I saw first night of Foo Fighters UK tour and epic show has a few surprises including a new song

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Let’s start with a confession. I’ve seen the Foo Fighters more times than I can remember.

From Leeds to Milton Keynes with Manchester in between, I was always going to be easily pleased heading to Emirates Old Trafford for night one of Dave Grohl and the gang’s UK stretch of their Everything or Nothing at All tour and first of two at the home of Lancashire Cricket.

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I’m sure there were many like me who would have been happy with the hits and a classic performance from rock’s ultimate showman. But this was a special Foos show.

It had been a while since we’d seen them in Manchester, obviously in part down to the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins. It all added up to an epic night, in more ways than one.

Foo Fighters treated their adoring Manchester public to a heck of a showFoo Fighters treated their adoring Manchester public to a heck of a show
Foo Fighters treated their adoring Manchester public to a heck of a show | Manchester World

“It’s going to be a long night motherf***ers,” Grohl bellowed as he raced onto the stage. And he wasn’t lying as so began a near three-hour, 23-song set which included at least one favourite off all of their 11 albums.

Yes, all the classics were in there, kicking off with ‘Monkey Wrench’ and closing with ‘Everlong’ - ‘All My Life’, ‘Best of You’ and more were of course thrown in for good measure. But Manchester also got special treatment with the first ever live performance of a new Foos song - Unconditional.

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That wasn’t all. A stripped back section saw a rare outing for ‘Statues’ with Grohl just having lead guitarist Chris Shiflett and keyboardist Rami Jafee for company. Then in another first-time ever performance Grohl was all alone for the emotional ‘Under You’, which he dedicated “to a friend”, with the 55-year-old visibly moved as the fans sung the words back at him, despite it being a debut live airing.

That wasn’t the only touching moment either with ‘Aurora’ played as it was “Taylor Hawkins’ favourite Foo Fighters song” according to Grohl. “All we do is tell Taylor stories all day long”, he confessed. To say the drummer is missed by band and fans would be something of an understatement.

This was still though a show dominated by large parts of what the Foo Fighters do just about better than anyone else - blasting out rock anthem after rock anthem with Grohl orchestrating his adoring public. Heck, even his guitar cutting out on him during the opening to show-closer ‘Everlong’ couldn’t stop rock’s Mr Nice Guy as he elected to dart round the stage “like Bono” until it was fixed.

There was also the fun and games you’d expect, the band introductions section including mini covers of ‘Sabotage’ and ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ among others.

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Grohl was in such command of proceedings that he even joked he had made the rain go away. The forecast heavy downpours didn’t materialise but those who had forked out £10 for an official Foo Fighters poncho got some use out of it in the couple of gentler showers we did see.

One of the Foo Fighters merchandise stands One of the Foo Fighters merchandise stands
One of the Foo Fighters merchandise stands | Manchester World

Elsewhere in terms of merchandise, if you are heading down to the Foos’ second outing on Saturday you’ll be looking at £70 for a hoodie and £35 for a t-shirt. For food and drink I paid £15 for a pretty good steak burrito that more than saw me through the night and £3.80 for a pint of Pepsi. If you’re on the booze, you’re looking at £7 for a pint or spirit and mixer, with wine just a little pricier at £8.

However you spend your cash this weekend, the money you’ve already forked out on a ticket is already very well spent.

“Do you f***ing love rock ‘n’ roll music?” Grohl asked on more than one occasion. Played like this Dave, there’s nothing better.

Foo Fighters setlist Emirates Old Trafford Manchester - June 13, 2024 

  • Monkey Wrench
  • Learn to Fly
  • No Son of Mine
  • Rescued
  • The Pretender
  • Times Like These
  • Generator
  • Stacked Actors
  • Medicine at Midnight
  • Walk
  • Statues
  • Under You
  • My Hero
  • This Is a Call
  • The Sky Is a Neighbourhood
  • Arlandria
  • These Days
  • All My Life
  • Unconditional
  • Aurora 
  • Best of You
  • The Teacher
  • Everlong
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