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Friday October 24th 2014

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An Open Love Letter to the Foo Fighters

By Meg Travis

OK, let’s be real for a second. Let’s set aside the Nirvana, the Them Crooked Vultures, the QOTSA stint, and let’s even set aside the Foo Fighters (just for a second, I promise!). Can we all agree that Dave Grohl is the man? He is just one of those people where you can look past the success, fame, and fortune and take comfort in the fact that he is genuinely a really decent human being. That is why I love Dave Grohl.

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get back to the music. He has done some pretty heavy drumming in the past with crazy-talented musicians like Kurt Cobain, John Paul Jones, and Josh Homme, but there is pretty much nothing that can compare to the experience of seeing him up on stage as rock ‘n’ roll frontman of the Foo Fighters. Of course as the frontman, Dave (I call him Dave, so what?) gets a lot of attention. But let’s not forget that the rest of the Foo Fighters are made up of a damn fine group of musicians, all who had already made their mark on the music scene before joining the Foo. Lets visit them, shall we?

First you have Taylor Hawkins, drummer extraordinaire and Dave Grohl BFF, who toured with Alanis Morissette in the “Jagged Little Pill” days. Next you have Pat Smear, guitarist who helped form legendary punk outfit The Germs and also toured with Nirvana. Newest member Chris Shiflett, guitarist who joined the band after being in punk rock bands No Use for a Name (what a great name, right?) and Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s. Then there is Nate Mendel. Dear sweet Nate Mendel.  He serves as Foo Fighters bassist and is the only member who has continuously been by Dave’s side since the Foo’s humble beginnings. Oh, and he was in Sunny Day Real Estate. Awesome lineup you guys, I really think you hit it out of the park. Now that I have given you an oral history of the Foo Fighters I will prepare a pop quiz for you all later (Nah, just kidding! But really…).

I know what you’re thinking now. “Hey Meg, it’s really great to know a lot more about these guys, but tell me why I should go see them at the DeLuna Stage on Saturday, September 22 at 9:15 p.m.” Well, OK, I’ll tell you! Their albums have been rock ‘n’ roll staples since the self-titled debut in 1995. Since then, they have built a collection of music ranging from politics to love, to motivation and family.  Beautifully written lyrics are set to different tones of rock and rifts, all while maintaining Dave’s gritty, yet comforting voice. The band’s most recent success, “Wasting Light,” paid homage to the days before electronic recording and mixing ruled, recording the entire album on analog tape in Dave Grohl’s garage.

Their stage show brings a special kind of charisma and showmanship that always leaves you wanting more. Their live performances empower you with the kinds of moments and feelings you will never forget. There are never enough choruses of “Best of You” to scream at the stage while they scream it to you, making you know in that moment that you will not let anything get the best you. Listening to every single syllable of “Everlong” and hoping that one day you find someone you feel that passionate about. Totally freaking out that precise moment when “All My Life” goes from regular rock song to balls-to-the-walls rock song. And as citizens of the Gulf Coast, truly understanding and embracing every word of “Times Like These.”

They make a two-and-a-half hour set feel like you’ve only been there for a matter of minutes because you are enjoying yourself and their music so much. They always manage to string together a flawless set list of hit after hit while effortlessly throwing in less mainstream fan favorites. They get on stage with their own instruments and their own talents and blow the roof off of every show without the help of backing tracks or electronic synthesizers.

Their passion for the music they have written and played together for so many years still shows on all of their faces, and you know that they are humbled and thankful for every single person there to see them perform. The passion of their fans is electric and contagious.

If this is your first Foo Fighters show, brace yourself for 2.5 hours of musical magic and mayhem. If this isn’t your first Foo Fighters show, welcome back! I knew you’d be back… they always come back.

Meg is a NOLA native and a music festival aficionado, as DeLuna 2012 will mark her 16th overall festival attended. Her three favorite things in the world are croissants, Dave Grohl, and random dance parties. She is hoping to go 3 for 3 on Pensacola Beach this year. Follow her full festival coverage in pictures on Instagram, username IN_stagram.

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