Foo Fighters Teach Voodoo Audience to Fly

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Courtesy of Ed Vill

The Foo Fighters perform in 2012. The alt-rock band rocked the Voodoo Audience with an energetic show.

On a frigid, wind-swept Saturday night in New Orleans’ City Park, the Foo Fighters set aflame the hearts of thousands of fans.

When he introduced the band’s set with the lines “I know it’s cold right now, but I swear we’re going to warm your fucking asses up,” frontman Dave Grohl wasn’t kidding. The Foos performed a rollicking set both scorching in its intensity and electrifying in its momentum, featuring several newer jams from its September 2017 “Concrete and Gold” — including hit singles “Run” and “The Sky Is a Neighborhood” — along with all the classics fans have come to know and love.

Grohl and co. took the stage casually with the understated yet self-assured professionality only befitting one of the most consistently billboard-topping alternative rock bands in the history of the genre. The stage’s setup was minimalistic yet strangely satisfying; rather than featuring over-the-top installations or complex light shows, the stage was dominated by a Game of Thrones-esque wall of retro amps of all ages, colors and aesthetics.

The drum kit occupied a central position in the rear, allowing full vision of Taylor Hawkins’ gut-punching powerhouse drumming while providing Grohl ample room to frolic about on stage and engage with the audience, an advantage he capitalized on at every possible opportunity. If Saturday’s concert was a typical Foo Fighters show, it’s no wonder the band has managed to maintain its cultural influence even after all these years.

Loyal fans and first-time listeners alike forgot the cold for a blissful 90 minutes. Between the rampant foot-tapping, headbanging and singing along to the lyrics, the audience was a roiling congregation of buoyant, infectious energy.

By far the most touching moment of the set was when Grohl singled out a front-row fan wearing a Foo Fighters shirt and, accompanied only by an acoustic guitar, sang to him the opening verse of “My Hero.” Grohl periodically returned to the man throughout the song, singing “There goes my hero / Watch him as he goes,” and his fan, clearly emotional, sang the words right back until the moment he choked up, tearful. Not an eye in the audience was left unmisted nor a heart unwarmed. Evidently, these are the times we learn to live again.

Foo Fighters’ Voodoo performance this year was a boisterous yet touching spectacle both longtime and newer listeners will remember everlong.