Thursday, 29 September 2011

Review - Foo Fighters (Buffalo, NY)

Foo Fighters w/ Rise Against, Mariachi El Bronx
First Niagara Center
Buffalo, NY
Sunday, September 25, 2011

As the Lollapalooza weekend solidifed for me, the Foo Fighters are one of my favourite bands and I am fully aware they are easy to dislike. Now that that's out of the way, round 3 for this year took place at the former HSBC Arena in Buffalo since I chose to spread out the intake of Grohl.

I'll try to keep this one brief but the setlist was fairly similar to Lolla, with All My Life back in there and no rain during My Hero, which on this night I was perfectly fine with. The guys are a fully solidified arena rock band now and you should just know what to expect from it; they'll play all of the hits, all of the songs you know even if you don't admit to liking the band, and they'll play for close to 3 hours with bursts of Dave Grohl being a goof. Taylor Hawkins on drums is usually second in command as far as animated characters on stage go, but thanks to some interactions with the crowd it was Nate and Pat who got to shine ever so slightly. During a break Dave was talking to the front row and spotted a sign that said "NATE IS A WIZARD", also pointing out a poster that simply said "THIS IS PAT'S SIGN". Good stuff.

Oh yeah, the show. Lots of high energy (as per usual), good selection of tracks from their library but with not many from the self-titled, and a very special guest on this evening: Krist Novoselic... y'know, the bassist from Nirvana! He showed up to play accordion for Skin and Bones and These Days; oddly enough they omitted I Should Have Known which Krist plays bass on, just feels like a missed opportunity. Rounding out the surprises was a cover of Pink Floyd's In The Flesh (likely in prep for the band playing with Roger Waters this past week), Breakdown by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, as well as a whopping SEVEN song encore! Not bad, not bad at all!

Despite the amount of jams they insert into songs instead of breaking out a few more fan favourites, the Foo Fighters are a force and I would strongly recommend seeing them in person while you can (Dave can't scream that loud for that much longer, could he?). Even if you get a "lousy" seat the band typically comes to you, as was the case on this night (and in Toronto in 2008) since the stage had an aisle way where for certain tracks the group (primarily Dave) would go to the opposite end of the building and give those in the cheap seats a closer few... how considerate.

Opening up was Mariachi El Bronx who I didn't really see much of (oddly intriguing) and radio favourites Rise Against, who have certainly improved as a live band since the last time I saw them in 2007 (open for Billy Talent). Lead singer Tim McIlrath interacted plenty with the crowd and just looks more comfortable up there. The set included a bunch of songs which all sounded very familiar and their performance was good for what it was; I didn't have high expectations. The one song of theirs I do remember enjoying (Prayer of the Refugee) seemed to be sped up, or perhaps I've outgrown it. Oh well.

Setlist (Foo Fighters):
Bridge Burning
The Pretender
My Hero
Learn to Fly
White Limo
Cold Day in the Sun
Stacked Actors
Monkey Wrench
Let It Die
These Days
Skin and Bones (feat. Krist Novoselic)
This is a Call
In the Flesh (Pink Floyd)
All My Life

Long Road to Ruin (Dave solo, acoustic)
Best of You (Dave solo, acoustic)
Times Like These
Dear Rosemary
Breakdown (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)

Album Breakdown (Foo Fighters):
Wasting Light: 7
There's Nothing Left to Lose: 3
The Colour & The Shape: 3
Echoes, Silence, Patience, & Grace: 3
In Your Honour: 2
One by One: 2
Covers: 2
B-Side: 1
Foo Fighters: 1

Setlist (Rise Against):
Re-Education (Through Labor)
The Good Left Undone
Audience of One
Ready to Fall
Make It Stop (September's Children)
Help Is on the Way
Prayer of the Refugee
Give It All

Album Breakdown (Rise Against):
Appeal to Reason: 3
Endgame: 3
The Sufferer & the Witness: 3
Siren Song of the Counter Culture: 1


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