Foo Fighters bring tour to epic close at TD Garden

A review of the Foo Fighters at the TD Garden on November 16, 2011

, Editor-in-Chief

After over six months on the road, Foo Fighters finally made their way to Boston on Thursday night for the final show of the North American leg of their Wasting Light World Tour. Despite the grueling trek, the band displayed no signs of exhaustion as they delivered an epic performance that nearly blew the roof off the TD Garden.

Led by charismatic frontman Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters delivered arguably the best show of 2011. Clocking in at just under three hours, the band’s self-described “dirty ass rock and roll show” was powered by a deep catalogue of hits, awesome new songs and an unwavering level of energy.

Just as they do on their new album, Wasting Light, Foo Fighters opened Wednesday’s show with the bombastic “Bridge Burning” and lead single “Rope”. “The Pretender” followed and was extended with a rousing jam session. With the crowd already in the palm of his hand, Grohl next led a sing-along of “The Pretender” from the middle of a catwalk that cut through the center of the lively general admission floor.

Grohl is the epitome of “rock star” and he thrives in the frontman role. He roamed all ends of the stage and its massive catwalk, working the crowd at every turn and leading plenty of call and answer sessions. Hell, his command of the crowd was so dominate that he was able to start the wave just by rotating his head (of course, it was a joke and he then rightfully scolded the audience for participating in a wave at a rock concert). His vocals (and screams) were in fine form, while his guitar playing was equally strong. He and guitarist Chris Shiflett closed out “Stacked Actors” with an exciting guitar duel from opposite ends of the arena.

Touring in support of Wasting Light, Foo Fighters dedicated almost a third of their set to the outstanding new release. Among the highlights were “Arlandria”, “Walk” and “These Days”, the latter of which Grohl declared was the favorite song he’s ever written.

The rest of the set was culled from each of the band’s previous six releases over their 16-year history. The sing-alongs came often with plenty of crowd favorites like “Learn to Fly” and “Let It Die”. Many of the songs were extended with remarkable jams that showcased the fine musicianship of Grohl, Shiflett, guitarist Pat Smear, drummer Taylor Hawkins and bassist Nate Mendel. Hawkins, who was an absolute beast on the drums, also took over on lead vocals for “Cold Day in the Sun” off 2006’s In Your Honor.

After reaching back to their first single with “This is a Call”, Foo Fighters rocked through a surprising but strong take on Pink Floyd’s “In the Flesh?” (complete with a fitting lazer show)  before “All My Life” brought the main set to a thrilling close. During a short encore break, the band teased the crowd by debating how many songs they would return for on a backstage video filmed in night vision. Grohl returned first and made his way to the back of the arena, where he took place at an elevated b-stage. There he delivered solo acoustic versions of “Wheels” and “Best Of You”, which with the house lights on quickly became joyous sing-alongs. After making a dedication to Boston’s Mission of Burma (a band that Grohl said changed his life), he started “Times Like These” acoustically before the full band returned midway through to take the crowd favorite to a new level. Wasting Light’s “Dear Rosemary” flowed into a fun cover of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ “Breakdown”. After a since thank you to the band’s crew and the Boston crowd, Grohl and company closed out the show with their signature hit “Everlong”.

Even after almost three hours of pure rock, it seemed like Grohl and company could keep going. For those that fear rock is dead, fear not because Foo Fighters more than proved on Wednesday they have kept the torch burning and are prepared to rock your face off.

Setlist
1. Bridge Burning
2. Rope
3. The Pretender
4. My Hero
5. Learn to Fly
6. White Limo
7. Arlandria
8. Breakout
9. Cold Day in the Sun
10. Stacked Actors
11. Walk
12. Monkey Wrench
13. Let It Die
14. These Days
15. This is a Call
16. In the Flesh? (Pink Floyd cover)
17. All My Life
   Encore:
18. Wheels
19. Best of You
20. Times Like These
21. Dear Rosemary
22. Breakdown (Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers cover)
23. Everlong

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