Concert Review: Foo Fighters Give a Live Reprieve at The Roxy

Foo Fighters on stage at The Roxy during livestream concert

If we can’t get to them then they can come to us.

Foo Fighters left it all on the stage during a livestream concert held Saturday at The Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood in front of who knows how many people, but most probably sitting on their couch in the comfort of their own home.

It wasn’t a long set, 12 songs just shy of 90 minutes, but Dave Grohl and his band hardly mailed in their first livestream performance during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that has shut down touring. The experience clearly seemed a bit perplexing for them as Grohl, drummer Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel on bass, guitarists Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett, and Rami Jaffee on keyboards, performed  without the approval of 10,000 or more and were greeted with mostly silence after shredding through a song that otherwise would raise the decibels to deafening levels.

Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters during The Roxy livestream concert
Dave Grohl performs at The Roxy livestream Foo Fighters concert

Grohl admitted during the latter half of the show that when the world went into lockdown and other bands tested the livestream waters he wanted no part of it.

“But the most important thing right now is to bring joy and happiness,” he said. “If we can’t be in each other’s face right now, I realized this is what we have to do.”

Foo Fighters Live at The Roxy Concert Review

Solid audio and excellent camera work helped this Foo Fighters Livestream from The Roxy concert give those tuning in* a real taste of seeing the band up close and in person. Of course, the contagious energy often felt when in attendance was absent but for what it’s worth this experiment could bring into the fold a whole new concert experience.

Foo Fighters opened with “All My Life” then slid right into “The Pretender” featuring a slick authentic jam midway through that quickly ended any doubt of how Foo Fighters were planning to play this evening out. “Run” would have been a better option than “The Sky is a Neighborhood,” a somewhat slumbering tune off Concrete and Gold but fair enough because the awesome “Times Like These” followed as they mixed it up a bit to keep the evening real.

Foo Fighters released their new song “Shame Shame” last week off their forthcoming album Medicine at Midnight (out next year) and Grohl kept the live act going when introducing their newest tune as if he were talking to a packed arena. “Shame Shame” probably won’t go down as a Foo Fighters classic but has its moments.

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“My Hero” has gone down as a fan favorite, one that normally invites the audience to take over singing the lyrics so Grohl, stopping halfway through, told those listening to sing out loud especially if they hated their neighbors or roommate.  He tried, but clearly a bit ineffectual as a weak sounding chorus from the road crew barely filtered through the speakers.

Wasting little time hereafter, Foo Fighters ripped through genuine performances for “These Days,” “Learn to Fly,” “This is a Call” and “Make It Right,” an interesting choice off Concrete and Gold before Grohl chatted up the “audience” once again before closing out with “The Best of You” which wasn’t the best version they’ve done but the extended play and jam session made up for it and finally Foo Fighters ended the evening with “Everlong.”

Foo Fighters at The Roxy

Eight of the band’s nine albums were touched and though Foo Fighters normally play a lot longer and Grohl talks even more than he did on this night, the show was nicely paced, didn’t feel pre-recorded* or even played for the cameras.

No doubt the evening for these guys wore a bit thin and felt somewhat bizarre. Grohl admitted the only thing different than the livestream concert and Foo Fighters practicing was the lights, cameras and they played more than three songs.  Foo Fighters worked with what they had but a longer more complete show could have turned this one into a lasting memorable experience for the viewer.

But at the very least, for those who like Foo Fighters music and miss attending concerts, Grohl accomplished his goal of bringing some joy and happiness to the world.

Oh, by the way, Grohl didn’t scream the whole time. He did scream just not through every single song.

*An irritating snafu with the ticketing agency left many (including me) unable to purchase tickets. The viewing period for the concert was kept open for a time allowing me to watch it albeit pre-recorded.

Foo Fighters Livestream from The Roxy Setlist:

  1. All My Life
  2. The Pretender
  3. The Sky is a Neighborhood
  4. Times Like These
  5. Shame Shame
  6. My Hero
  7. These Days
  8. Learn to Fly
  9. This is a Call
  10. Make It Right
  11. The Best of You
  12. Everlong