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Topic # 94595 14-Dec-2011 17:05
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It was raining hard when we arrived at Western Springs Stadium.

We’d caught the bus from downtown Auckland along with the throngs of black-clad Foo Fighters fans, young and old…and yes, I was among the latter.

After ½ an hour of queuing to get our bus tickets, we then queued a further ½ an hour to get ON the bus!

On the bus there was a pleasantly buzzy atmosphere...although sitting in rush hour traffic was a bit of a bummer - we also collectively realised at approximately 5.45pm that we had missed the first support act, Cairo Knife Fight.

As we arrived, in the pouring rain, we were greeted by the sounds of splashing feet, drunken youths playing in the mud and the racket that turned out to be a very energetic hardcore punk band called F##ked Up.

Lead “singer”, Damian Abraham, was in full flight as we entered the gate…crushed beer cup stuck to his forehead, growling and screaming his guttural (and frankly unintelligible) vocals into a mic that he’d taken into the crowd of feral punk fans. He gleefully leapt about in the rain, shirtless (this man is a hairy, obese whale of a man) and was fully engaging and entertaining – while at the same time entirely off-putting. Maybe he just reminded me a little too much of a drunk me...

Several explosive …um…songs later, they were all done. My ears had started to ring. It was raining again.

Needless to say, it was a festival-like atmosphere. Rain, several bands on the line-up and booze aplenty. Mud, drunkenness and's just GOT to be good.

We kicked back on the terraces to await the mighty Tenacious D…a couple of beers later and they arrived…fully amped up, bellies pushing their guitars out as far as their arms could reach.

Damn! This is going to be good… Kielbasa Sausage was the first song of the night for the boys…they made it sound like metal. It was AMPED…imagine turning your amp up to 11…that’s how amped it was!

They played almost their entire repertoire, from both their self-titled album and their “soundtrack” album Pick of Destiny. They even threw in a couple of covers – Pinball Wizard was a highlight.

Kyle Gass was his usual virtuoso self on the lead acoustic, with a guy who looked suspiciously like a skinny Dave Grohl in disguise on lead electric guitar. All too soon it was over. An hour of the D…I couldn’t have asked for more, really. I’d had 4 beers, listened to some great music, seen a comedy show and had a wet bum. I was having a good time.

A good ½ an hour passed between the D moving off stage and the first sounds of the unmistakable riff from All My Life starting to come from an as-yet unseen baby blue Gibson DG 335 guitar.

Then, like a bolt of lightning, there they were…The Dave Grohl Band…otherwise known as Foo Fighters. Hair flailing wildly in the wind, Grohl whipped the crowd of 50,000 soaking wet Aucklanders into a frenzy of mashing and head-banging. And just like that, the rain stopped.

Hard Rock? Oh yeah!

For 2 ½ hrs, these guys just kept coming – one blistering aural assault after another. They played 5 full songs before they even paused. And that was when Sir Dave…honorary New Zealander, most likable man in rock and generally all-round nice guy spoke. He said it was great to f##king be back in f##king New f##ing  Zealand where they have the loudest f##king fans in the f##king  world!

They say that the second coming will be preceded by the rise of Satan…he’ll be a charming, handsome man who has the world eating from the palm of his hand. That could aptly describe Dave Grohl. He’s chatty, witty and undeniably likeable & has the world at his feet…but he’s too nice to be Satan. Isn’t he? He sure rocks like he’s just come from the pits of hell. Hail Dave!

As he did last time he was here, he recalled the time they played the Mt Smart Supertop, back in the early 2000’s. They left the stage with bleeding ears. He’s never forgotten it. He loves that we’re such a small country with such a collectively loud voice. He really f##king loves us!

So…back to the concert. The Foos continued through a veritable hit-list of greatest hits and new songs off their recently released album Wasting Light. It was a sing-a-long in the most shouty and raw form. It was a party. It was time to go wild!

This, after all, was their last concert of their world tour. They were going out with a bang.

They did covers. Eruption suddenly sprang from Chris Shiflett’s lead guitar. The crowd went wild. They then broke into an impromptu rendition of “Runnin’ With The Devil” before announcing that they know the first thirty seconds of pretty much every f##king song ever f##king written.

This was going to be a long night.

They were having fun. Hell, everyone was having fun -even the 12 year old kid behind me who was being taken to his first rock show by his parents. He just couldn’t stop grinning.

Part way through the almost unbroken show, which was not so much cut up into sets in the traditional sense, but punctuated by Dave’s trademark chats with the crowd and the band, they launched into a full-bodied and gutsy rendition of Pink Floyd’s “In The Flesh”, from The Wall.

They ended the show with a real highlight for me...Tie Your Mother Down  - a Queen classic, with the boys from tenacious D accompanying with backing vocals and interpretive dance  - in nothing but their underpants and braces to hold them up.

To be honest – The Foo Fighters are as good a stadium band as they are an arena band. In an arena there’s the kind of connection with Dave that you can’t get in a stadium; but in a stadium, there’s an undeniable sense that you’re at a ROCK CONCERT. Oh...did i mention that Dave really f##king loves rock concerts?

The Foos know how to rock a stadium. I think 50,000 people will agree with me.


Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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  Reply # 557987 14-Dec-2011 17:30
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Handsomedan:  It was AMPED…imagine turning your amp up to 11…that’s how amped it was!

So pretty amped then huh?

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  Reply # 557993 14-Dec-2011 17:39
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Great review, thanks. Particularly good to hear all about it after seeing the Foo Fighters doco on TV the other night.



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  Reply # 557997 14-Dec-2011 17:49
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Well what else can you say?? :D

It was a great night! My ears are still ringing and I think I have a cold now, oh well.

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  Reply # 558011 14-Dec-2011 18:23
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I agree great review, much better than the one I read on the herald website this morning! Thanks

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  Reply # 558012 14-Dec-2011 18:25
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Your car didn't get towed did it?? Going home last nite I saw the Auckland City parking nazis towing as fast as they could cars that had been parked on Chinamans hill and along side Western Springs lake who had parked there before the no parking signs went up..



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  Reply # 558014 14-Dec-2011 18:35
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asmcar: I agree great review, much better than the one I read on the herald website this morning! Thanks

I was about to say the same thing, I couldnt figure out if the reviewer liked it or not. I'm really dissapointed I missed it now :(  

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  Reply # 558016 14-Dec-2011 18:36
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We parked in the TAPAC carpark, which is also the overflow for the Zoo carpark I think, in Motions Road.
Got there about 5:00pm and was only about 1/4 full.
It started filling up over the next hour or so but still was not full when we left the car at about 6pm and headed to the stadium.
Car was still there when we got back.

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  Reply # 558020 14-Dec-2011 19:10
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Despite what I've read elsewhere, I felt the bus service was bloody good and would definitely do it that way again. Caught a bus directly back to the shore. 2nd bus off the rank. Easy as.

Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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  Reply # 558025 14-Dec-2011 19:23
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The line for the bus from town was ridiculous and there definitely wasn't buses leaving every 5 minutes

After waiting 10 minutes in the line for the ticket we ended up jumping on a regular service bus which dropped us outside the stadium

Great night, was in the terrace too and would've been awesome being closer but another time

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  Reply # 558244 15-Dec-2011 12:12
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Great review. Reliving the night right now sitting at my desk. Should have also mentioned their pre encore stint as that was very clever and entertaining too.

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  Reply # 558260 15-Dec-2011 12:37
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Anyone buy the poster? I'm trying to find out who the artist is.

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  Reply # 558360 15-Dec-2011 15:49
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Satch: Great review. Reliving the night right now sitting at my desk. Should have also mentioned their pre encore stint as that was very clever and entertaining too.

To be honest I could've written another 20 pages worth of notable stuff - the 1 song, no 2 songs, no 3 etc carry on was very amusing and really got the crowd whipped up.

They make a great team, Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins...

Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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