The Foo Fighters storm Cincinnati as they bring their Concrete and Gold tour to town after an absence of nearly 20 years.

To say tonight’s Foo Fighters show is a highly anticipated event would be an understatement. The band hasn’t played here since 1998 and this city is more than eager to experience them live. People of all ages filter through security and fill the arena for what they know will be a show that was well worth the wait.

The concert begins with a giant Concrete and Gold curtain dropping in front of the stage as the lights go down. The band can be seen through the curtain taking their places as they begin the show with “Run” – the first single from the new album. After a soft and melodic guitar intro, the curtain is pulled away and the full band blazes into the song, while the crowd screams approval.

For most of the next hour, the Foo Fighters plays like their lives depend on it, barely stopping to catch their breath as they transition from one hit song to the next. There is no warming up for this crowd, the Foo’s are already on fire. “All My Life”, “Learn to Fly”, “The Pretender” and the band’s new single, “The Sky is a Neighborhood” follow in rapid succession. The crowd is singing, jumping and cheering at every turn. The arena has taken on a life of its own and it is electrifying.

“Rope” finds Taylor Hawkins’ drum riser slowing moving skyward until he is elevated high above the band. He executes an awesome drum solo from his perch before being brought back down to earth to take the lead vocal on another tune from Concrete and Gold, “Sunday Rain.” It’s a driving rock song that the audience instantly takes to.

Dave Grohl apologizes for playing so long without stopping, a sort of “Sorry, not sorry” kind of thing. He explains that they have a lot of records and want to play something from them all, so that’s a lot of songs to get through. After asking how many people were seeing the Foo Fighters for the first time, he asks what took them 22 years. His banter with the crowd is easy and comes naturally. At one point he tells the crowd that there is a lady in the front row trying to have a conversation with him. “I can’t talk to you right now. There’s like 50 thousand people here waiting for me to sing the next “F******” song” he quips. That song, of course, is “Times Like These” much to everyone’s delight. 

The Foo Fighters have the perfect recipe for audience involvement. Not only do they have a long list of well-loved songs that fans will immediately sing along to without prompting, but the pace of the songs themselves moves the crowd’s energy levels from nodding along to full turbo and back down again. They make the mid-song pause an artform, ramping up the fan energy and then stopping for a few moments, to survey the sea of faces, letting the roar of approval reach a crescendo before starting up again at maximum speed. It’s a rollercoaster of love from start to finish. 

Of note on this tour is the appearance of three backing vocalists for the songs from the new album. Dave explains that during the recording they “apparently decided to create a choir of angels” which was notably missing during tour rehearsals. The added vocal presence is an addition that works out well without smoothing out the raw quality of the Foo’s live show.

The Foo Fighters four-song encore begins with “Dirty Water” from their latest offering, followed by their first ever single – “This is a Call”.  Tonight marks what would have been Tom Petty’s 67th birthday. Dave tells the audience about the time he played the drums for Tom Petty for a week when he was 25 years old. He comments that Tom Petty was the coolest guy on earth before the Foo Fighters play a moving cover of Petty’s “Breakdown”.   

After nearly 3 hours of nonstop action both on stage and from the audience, the Foo’s close the night with the classic “Everlong”, leaving everyone more than satisfied and looking forward to the next time. With additional US tour dates recently announced for Spring and Summer of 2018, fans will not have long to wait.

Opening the night in fine fashion, The Struts lit the room up with a fun set featuring their signature blend of glam and rock. Lead singer Luke Spiller works every inch of the stage and engages his audience from the get-go. They perform a string of songs from their debut album, Everybody Wants, and by the time they walked off stage there were no doubt people Googling their name. Between dates of this Foo Fighters tour, they are playing several stand-alone shows, so be sure to look for them at a venue near you. 

The Foo Fighters
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The Struts
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US Bank Arena
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Event Date: 20-OCT-2017