Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What You Should Have Heard #58

Foo Fighters Live in Memphis, TN at the FedEx Forum

I honestly don’t know where to start with this. I could start with the build-up for the show. I bugged all of my Facebook friends daily with YouTube videos of the Foos, and later I added stuff from Biffy. That went on for a month or so.

I could start with the drive to Memphis, but that’s boring. Just two friends talking.

I could start with my first trip to Beale Street, but that’s pretty anti-climactic. Tons of booze, but I only had a beer with dinner.

So let’s just start with the show. We had Club Level seats. I wanted to get closer without actually being on the floor, but this is the best I could do. I must say, not bad at all.

Biffy Clyro came on precisely at 7 p.m. They were loud, they were hard, and they were awesome. I love almost everything about their last two albums, but seeing them perform a handful of songs live was incredible. Lead singer Simon Neil’s raw vocals might sound a little harsh to some people, but I thought it was great. It really put me in mind of some of Kurt Cobain.

One thing that really impressed me was the ability of the group to capture the feel of the past two CDs, especially with “The Captain” and “Living is a Problem” since they’re so horn and string heavy on the CD. I thought Neil did a great job of covering the parts on his guitar.

I was horribly disappointed in the length of the set: seven songs that clocked in at almost exactly 30 minutes (and without my favorite “Boom Blast and Ruin”). Way too short. I would have sacrificed all of Motorhead’s time to have a handful more from Biffy. They did a lot with the time they had, though, and I’ll always remember that half hour.

Biffy Clyro Set List

  1. The Captain
  2. That Golden Rule
  3. Who’s Got a Match
  4. Living is a Problem because Everything Dies
  5. Bubbles
  6. Many of Horrors
  7. Mountains

I had absolutely no interest in Motorhead. I wasn’t listening to hard rock, definitely not metal, when they would have been of any influence to me. I had planned on circling the walk-way of the arena to look for a Biffy shirt. Found only one, and a size too small, but I got it anyways. I got a beer and still made it to my seat before Lemmy and crew got on stage. They were loud, and the music was fast, and I couldn’t understand a damn thing Lemmy was screaming into the microphone. I enjoyed it for what it was, but I doubt you ever catch me listening to one of their CDs.

Since I didn’t know the songs, I didn’t attempt to keep track of Motorhead’s set list. I did, however, remember one thing Lemmy said that I really liked. “Don’t forget us. We are Motorhead and we play rock and fucking roll!”

The Foo Fighters came on sometime between 8:45 and 9:00 p.m. I swear to God they did not finish up until midnight, and it was three of the best hours of my life.

They opened, of course, with a couple of songs from the new album before going into “The Pretender,” where I first caught a HUGE whiff of weed. I think it was after that that Dave finally said something to the audience. The guy’s a born entertainer. He can write music, he can play music, he can sing, and he can banter with the best of them. He can also make me feel bad. So, he asked who had seen them before, and there was a huge cheer from the crowd. Then he asked who hadn’t seen them, and I joined in with a cheer of my own. “Where the fuck have you been?” he asked. “We’ve been doing this for 16 years!” I can’t say that I didn’t feel a little bit of shame.

I won’t go through the show song by song. I wouldn’t be able to do them justice. Everything was played extremely well. Everything sounded like it was pulled from the CD, up to a point. Dave liked to vamp. He liked to play solos have his bandmates play solos. He liked to talk to the crowd and walk all over the stage and gated-off section of the floor. During…one of the encore songs, I think it was, Dave was on a raised platform opposite from the stage. He pointed to the upper seats and said, “I bet you thought you had bad seats. There are NO bad seats at a Foo Fighters concert.”

The visuals for the show were stunning. When Motorhead finished their set, the top layer of the stage was rolled up like carpet to reveal a shiny stage underneath. I didn’t notice it as anything other than a stage until “The Pretender” started and the cover of the CD was broadcast beneath the band’s feet. They were playing on video monitors. It was a great addition to the people sitting high enough to see it. I felt a bit sorry for those on the floor. There were also a few video monitors above the band, but those weren’t very entertaining until the band had gone off stage before the encore. They were used to distract the audience while Dave stealthily made his way to the aforementioned raised platform where he kicked off the nine-song encore with two-and-a-half acoustic songs.

Before the last song, Dave told a story about his morning, about going to Starbucks and being besieged by fans. He let one such fan on stage, and the boy (because he didn’t look old enough to be a man, really) proposed to his girlfriend in front of however many thousands of people were at the show. It looked like she said yes, they got to watch the last song while sitting on Taylor’s drum set platform, and then they walked off stage with the band.

This was by far the best concert I’ve been to. I’m not saying that to put down anybody I’ve seen in the past, but this was just SOOOOO good. It was my first time seeing both Biffy Clyro and the Foo Fighters. I really hope it’s not the last for either.

Below are pictures and videos taken by my companion for the evening. All I had with me was the dinky little camera on my cell phone. She had a great camera. If a song on the set list is clickable, that’ll send you to the video.

Foo Fighters Set List

  1. Bridge Burning
  2. Rope
  3. The Pretender
  4. My Hero
  5. Learn to Fly
  6. White Limo
  7. Arlandria
  8. Breakout
  9. Intros
  10. Cold Day in the Sun
  11. I’ll Stick Around
  12. Stacked Actors
  13. Hey, Johnny Park
  14. Monkey Wrench
  15. Let It Die
  16. Generator
  17. Walk
  18. Shake Your Blood - Probot
  19. This is a Call
  20. All My Life


  1. Long Road to Ruin (acoustic)
  2. Best of You (acoustic)
  3. Times Like These (starts acoustic and goes electric)
  4. Young Man Blues – The Who
  5. Miss Misery
  6. School’s Out – Alice Cooper
  7. For All the Cows
  8. Skin and Bones
  9. Marriage Proposal
  10. Everlong

No comments: