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Foo Fighters At The Dragonfly or: Why You Should Be Following Your Favorite Band On Twitter
Dave Grohl performs at the Forum in 2008. LAist Review (Photo by Joey Maloney / LAist)
“Do you like my little tweets?” Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl asked the crowd after playing through the band’s new album at the Dragonfly on Friday night. The show was the second “secret show” in as many weeks that Grohl teased to fans on Twitter leading up to the announcement of the location/time of the tiny club gig. “Up until last year I had no idea what Twitter was. My 72 year old mother, who can barely use the VCR, told me about it.” Yet another lesson in why you should be following your favorite band on Twitter. Granted they aren’t all going to up and surprise you at a tiny club in Los Angeles, but hell you never know! Now as Grohl says, “If I want to do a super sneaky club gig all I gotta do is tweet that ass.” You’ve been warned!
“You guys want to hear the new album?” Grohl yelled to the 250 or so lucky attendees as the band made their way onto the tiny stage. The answer was an obvious HELL FUCKING YES! and with that the Foos were off, shredding through their brand-new and unheard, save for a few 30 second online snippets, tracks. The album is a departure of sorts from the anthem laden super produced sound of their previous work into a grittier, harder sound. An album that was in fact recorded in Grohl’s San Fernando Valley garage on analog tape with the only computer in the place to “send those little Tweets”. With production from Nevermind producer Butch Vig, it is a full-force rock album that calls upon Grohl’s harder rock projects (QOTSA, Them Crooked Vultures, Nirvana).
The tightness and polish of the new tracks was incredible considering they are just babies among the grown-ups and well knowns in the Foo Fighters library. Opener “Burning Bridges” and “White Limo” are ideal specimens of the new sound as they are laden with guitar heavy riffs and Grohl screams. “Dear Rosemary” featuring show opener/Husker Du frontman Bob Mould, is one of the shining points of the new album, the 90’s throwback of sorts is unique from anything previously recorded but still at home in the FF universe. The track also features four(!) guitar parts with Grohl, Mould, Chris Shifflet and former/now full time Foo member and Germs guitarist Pat Smear. The second to last track, “I Should Have Known” was the slowest track of the bunch but probably the heaviest, in this case not in sound but content. With former Nirvana bandmember Krist Novaselic on bass and accordion, “I Should Have Known” is supposedly about Grohl and Novaselic’s former friend and bandmate, the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain.
40 minutes later that was that and the new album was complete. “Well that’s new album and this isn’t” Grohl said and they launched right into “All My Life” and the second half of the evening, a Greatest Hits of sorts. It wasn’t until about 4 songs after the new material that Grohl took the opportunity to talk to the crowd and give his Twitter story. Then it was back to the music. Some fans nearby said this was their first time seeing the band, what better a setting to hear songs that have filled arenas and stadiums from the Forum to Wembley. In this tiny space they sounded rough and raw, that is meant in the best of ways and exactly what the aim of the new record is. “Everlong” was in the set as was “Times Like These” but the second half was drawn mostly from their first three albums and closed with with the blistering “This is A Call”, the 16 year old single that put the band on the map, which in the context of tonight’s sound felt right at home.
Los Angeles is a special place. We can in the very same venue catch a band that is just about to break out and become the next big thing or see a band that has toured the world. These are special moments in the Los Angeles music scene that rarely happen anywhere else but what makes it even more special is the when the band wants to be there as much as you. It was apparent that Grohl and the Foos are incredibly proud and excited about this album, so much so that they are playing it at these tiny little shows months before it even has a title. Seven albums in it is an afterthought that a Foo Fighters album will sell copies and the tour will sell-out arenas, so this surprise show “tour” is far from just a promotional ploy but a genuine excitement to be playing in front of people who truly want to hear the band. With Grammys, millions of dollars, millions of fans and a reputation as one of the best all around musicians alive it would be easy for Grohl to sit back and go the route of so many successful bands before, cashing in on previous success and becoming the stereotypical “rock star” but here we were at the Dragonfly, a tiny little spot in Hollywood. Grohl did add this caveat, “Don’t ever believe when a rock star tells you he wishes he wasn’t rich and famous. Because it’s fucking awesome!”
NEW ALBUM: Bridge Burning//Rope//Dear Rosemary//White Limo//Arlandria//These Days//Back & Forth//Matter Of Time//Miss The Misery//I Shoulda Known//Walk
All My Life//Times Like These//Generator//Wattershed//Up In Arms//I’ll Stick Around//Big Me//Enough Space//Monkey Wrench//Hey, Johnny Park//Cold Day in the Sun//For All the Cows//Learn to Fly//Everlong
ENCORE: Aurora//The Pretender//This is a Call
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