“How many of you have our new album?” growled Grohl in an apparent moment of clichéd, crowd-baiting rockstar banter. Some not-so-small fraction of the super-packed crowd at Irving Plaza last night roared back, continuing the standard exchange. “The album’s not out ’til next week, you motherfuckers!”

So much for the road well traveled, though this sorta trade is becoming pretty standard, too. Anyway, it’s been awhile since we checked in with the Foo crew live, so we had to swing over to the relatively rare tour kick-off “club gig.” Glad we did; there was plenty of new stuff, but a good chunk of their 18 modern rock hits as well (thanks for the stat, EW). Leak or no, that’s what we were there for.

The band slammed as hard as you’d expect an arena-honed group of odd-time loving musicians would in a small room. Listening to the band’s fiery “Best Of You” reminded us of Prince’s phallically delicious Super Bowl cover, and of the fun game of cover-tag Prince ’n’ the Fighters seem to be playing (see Grohl & Co. teaming with Cee-Lo on “Darling Nikki” at the VMAs). Another highlight: “Times Like These > I’ll Stick Around,” which we’ve got for ya via video clip…

B-listers in the Plaza include MAD TV’s Nicole Sullivan, Jesse Malin, and as photodocumented below, Julia Stiles…

OK, Julia’s a B+, but only ’cause she looks so hot in that picture. And for the Bournes. Lance Armstrong also was there, representing the Tour de France championship contingent. To Dave’s chagrin, of course we’re amongst the folks that didn’t quite wait for street date to get a listen of the new. Actually, he was cool about it, saying something like “Aww, I don’t care, as long as you buy it when it comes out.” Thing is, we won’t, and wouldn’t suggest you to either.

We’ve already mentioned being knocked-out by the totally slamming rocker “The Pretender,” but gems of that sort are few and far between on Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace (try typing that three times quickly). As far as other Foo anthems, “Erase Replace” is basically the poor man’s (and woman’s!) “Best Of You.” Seriously, we like FF’s version of “Keep The Car Running” way better than a supposed fist-pumper like “Cheer Up Boys, Your Makeup Is Running” (despite the absolutely classic song title). When it comes to the more mid- and low-tempo fare, a song like “Come Alive” really needs to take its own advice. There’s some meandering and grit-lacking material here … see the acoustic drivel of “Stranger Things Have Happened,” for example. Yup, stranger things have happened … but have things ever been this tepid? Maybe they should play with Mastodon more often. This isn’t to say it’s all bad, it’s just kinda meh, a lukewarm whatever epitomized by the sweet Virginia countryside and moonshine-imbibing Southern rock of “Summer’s End.” Pleasant, yes, but we’d rather listen to that new Blind Melon song. And, the piano manning on “Statues” and “Home” makes us yearn for late-period Jets To Brazil (right, which is saying a lot).

Anyhow, they remain a more than worthwhile live band. Hell, if Echoes exists only to add “The Pretender” to the concert canon, it’s a winner. But that said, save your money. Or, just join the premature evaluation party by getting yr full album stream on here. In the meantime, in honor of the in-person energy — and for the love of Dave, Taylor, and Pat Smear — check some more pics and a setlist from the show, all waiting below.

Echoes, Silence, Patience And Grace is out 9/25 on Roswell/RCA.

01 “The Pretender”
02 “Cheer Up Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)”
03 “Times Like These”
04 “I’ll Stick Around”
05 “Long Road To Ruin”
06 “Learn To Fly”
07 “Breakout”
08 “Skin And Bones”
09 “Marigold”
10 “My Hero”
11 “Come Alive”
12 “But, Honestly”
13 “Everlong”
14 “Monkey Wrench”
15 “Stacked Actors”
16 “All My Life”
17 “Aurora”
18 “Let It Die”
19 “Best Of You”
20 “Home”

Comments (31)
  1. annie onymous  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2007 0

    huh…i thought the rest of the album was far better than the tepid single. opinions and assholes, eh?

  2. brent  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2007 0

    thanks for the vid, good to hear them playing i’ll stick around again.

    it’s no nothing left to lose, but it’s not terrible. they’re still the most consistent band in rock today.

  3. So someone clear this up for me – is Pat Smear back in the Foo Fighters, or is he just playing a few gigs with them?

  4. Dw Dunphy  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2007 0

    Premature my firm, sculpted ass. I bought the vinyl LP tonight and think, for corporate rock ‘n roll, it’s damn good.


  5. grover  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2007 0

    this album is far better than either of the last two

    pat has not aged well

  6. Shi_S  |   Posted on Sep 21st, 2007 0

    I agree this album isn’t very good. They’re a strong singles band, but I just can’t get into the full length

  7. a new blind melon song!

  8. The Other Matthew  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2007 0

    Out of fucking nowhere, it’s Pat Smear. Where the hell did he come from? Is he back, or what?

    Anyway, Foo albums are always a mixed bag. They’re often pretty generic, but the band really makes it all come alive in concert, especially Taylor and Dave. I’ll probably give it a spin sooner or later.

  9. Hasief  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2007 0

    Pat was brought on as touring guitarist for last year’s acoustic tour, as heard (and seen) on the Skin and Bones live CD/DVD. Looks like he’s decided to stick around (no pun intended).

  10. Liam  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2007 0

    is that crispin glover as an old lady in the first photo after the jump?!?!

  11. Nice dig Dave! But, Christ what a boring/predictable band your band has become (always was). Just because you play hard doesn’t make you any more interesting.

  12. Wow, I thought Pat Smear was too good to be in a rock band, what with cohosting House of Style on MTV.

  13. andy  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2007 0

    this post makes me miss scott. i want a snooty music blog that covers all the cool stuff and all the cheesy stuff, not the boring stuff in between.

  14. Gobo  |   Posted on Sep 22nd, 2007 0

    I’m glad the Foo Fighters brought in Magua to play some guitar for this tour.

  15. @andy

    The concert wasn’t boring. Plus. I got to stalk Julia Stiles. :)

  16. and for the love of NATE FUCKING MENDEL…the guy is brilliant. listen the the arcade fire album. or any sunny day album. classic.

    and yeah what up with pat smear?! is chris still in the band!?

  17. fire theft. not arcade fire….blog equivalent of a slip of the tongue. my bad.

  18. Melissa  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2007 0

    Foo Fighters are playing a show in LA tomorrow. Kinda sorta not-really secret like.

  19. Fuck you Dave, i’ll listen to the leak and not pay for your album. How’s that?

  20. sam  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2007 0

    um, how do you post something like this and then feature the record under “heavy rotation”? just seems a little weird…

  21. @ sam

    This has come up before. By “Heavy Rotation” we mean (and I know it’s not super clear) ‘albums we’ve listened to on repeat because we’re digesting them, for better or worse.’ Perhaps someone can suggest a better title for that module?

  22. JAck  |   Posted on Sep 23rd, 2007 0

    I didn’t think Scott still posted here!!!

    How about you call the digestion of an album Rubinizing, like Rick. It illicits thoughts of having a bearded man on your couch, telling you what’s right and wrong with music. Ask your lawyers.

  23. Brian  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    You could always call it “Heavy Digestion”

  24. Liam  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    Yeah, ron. way to stick it to Dave Grohl. i’m sure he’s really feeling the hurt…in his giant mansion. ouch. you really got him where it hurts.

  25. obla  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    how about “Rubin One Out”?

  26. Rinse  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    um why are you talking about the meg white sex
    tape! come on!

  27. @ JAck

    What do you think I do all day?! :)
    I post all the time, read every comment, contribute to every post, check every e-mail. We love reader feedback so thanks for the suggestionz.

  28. Chris  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    What the fuck is up with audiences at live shows just standing there? I know it’s nothing new, but it’s practically ubiquitous now. Those kids in the middle in that video were practically being rebels by, I don’t know, moving a little? Goddammit. I’m not a big Foo Fighters fan, but how the hell do you stand three feet from Dave Grohl while he’s playing “I’ll Stick Around” and not headbang, let alone punch the person next to you? GET OVER IT INDIE KIDS, LIVE SHOWS ARE FOR DANCING.

  29. puja  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    agreed, chris. why the hell weren’t the people who were in the would-be pit even jumping up and down?!! THEY PLAYED AURORA! and dave rocked out like he was not almost 40. it was a great show and i don’t have the album yet but from what i heard, i want it.

  30. stef-k  |   Posted on Sep 24th, 2007 0

    The album is indefinitely better than their last two

  31. Reality  |   Posted on Sep 29th, 2007 0

    the song “But Honestly” FUCKING RULES. It makes the rest of the album sound like shit. And yes, what the fuck, these must be new fans that don’t appreciate old stuff like I’ll Stick Around. Lame fucks just standing there, IN NEW YORK FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

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