Story and Photos by Tom Collins
It was almost 3 years ago to the day since the Foo Fighters played the BB&T in Camden, NJ. Legendary front man, Dave Grohl had broken his leg during the beginning of that tour, taking a fall off of the stage! He not only completed that show with a broken leg but had a custom Game of Thrones/Guitars style chair that he could sit and complete the entire tour from!!! Completely healed up and a new album, Concrete and Gold, Dave was ready to walk on stage this time and lead the Foo Fighters to one of the years best Rock concerts!!!
The evening actually started earlier than everyone expected, for unknown reasons. Start time was listed as 7:30 but began promptly at 7PM. This did upset a lot of people as they were still filing into the venue. Opening for the Foo Fighters was one of Rock&Roll’s hottest new bands from England, THE STRUTS!!! And yes, Everyone Loves, THE STRUTS!!! Lead by the flashy and flamboyant Luke Spiller, they had the crowd on their feet singing and dancing right from the first song! This band is good old fashion Rock! The songs are fun and catchy and the band is high energy and captivating. Luke Spiller is often compared to a combination of Freddie Mercury, Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler all rolled up into one. Those are some epic names to be compared too! Dave Grohl had seen them perform and became an instant fan saying, “I have to have these guys on the road with Us!!!” The two bands have since struck up a very close friendship. Several times during THE STRUTS set, Luke remarked how honored they were to be with the Foo Fighters and what an amazing band they were! The very same sentiment was echoed by Dave Grohl back to Luke and THE STRUTS. Both bands are proudly waving the Rock&Roll flag and showing the world that rock is far from dead!
With a completely fired up crowd from THE STRUTS amazing performance, the energy at the BB&T went off the charts as the Foo fighters took the stage! You would have thought Dave Grohl had drank gallons of coffee, as in his “Fresh Pots” video (see below), with how excited he was to be back in front of a Philadelphia crowd and on his feet this time! The band ripped through a set list that just kept going and going and going! Of course they played ALL of their biggest hits, pulling from virtually every album in their catalog. They also dug out some rarely played gems and several songs from their latest album, Concrete and Gold. I can honestly say that this concert didn’t have one single “bathroom break” moment in the entire show!!!
A great surprise during the set actually came from lead guitarist, Chris Shiflett! Dave challenged Chris to up his game a little on his guitar solo. Chris not only crushed the challenge with a scorching solo but broke into a fantastic cover of Alice Cooper‘s, Under My Wheels!!! Now some of the younger crowd may not have recognized such a great classic song by the legendary shock rocker, but I sure did and loved every bit of it!!! For those people who maybe didn’t recognize that song, the Foo Fighters had yet another fun surprise. Dave welcomed Luke Spiller back out on the stage to do a duet rendition of Queen/Bowie, Under Pressure! Dave climbed behind the drum kit as Taylor Hawkins came to the front of the stage to sing with Luke. It was particularly exciting to see Dave behind the drums, reminiscent of his days with Nirvana! Luke and Taylor performed this song so well together that it was like a static charge in the air that gave everyone goosebumps! The audience was deafeningly loud as they cheered their approval of the rendition that only the best could do Mercury/Bowie justice!
As the show came to a close, rolling up on 11pm which is often the curfew and cut off time for shows, the Foo Fighters teased the crowd, “Do you want one more song? Two songs?! Do you want THREE songs?!!!!” Ignoring the time and playing well past a 2 hour set, they ripped through a 3 song encore! I might mention too, speaking of teasing, Dave made several mentions about years ago when they played a very intimate Philly venue called The Electric Factory. They had since made a few promises that some day soon they would play there again. And again, Dave dangled the carrot out there that they would eventually do another gig there! I was at that Electric factory show so many years ago. To say it was a mind blowing experience would be a serious understatement! Let’s hope that they do in fact come back there as Rock Titan TV will be there too!!!
All Photos by Tom Collins