ARTIST OF THE MONTH: FOO FIGHTERS
August 1, 2019
With the ‘Foo Files’ digital releases delving deeply into the band’s history, a new series of ‘Live At Wembley’ videos hitting the internet and epoch-defining sets at Reading & Leeds taking place in a few weeks, the incomparable Foo Fighters are our artist of the month for August.
Every few years or so, the Reading Festival delivers a moment that defines both a generation and a band. In the most exceptional cases, a band comes to transcend that initial generation to make just as much of an impact on those fans that follow as on those seduced the first time around. And the band that exemplifies this the best is Foo Fighters.
With Foo Fighters set to make their seventh appearance at the legendary festival – and also its sister event in Leeds – it’s worth pausing to think about their first performance at Reading, an electrifying gig that has rightly become the very stuff of legend.
Formed by Dave Grohl in 1994 following the dissolution of Nirvana after the untimely and tragic passing of frontman Kurt Cobain, Foo Fighters grew from a discreet studio project to a formidable live force in a relatively short period of time.
Augmented by former Nirvana touring guitarist Pat Smear and the then recently split Sunny Day Real Estate’s erstwhile rhythm section, the news that Foo Fighters were to play the snug and relatively modest confines of what was then known as the Melody Maker tent at the rear of the festival created an unprecedented level of excitement among those in attendance.
Not least as debut single, ‘This Is A Call’, had already exceeded all expectations, and the reports from the band’s UK live debut at King’s College, London, in June were breathless, to say the least.
Certainly, the entire festival seemed to be trying to make its way into the big top for Foo Fighters’ first festival appearance on British soil. And for those lucky souls packed into the tent, the waiting, the crush and discomfort were totally worth it. This was release, catharsis and the very definition of what live rock music was all about.
Finally, as Foo Fighters reach their quarter century, we’re opening up the ‘Foo Files’, a series of classic live recordings from over the decades.
It’s also entirely apposite that the first of these, the cryptically entitled ‘00950025’, heads back to that rammed tent in Reading in 1995 and the start of that mutual love affair between Foo Fighters and their fans on this side of the Atlantic.
Swiftly followed by the six-song ‘00111125 – Live In London’, the action moves to north London’s famed Roundhouse venue in 2011, with another celebration of Foo Fighters in their natural environment: the stage.
At this juncture of a distinguished career that has seen Foo Fighters become one of the most respected stadium bands on the planet, there’s a joy to be had at their imminent return to these shores at the end of August.
That it should take place on the hallowed grounds of the Reading and Leeds festivals – surely Foo Fighters’ true home away from home – not only brings things full circle, but also signifies the next stage of the band’s continuing adventures.
The Foo Fighters will return in future Foo Files releases, stay tuned…
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