billy Corgan that he looked like Charlie Brown.

Opening with “Theme from Krill,” the Boston trio has a knack for rhythm and melody that burrows into your brain. The dreamy bleakness of “Purity of Heart.”  The discordant garage rock and hiccupping guitar and warbly Scooter-ness of “Foot.” Krill’s sound is a good, comfy noise that keeps you wiggling and all that good stuff. Be sure to catch the band at Boston Calling.

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Concert Reviews

Years & Years at Royale Boston

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During winter storm Juno, UK electro pop group Years & Years were forced to cancel the first show of their two-night stint in New York City back in January. After the snow finally melted, they made the rounds again this past March, playing several shows in California, South by Southwest before finally landing in Boston.

Due to popular demand, the show was moved from The Sinclair to the Royale in downtown’s Theater District.

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