Oxford Vue 7th April 2011
Foo Fighters steam live footage of their new album ‘Wasting Light‘??, and an in depth documentary covering the bands history?? – well it got me interested!
I take a steady drive to the Oxford Vue on this hot evening and am greeted by a queue stretching 2 floors. And that’s not good, considering its a small (ish) cinema, and there’s no way I’m getting my nachos in this sea of fans (I determine that these are in fact ‘fans’ by the constant and irritating conversations of ‘did you see them at’ (insert festival here), and ‘have you got the’ (insert album name here), and ‘I got this t shirt when I saw them at’ (insert name of stadium here). So, I wait a while and the line lessens and I reach my goal – the till person. The till person does not know I have come to collect my free tickets, and does not understand why I have free tickets – explaining takes approx 6-8 mins whereby another till person, takes charge, locates said tickets and issues. And were off.
The cinema is pretty much full and I park up mid left of the seating area amid the chattering, eating, phone playing crowd, and its not long before we get right into it – no trailers here, but still people wondering in looking for a seat in the dark…
The show starts ‘docu’ style, with flickering photos from Dave Grohl’s (and associated FF amid other bands) past and starts with an interview of the man himself. The documentary is styled around a homage to Dave Grohl and leans to the fact that he is a ‘nice guy’, but I’m thinking ‘ what about all the gritty hard times??. There are reflections on all of Dave’s musical history, from playing in his room, his first bands, slipping into Nirvana and his one man outfit which became FF. But I hark back to the struggles and conflict evident through the Nirvana years and wonder how this escaped Dave in other aspects of his career…
Still, although these questions remain unanswered, the show gallops along at good pace. The interviews with friends, ex and current band members paint a really solid picture of DG and it is obvious that he is well thought of from all angles. His views are funny, insightful and heart felt. He lives up to the hype of being the ‘All American Rock Dude’ and everyone’s bestest buddy, and although I’m not as big a fan as I was wayyyyy back when, I enjoy listening to the back catalog (and so do the audience and they sing and annoy me more and more) and bouncing happily away as they show rehearsals in DG’s ‘comfy’ studio. This is also the location where the new Wasting Light album was recorded, among the daily goings on in the Grohl household. I hold my breath in anticipation of the final product as this gem ladies and gentlemen was not ‘done’ in the normal fashion, but using some old wooden boxes and glue the FF recorded this one retro style on tape!
It all seems rather idyllic and pleasing – a good life for a obvious drumming god, now spending most of his time on the mic, playing guitar. The cross over is still a little strange to me, but hey, its a perfect mix for what is probably the last of the great American rock bands (well, for the time being anyway). And its with this thought, that the documentary slides away revealing a full (pre recorded) live performance of the Wasting Light album. Everybody smiles.
Author: David Livingstone