The sounds of rock echoed, the drums precisely snared, guitar riffs were ever present and rock n roll was alive, as the Stadium of Light in Sunderland played host to thousands of frenzied fans and the multi Grammy award winning rock icons The Foo Fighters, marking an end to the bank holiday weekend and start of the Sonic Highways World Tour in the UK.
The evening kick started with the upcoming Irish rock band The Strypes, who introduced the audience to an array of fast paced, energetic musical tracks, receiving great crowd approval.
As the hype and tension within the stadium climbed, the Kasier Chiefs hit the stage, opening with ‘Everyday I Love You Less and Less’ before playing through a combination of classic and modern tracks, creating an engaging supporting setlist. The atmosphere within the stadium raised dramatically by their presence, especially during songs such as, ‘I Predict a Riot’ and ‘Oh My God’, which blasted throughout the stadium, causing a pulsation of excitement that swept the crowd, inducing the roar of lyrics. Ricky Wilson fully embraced the atmosphere, delivering a solid passionate performance, leaving the crowd hyped and ready for the Foo Fighters.
Half an hour passed, it was 8.30pm, the 40,000 fans were all gathered, eagerly anticipating the main event. Then, there was sound, the crowd lifted and battle cries commenced as fans welcomed the Foo Fighters, who instantly began with the fan favourite, ‘Everlong’. The intense atmosphere experienced during the opening stages of the gig was never lost throughout the entirety of the Foo Fighters performance
The Foo Fighters rocked a vast multitude of songs with Dave Grohl emphasising that it was going to be a long night, with a 30 song set list and disregard to allocated performance time, in true rock n roll fashion.
The bands performance was technically brilliant, although distinguishably a live performance, the songs were performed to the same quality as listening to the pre recorded album with addition live elements, including extenuated guitar and drums solos. Dave Grohl also incorporated a multitude of infamous screams throughout most songs, which echoed throughout the stadium, creating atmosphere and drama.
A notable track performed included ‘Skin and Bones’, whereby the band left the stage whilst Dave Grohl proceeded down the stage runway, holding a Gibson acoustic, whilst playing an emotional filled melody. Throughout the entirety of the performance Dave Grohl engaged well with the audience demonstrating humour and intrigue through his distinguishable rock n roll playing style and body language. Although this review is to remain impartial, Dave Grohl’s performance, as a front man, was one of the best the reviewer has ever experienced, having grown accustom to watching static, emotionless live bands.
The other members within the band didn’t quite match Grohl’s exuberance, however compensated through musical ability, especially during AC/DC classic cover, ‘Let There Be Rock’ and Queen favourite, ‘Under Pressure’. Taylor Hawkins, drums, demonstrated great character throughout the show, demonstrating his technical ability which made clear the reason he is not intimidated to play within a band, whereby the lead singer is renowned for his drumming talents.
The only criticism of the gig was the organisation. Travelling to the stadium via the metro trains was highly efficient and rapid however the return journey was horrendous. After the gig the metro station had thousands of fans, which seemed to multiple every few minutes. The stations did not hold a suitable capacity to accommodate large pedestrian flow. The buses, which the reviewer opted for, not out of choice, took almost an hour to return to Newcastle, having took the most indirect route physically possible. Although the gig finished at 11.00pm the reviewer, and many others, were not home till early hours of the following morning. Therefore the authorities must address this issue for future gigs, as reports have expresses this regular occurrence at Stadium of Light performances.
Although the return travel was appalling, the bands were brilliant and the reviewer would highly recommend experiencing the Foo Fighters at any opportunity, even if you’re not a veteran Foo Fighters fan! They demonstrated that rock music is alive and well.
Reviewer: Stuart Rutter
Photos supplied by: Emma Wilson and Ashley Shephard
2. Monkey Wrench
3. Learn to Fly
4. Something From Nothing
5. The Pretender
8. Big Me
9. Long Road to Ruin
12. Skin and Bones
13. My Hero (Acoustic)
14. But, Honestly
15. I’m the One (Van Halen Cover)
16. Another One Bites the Dust (Partial Performance )
17. Cold Day in the Sun
18. Next to You (The Police Cover)
19. Let There Be Rock (AC/DC Cover)
20. Under Pressure (Queen Cover)
21. All My Life
22. These Days
24. Times Like These
25. This Is a Call
26. Best of You