Two years after they had to cancel due to Dave Grohl breaking his leg, his rock n’ roll rabble return to the place that they should have been 24 months ago. Foo Fighters take to the stage, seemingly, with a point to prove.
Trademark metallic blue Epiphone ES-335 in hand, Grohl provides the backstory to the Foos/Glastonbury relationship over a two chord strum. Speaking warmly of Florence and the Machine’s deputation in 2015, he refers to their cover of ‘Times Like These’. Inspired, he opens the show with it. As soon as the band kick in at the halfway point, pandemonium ensues. And there’s no let up. ‘All My Life’ follows and flares are lit – both metaphorically and literally. This show is a go.
If there is a quibble to his energetic, musically muscular and melodic circus, it is that in recent years, they’ve become guilty of bloating out every single song. Indulgences are reasonable at check points, but throughout? It makes for a patience testing exercise. It’s not all their fault. ‘Best of You’ is hijacked so viciously from him by a bipartisan crowd of acolytes and newcomers (yes, he does undertake his own census survey) that the experienced frontman is rendered to marvelling at the bellowing ‘ohs’ that relentlessly ring in the air. It is a sound still heard long after the band have departed from the stage.
The perpetually preternaturally young Taylor Hawkins (does he have a painting in the loft or something?) swaps drum sticks for the front of the stage for a startlingly faithful and well-executed cover of Queen’s ‘Under Pressure’. Grohl is at the back behind the kit and, in the process, gives all present a little bit of everything that they could ever want.
Sailing well past the curfew in an act of wanton defiance and Cheshire grin-worthy eagerness, they close with ‘Everlong’. Dedicated ‘to Laura’, it is a heartfelt nod to the internet campaign about the girl who lost her life to cancer in the intervening period between the postponement and tonight’s performance.
Foo Fighters could do with reigning in the extensive soloing and song extensions but, when they lock in, there are very few rock bands left who could go toe-to-toe with them. Better late than never? Certainly so. Glastonbury may well have a new party house band. After all, as Grohl says from the stage, ‘Foo Fighters never say ‘goodbye’’. They’ll be welcome back any time.