Foo Freaking Fighters! (video 2:45)

Foo Freaking Fighters! (video 2:45)
Foo Freaking Fighters! (video 2:45)
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I could just stop there. How many times does one get to witness history up close and personal?


Foo Fighter’s front man Dave Grohl is on record saying this kind of crowd-funded concert may be the way of the future – how bands will choose where they play. Thanks to Andrew Goldin and friends (who managed this concert expertly), 1400 fans – from near and far – convinced the Foos to come back to RVA (last here in ’98) by committing to buy $50 tickets for a show that didn’t even exist. It got the band’s attention and the rest is history – literally.


Local businesses Brown’s VW and Sugar Shack Donuts put up major backing, buying 100 tickets each. Both used contests and drawings to hand out the prized wrist bands. Brown’s partnered with Feed More to promote food donations and Sugar Shack had contests including donut hurls and videos from people wanting a chance to go – including my favorite from Paul Davis. Sugar Shack also closed early and gave every employee a ticket.


If the Foos had just walked on the National’s stage, that would have been awesome enough. But they did what they do best – rocked the house for 2 and a half hours. Grohl said this show was special (Duh!) so they were throwing away the set list and digging deep into their catalog.


As soon as they took the stage, the National’s floor was bouncing with the crowd and it pretty much never stopped. It was a high-energy show with one 10 minute break between their 2 hour set and the 20 minute encore. Kiss’ Gene Simmons recently decreed that “rock and roll is finally dead.” Obviously, he’s never seen the Foo Fighters.


Grohl is no stranger to RVA. He grew up in northern Virginia and his sister went to VCU. He came to many shows here back in the day. Grohl gave a shout out to local legends Gwar and their recently-deceased front man Dave Brockie (who he saw in Shafer Court) and to metal band Lamb of God. He dedicated songs to both bands. Grohl’s mom was in the audience too…along with a lot of other parents and their kids. For the last song Grohl, invited one family onstage – a night they’ll never forget.


Among the fans was CBS’ 60 Minutes, which sent reporters and crews to the National. Reportedly, they had to buy footage from a local video crew. The promoters are creating a documentary and video crews were buzzing the line of fans waiting to get in. Even Mayor Dwight Jones got in the act, declaring Sept. 17 to be “Foo Fighter RVA Day”. Pretty cool when rock and roll can shine a little positive light on City Hall (they need it).


Local band Avers (see SIFTER’s review) started the show with a strong 40-minute set. Opening for the Foos and a hugely partisan crowd was a gutsy move, but Avers is the one band in town that could pull it off. And for guitarist James Paul Mason it was one hell of a birthday celebration. Charlie Glen (guitar, keyboard) summed up the band’s take in a article, “Needless to say, we’re utterly thrilled to share a stage with Foo Fighters at The National in Richmond.  It’s a proud moment witnessing Richmond pull off something like this, and observing crowd-funding becoming a reality, right here….Being a part of this event, in such a venue, and in our hometown, is surreal to us.” Pretty surreal for the crowd as well!


The best news…Grohl and company were so jazzed with the night they pretty much said they’d be back to do it again – at the National. If Grohl says that, you pretty much should count on it. Those with early confidence were the lucky ones who got tix. Next time, it shouldn’t be such a challenge to sell the show and make more Richmond history.



1 Comment

  1. good article Billy!

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