Foo Fighters on fire in return to FEQ stage

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Photo: Cassandra Kerwin

Foo Fighters founder, lead singer and guitarist Dave Grohl kept the crowd happy by “touching the people” for over two hours on the Plains of Abraham.

On July 10, the tens of thousands of people gathered on the Plains of Abraham most likely felt a strong sense of déjà vu as heavy rain pelted the Plains ahead of the scheduled Foo Fighters concert at the Festival d’Été de Québec (FEQ). Fortunately for the fans, there would be no repeat of the tempest that derailed the band’s 2015 FEQ performance after just four songs. By 9:30 p.m., the weather had calmed and the rain had stopped. The band gave an incredible two-and-a-half-hour concert on the Bell stage that was well worth the three-year wait. 

Lead singer Dave Grohl, who had one leg in a cast and sat on a custom-made “throne” during the 2015 concert, reflected on that show in front of thousands of fans. “From where I was standing, I could see all of you beautiful people. And then, I just saw lightning in the sky. So we had to stop. But tonight, we aren’t going to stop for that.” He continued, “Sorry it took us three years. We will come back; we won’t make you wait so long.”  

The Foo Fighters shone with amazing instrumental sequences. Each band member then performed solo at centre stage, showcasing their incredible skills. Lead guitarist Chris Shiflett played Alice Cooper’s “Under My Wheel,” bassist Nate Mendel did Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust,” pianist Rami Jaffee played John Lennon’s “Imagine” and guitarist Pat Smear performed The Ramones’ “Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!”

“I play with one of the greatest musicians in the world, David Grohl. He is my boss, my friend, my mentor,” said drummer Taylor Hawkins, before launching into Queen’s “Under Pressure” with Grohl on drums. After 23 years, the Foo Fighters still clearly enjoy playing and creating music together.

“Last night, I came to the festival. Let me tell you something. Shawn Mendes is [great]. You know why? He touched the people. You gotta touch the people,” said Grohl, who then sang “Jump” by Van Halen, a song which, in Grohl’s estimation, is about togetherness, love, hope, peace and “touching the people.” 

“I thank the people of FEQ and you for coming out here tonight,” said Grohl. “Originally, we were only supposed to play from 9:30 to 11 o’clock. I said, ‘That’s not enough. Can I have some more?’ They said, ‘You can have as long as you want.’ We are going to play until midnight. Tonight, we will play a song from every record we ever made over 23 years. If you know the song, you are going to sing with me.” The Foo Fighters performed their classics: “All My Life,” “Everlong,” “Monkey Wrench” and “My Hero.”

After the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, which put an end to the iconic alternative rock band Nirvana, Grohl, who was a drummer at the time, recorded the studio album Foo Fighters almost by himself. He chose the term, which referred to UFOs during the Second World War, to keep his anonymity. Within a year, he found his current bandmates. Over the past quarter-century, they have released nine albums and won 12 Grammy awards.   
Nate Mendel created beautiful rock riffs on his bass guitar during the Foo Fighters’ concert on the Plains of Abraham on July 10.