The rain on the Plains fell mainly on the Foo Fighters

Mother Nature 1 – Foo Fighters 0

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Photo: Renaud Philippe, provided by FEQ

David Grohl, seated on his special “throne,” and the Foo Fighters were forced to end their performance at the Bell Stage after only 20 minutes when a violent thunder and lightning storm and a deluge of rain descended on the Plains of Abraham. Many people were disappointed, but the Foo Fighters promised their Quebec City fans, “We'll be back.”    

On the evening of July 11, the Foo Fighters from Seattle started an impressive rock show and fought hard against the elements, but the electrical storm, heavy gusts of wind and rain were just too intense. The Festival d’Été organizers and the Foo Fighters had no choice but to cancel the show after only four songs – a first for the FEQ.

 Thirty minutes before show time, the wind picked up and lightning bolts shot through an ominous sky over the Plains of Abraham. None of this stopped cheering hardcore fans in front of the Bell Stage. According to the FEQ, only a light rain was expected, but clearly, Mother Nature had other plans.   

The real thunderstorm started just as the Foo Fighters opened their show. As the rainfall became heavier and the thunderstorm intensified, the crowd cheered and the band played on. Lead singer and guitarist Dave Grohl was ensconced on his “guitar throne” to accommodate a broken leg. “I don’t care about this [indicating the cast on his leg]. I don’t care about that [the weather]. All I care about is you. Tonight, we are going to play for a long time,” he said. “I’ll let you know when it’s time to stop. You keep dancing, we’ll keep playing.”

 Mother Nature receded for a short time, then hit the city with an even more impressive storm. No matter, the Foo Fighters rocked harder and louder, but after the fourth song, they had to forfeit. “It’s too intense. It’s just not safe, we have to stop,” said Grohl. “I’m sorry. We’ll take a break. We’ll return after the rain.” They only had time to play fan favourites, “Everlong,” “Monkey Wrench,” “Learn To Fly” and “Something From Nothing.”  

Minutes passed. The crowd thinned. Mother Nature’s heavy punches continued unabated. Then FEQ general manager Daniel Gélinas stepped onto the stage and announced, “We’re so sorry, but after discussing it with the Foo Fighters, we have to cancel the show. Over the course of 14 Festivals, this has never happened. It is one of the risks of having outdoor shows.” 

The Foo Fighters later commented on their Facebook page,, “Quebec City, we’ll be back… Mother Nature always wins…” The fans, including those who had travelled from far away or waited years to see the band in concert, replied that, all things considered, the 20-minute show was the best ever. The storm duelling with the band only heightened the experience. One person compared the evening to an apocalypse. Hopefully, the Foo Fighters’ next show on the Plains will take place under sunnier skies. 

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