Foo Fighters – Christchurch Benefit Concert
Auckland Town Hall, 22nd March 2011
Okay, okay, so I had to share him with 2,000 other fans, and I took my husband along, but this is probably the most intimate I’ll ever get with Dave Grohl in my lifetime. Yes, I was one of the lucky few who scored tickets to see the Foo Fighters this week.
It took less than two weeks for the Foo Fighters from dreaming up the idea of playing a charity gig for Christchurch, to performing in Auckland, meaning we only had a couple of days warning that one of the biggest rock bands in the world was coming to NZ. The Edge’s ticketing website and phones had a melt down on the morning that tickets went on sale. I got through to the purchasing screen, but the page took longer than the allocated 12 mins to refresh to the payment screen, so I gave up and sent them an email. Lo and behold a lovely fellow, named Ben, called me back and offered to take my order for two tickets over the phone. Thank you to The Edge for your fantastic customer service, at what must have been an insanely manic time for you and your staff.
In an interview with The Rock, Dave explained that New Zealand has always been good to the Foo Fighters, and they just wanted to help. If he was a carpenter he would have offered to fix stuff, and if he was a chef then he would have helped to feed Christchurch, but the only thing he knows is playing music. And I sure as hell wasn’t complaining! I mean have you ever been to a concert when has the headlining band has played with non stop enthusiasm for nearly three hours? Yes three hours! Awesome!
First up they played everything from their soon-to-be-released album “Wasting Light”, which I guess was good practice for their upcoming tour, and a great sneak preview for us. They followed this album with just about every hit they’ve ever had, including all my favourites. They played a total of thirty songs over their three hour performance, including a ‘guitar-off’ during Stacked Actors, where Dave ran around the balcony, being groped/kissed/screamed at by fans, while shadowed by the hugest bouncer ever. For those of you interested, here is the set list.
The crowd was definitely not your typical international-rock-band-concert crowd. Maybe it was the fact that it was a ‘school night’, that people had shelled out a lot of money for the tickets ($175 or $250), or the selective nature of obtaining the tickets, but it was definitely a tame crowd of die hard fans. Not that we didn’t sing at the top of our lungs, but everyone was well behaved with no pushing or drunken behaviour. Maybe the crowd was just in awe with how lucky were to be witness to such a special performance?
The Auckland Town Hall is a majestic and intimate venue. It holds a special place in my heart, as at the tender age of 14, this is where I saw my first rock concert – Push Push (you can stop laughing now). I guess it’s just the capacity issue as to why more bands don’t play there. Even my date – Dave – said he wished he could play at more venues like that.
In reality, my photos and videos aren’t a match for what the professionals took on the night – plus I was too busy singing and grooving. The NZ Herald and Stuff have great reviews of the show, plus TV3 News has this interview footage and extended concert footage, while here is Breakfast’s Interview (TVNZ). Time Out also had a great interview with Dave, illustrating just what a great guy he really is. There are also loads of You Tube uploads if you really want to see what you missed out on.
If you weren’t already a huge Foo Fighters fans, then you sure as hell should be now. Rock on!
In a nutshell: …. SPEECHLESS (and for me that’s a first!) Truly the most amazing concert I’ve ever experienced. Hat’s off to the entire band, and especially Mr Dave Grohl – “there goes my hero”…
You couldn’t get better NZ publicity for your upcoming album, or have a country eating out of the palm of your hand. Look out for a possible album tour later in the year.