One of the many reasons Glynn and I opted to live in Auckland rather than Christchurch in the end was access to the live music scene. Those of you who know us well know that going to rock gigs is one of our passions, so it was with no small measure of excitement that I managed to get my hands on a pair of the hottest tickets in town to go and see the one and only Foo Fighters live in concert.
If you haven't heard of the Foo Fighters before, where have you been? Do you remember a band called Nirvana? Well, Dave Grohl, who was the drummer in Nirvana, is now the front man for the Foo Fighters, possibly the best rock and roll act around today. Now, I have always liked the band but until their most recent album, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to see them. Glynn, however, has always enjoyed their music but with the release of Echos, Silence, Patience and Grace, I found myself really impressed and wanting to know more.
The venue was the Vector Arena, so new it has only just celebrated its first birthday. Inside, the arena
was well laid out with steep sides for the seating area and a floor section accessible by a number of gates, so it was easy to get in and out. Just as it had been our experience with the Tenacious D gig in Christchurch on our travels, we found the people at the gig to be pretty civilised - they waited patiently in queues to get in or get beer, no-one jostled or pushed us about trying to get a better position and people even ducked when they saw I was trying to take a photo over their head! My only gripe at all with the evening was that you couldn't take drinks in with you and had to pay the inflated prices at the bar. I think that's becoming the trend the world over though.
The show itself was absolutely fantastic. There were 2 different stages: one at the front which was like the main 'rock out' stage that you would expect at such a big gig; the sceond was a small round acoustic stage that dropped down from the ceiling into the centre of the floor area. We had heard a rumour about this stage from the
Foo Fighters 3
Mr Grohl & Mr Harris
gig the night before (the Foo Fighters played 2 sold out shows in Auckland) so got ourselves in a good position for the smaller stage before it dropped down. The upshot of the two stages was that absolutely everyone in the audience got an opportunity to see the band at reasonably close proximity and boy did Dave Grohl make use of every inch of both stages. I have no idea where he got the energy from but the man was electric! In fact I think it's fair to say that the concert could quite easily have been called the Dave Grohl show as he entertained the crowd with good humour and superb musicanship. I can see why he's known as the nice man of rock because he really did seem genuinely excited to be in Auckland and seemed to enjoy performing the gig as much as we all enjoyed watching it.
The Foos played for 2 hours 50 minutes - easily the longest set I've ever got to see. It's hard to know which was my favourite part of the show - hearing them belt out 'Pretender' early on in the show, the triangle solo (I kid you not)
on the acoustic stage, the male stripper to celebrate the guitarist's birthday, or the backstage camera shots of the band encouraging the audience to cheer for how many encore songs they wanted. We thought we were going to get 3 extra songs but it turned out to be a whopping 6 song encore, again something incredible that I've never witnessed before. By the end of the show, Dave Grohl sounded more like Lemmy from Motorhead but we could see he just didn't want the gig to end. It was the final night of their current tour and there's no doubt that we got the better of the two shows that the Foo Fighters played here. All in all, it was absolutely awesome and we haven't stopped grinning since!
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