I remember the exact moment I turned on Foo Fighters, although frankly it felt more like they were the ones turning on me. I went to see the Foos at Hara Arena in Dayton in 2003 (openers: Pete Yorn and My Morning Jacket), and instead of playing “Monkey Wrench” straight, recreating the final verse’s titanic tension buildup and release in all its insane glory, they stretched the song out into a lifeless jam with no apparent grasp of dynamics. So it went with the rest of the catalog that night; it was as if Dave Grohl had completely forgotten what made his songs so great in the first place. What were once tight, punchy, furious compositions had gone flabby. Grohl was transitioning from his punk roots to his dinosaur-rock destiny, and ever since then it’s been difficult to appreciate his music. Case in point: “This Is A Call,” the opening track from Foo Fighters’ self-titled debut album, does not need to be extended into a 10-minute jazz-funk jam featuring Trombone Shorty. It grates against the song’s very essence. Yet that’s exactly what Foo Fighters do to “This Is A Call” in this fan-made video from last weekend’s Voodoo Experience in New Orleans. (Now, had they employed Shorty to turn this into a ska song, that would’ve had the potential to rage.) That album is almost 20 years old — almost — and “This Is A Call” still rips like new, at least until the Grammys-style bullshit creeps in at the end. Alas, this is how Grohl rolls now. Dude can do whatever he wants with his songs, and Shorty sure can play trombone, but c’mon, man! Watch below and let me know if you appreciate this more than I do.
Foo Fighters’ new Sonic Highways is out 11/10 through RCA.
[Photo by FilmMagic.]