Review: Foo Fighters in Auckland
Dave Grohl's first words to a sold out Auckland Town Hall last night really said it all.
"We are honoured to be playing here tonight for the people of Christchurch," he said. "Get ready, it's going to be a long night."
And he wasn't wrong, in all the best possible ways - the quickfire fundraising show for Christchurch delivered all he promised and more.
The band wasted no time getting down to business, powering through their new album Wasting Light almost without pausing for a breath.
And just like the millenium, Kiwis get everything first - the album isn't released until April 12, so the 2300 fans lucky enough to witness the show were officially among the first in the world to hear the new material.
Of course, when bands play new songs, it can be a bit awkward. The band is often learning how to play the new material live, the fans just want to hear the old stuff and it can all go very, very wrong.
But, as drummer Taylor Hawkins mentioned earlier on in the afternoon, the new album feels "more like a Foo Fighters album" than almost anything else they've done, and it shows.
The band was as tight as ever and they looked fresh and excited - not bad for a bunch of blokes with seven studio albums under their collective belts and a 16-year career behind them.
And even without having heard most of the songs before, the crowd were more than happy - the Foos were playing. Here. And they sounded great.
More importantly, though, they were doing what they do best - big guitars, big drums and big vocals, but this time around it was a small and intimate venue that was being shown the royal Foo Fighter treatment.
The Town Hall really should get more shows - it's a great little venue with a whole lot of atmosphere.
Once Wasting Light was done and dusted, the band cranked through a 20-odd-song best-of set. All the favourites were there - Big Me, Times Like These and a crowd scream-along version of My Hero dedicated to the people of Christchurch.
But the highlight of the night had to be Grohl abandoning the stage during Stacked Actors, turning the venue's balcony into his own personal runway, working his way around the room posing for photos (yes, Rhys Darby, we saw you get your sneaky camera out), serenading babies and getting a pash from one rather opportunistic, and very happy fan.
There is something very comforting and familiar about seeing Dave Grohl's shaggy head bouncing and swaying away on stage, watching him scull a beer, listening to him and his mates play songs that seem to be built into our national consciousness.
But tonight really was all about Christchurch. The Foo Fighters certainly showed how much New Zealand means to them and from the crowd reaction, it was more than appreciated.
Let's hope they are back soon under happier circumstances.
Where: Auckland Town Hall
When: Tuesday, March 22
* What did you think of the show? Post your comments below.