What a night. What an experience. Welcome back live music.
If in the early 1990s Kardinia Park was the home of ‘god’ in the form of Gary Ablett Snr, then the year 2022 saw the second coming in the form of Dave “David” Grohl and his mighty Foo Fighters.
Their rock n roll show starved disciples, frothing at the mouth as David Bowie’s ‘Changes’ rang out across the stadium, as the rain came pouring down, and the saviour of Stadium Rock n Roll took to the stage, surveyed his flock with a wry smile, gearing up to deliver his sermon from the city end of the ground… Soaking in the screams of his adoring fans.
“I… I’m a one-way motorway” and how right he is, for tonight, March 4, 2022, all roads lead to Geelong.
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The Foo Fighters have graced Australian stages of all sizes, colours and shapes for the best part of 26 years, but there was something different in the air tonight. The first stadium show on Australian shores for two years, and you really got the sense that Dave not only knew how special this was for everyone in attendance, and what it meant for live music down under, but that he was right there with us and felt our pain.
Making sure the Foo Fighters were the first band on our shores as soon as borders opened, with a snappy phone call to his manager. And the rest, will now rightfully go down in history as one of, if not the greatest nights of live music Geelong has ever seen.
Promising we weren’t going to get one of the lame arse one and half hour rock shows, egging the crowd on to see just how deep into the night we were willing to go, Dave eventually had to draw the line when challenged by some diehard fans, jokingly batting back ‘You ain’t getting no 5-hour show you crazy motherfucker!’. I suppose we’d just have to settle for the ‘measly’ 2 and a half hours instead.
As the band tore through a setlist of hits spanning the entirety of their glorious career (to date), even throwing in a BeeGee’s hit, showcasing Grohl’s hidden shimmying talents, and Taylor Hawkins’ climbing down from the drums to shred on lead vocals for a 10-minute epic version of Queen’s ‘Somebody to Love’ Sleepy Hollow was well and truly awake! The Foo Fighters were in a vein of rich form, and boy oh boy, was this the shot in the arm we all needed.
There were even people outside the stadium lined up for a sneaky listen to the boys in action (despite the fact you could hear them from as far away as Grovedale), blasting through a set that looked like the following:
Times Like These
Learn to Fly
No Son of Mine
The Sky Is a Neighborhood
Medicine at Midnight
You Should Be Dancing (Bee Gees cover)
Somebody to Love (Queen cover)
All My Life
This Is a Call
Best of You
The Always Live initiative, the brainchild of the late great Michael Gudinski, was utterly incredible. The band themselves making sure to honour the legend with Michael’s photo on the bass drum skin, but expressing their love for him, and how important Michael’s role was in the Foo Fighters’ presence in Australia.
A wonderful tribute capped off with a perforce of the crowd favourite Everlong. Finally, after the band had given every ounce of themselves, drenched in sweat and waterlogged from the steady stream of rain all night, the Fooies bid farewell to the crowd, having promised a return in November. Leaving the stage as a brilliant fireworks display took over the skies of Kardinia park, capping off what can only be described as a truly EPIC night.
If this is the start of things to come, then my god/Dave… that bar has been set incredibly high.