button" Foo Fighters With HiFi Handgrenades "

Foo Fighters @ Makuhari Messe (13th Apr. '08)

      Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters rocked into Tokyo's Makuhari Messe on Sunday night and proved in every way why the man is worthy of rock god status. The only thing he could have done to make the night better was throw beer into the crowd. Or set up a booth.

Foo Fighters      Hi Fi Hand Grenades were already on stage when we arrived just after six. The Detroit power pop foursome were midway through a set that sounded like Paul Westerberg's Replacements with better equipment and a punk sound engineer. Singer and guitar player John Speck's vocals were bright and clear as he trotted out songs from their one and only album Carry On (New Romance For Kids Records). Recorded at the Foo Fighters' 606 West Studio, the songs are short, sharp stabs of the latest catch phrase - melodic punk (formerly called punk pop but clearly belonging to the genus power pop).

      While it was hard for me to get over Speck's vocal resemblance to Paul Westerberg, the rhythm section of former Suicide Machines drummer Ryan Vandeberghe and bassist Rich Tschirhart along with Grand Nationals guitar player Tony Vegas is nothing like what The Mats were. Hard driving and accomplished, they covered a Descendents song (which was cool) before their standout song of the set, "Sunset to Sunrise".

      I was surprised at the quality of the sound in "the box" this time out, since my last show, Rage Against The Machine, was so bad. This time though, the organizers had turned the stage 180 degrees moving it to the side wall and therefore eliminating the large support beams that chopped the sound and obstructed the views for concert goers. And with my cheap press pass that only gets me nose-bleed seats, I was so far back that I didn't need to use my earplugs. ANYWAY...

Foo Fighters      Dave Grohl and company appeared on stage to one hell of a cheer from the crowd, and things really got underway. Opening with "Let It Die" and "The Pretender" from their latest album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, the Foos didn't bother to warm up. They just jumped into the pool without stretching first, rocking from the get go. Before he had even addressed the crowd (which anyone who has seen the Foos before knows he does amusingly well) he had already made use of the ego stage thrust out into the audience on the stage right side, running out with his custom blue Gibson ES and jet black rock-Jesus hair and beard to check out the assembled masses.

      His screams of, "Let's go!" and "Come on!" were the punctuation marks in a set of hit songs as long as a run on sentence. Arguably one of the most affable and engaging front men in rock today, Grohl is also a hit maker and unabashed rock - and I mean R-A-W-K - devotee, and this was exactly why the few thousand fans were there. From the front of the stage all the way to the back of the hall not one person stood still. It was all hands up, and "Hell yeah!".

Foo Fighters      After finishing off with "Breakout" from Nothing Left To Lose, Grohl brought it down a notch to talk with crowd. This is one of the things about a Foo Fighters show: Dave Grohl knows how to entertain. To ad lib. To make the crowd feel like this is a once in a lifetime show, not just one in a long line of stops on the tour. He talked about playing Fuji Rock Festival for one hour and twenty minutes in 2005, about playing The Budokan for about an hour in 2003, and about their first gig in Japan, but tonight, well - tonight was the one. The band was going to pull out all the stops, play everything they wanted and it was going to be two full hours. The crowd roared.

      "All right, lets go!" And with that we were off and "Learning To Fly".

      A few songs later the Foos dug deep to play some their earliest material including an extended version of "This Is A Call" from their first album. With the song nearly finished, Grohl sauntered down the long thrust stage - what my friend Wotlie aptly calls the "ego stage" - as they slowed down and headed into some driving blues. He stayed out there playing some cliche blues rock riffs with accompanying cliche arena rock poses and cliche wild eyed stares (along with the solos, this is called "satire", folks, S-A-T-I-R-E). They rollicked in the blues for a while before bringing it to a close, a brief pause, and then straight back in to the final build up of "This Is A Call". As formulaic and rehearsed as it was, there was no denying the big grin entertainment of it all. As jaded as I may be, there is still a place for arena showmanship.

Foo Fighters      The band then tuned down and all the bass lines rolled in for "Stacked Actors", and the sound was fantastic. Kudos to the sound crew for getting the place leveled properly because usually the sound is so muddy that much of it is indistinguishable. This was also an appropriate moment for that arena rock staple of the 70s and 80s - the drum solo. Taylor Hawkins stepped up to the plate and bashed them skins good and proper. Just long enough for the rest of the band to switch up instruments. Once Hawkins' kick drum and cymbals settled down, it was acoustic time.

      Some very nice versions of "Skin and Bones" and "Marigold" were done at this point, and the crowd had a chance to catch their breath and just listen. The acoustic portion of the evening also included the "band introductions". Part comedy show ("I'd like to introduce the only member of the band with hair on his chest..."), part ad lib come back ("Shut up. I'm talking, okay? I love you too, motherfucker..."), part variety show (a triangle solo from the percussionist), part share-the- stage (Taylor Hawkins performing "Cold Day In The Sun"), it also featured two highlights of the evening - the beautiful "But Honestly" from his latest album and the fan revered "Everlong" from The Color And The Shape to which the crowd sang along to every word.

Foo Fighters      Then it was enough of that sentimental shit and right back into the riffs with "Monkey Wrench" and "All My Life" getting the whole crowd back up and jumping. When he and the band said goodnight after that, the audience didn't buy it for a second. While they call it an encore, its really just a chance for the band to get off stage and have water or a beer and decide what to play next before the obvious closer.

      So they came back and played "Big Me", and "Long Road To Ruin" before hitting us over the head with "Best Of You".

      As promised, the Foo Fighters delivered two hours of some todays best mainstream rock. An energetic blend of angst driven rockers and well crafted sentimental power ballads that spanned six albums, ten years and a whole shit load of "Hell yeahs!" A big venue show like this is what rock and roll is all about.

--setlist --

Let It Die / The Pretender / Breakout / Learning to Fly / Cheer Up Boys (Your Makeup's Running) / This Is a Call / Stacked Actors / Skin and Bones / Marigold / Cold Day in The Sun / But Honestly / Everlong / Monkey Wrench / All My Life / Big Me (with Jesses Green) / Long Road To Ruin / Best Of You

Foo Fighters

report by jeff and photos by hoya
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buttonmag files : Foo Fighters

buttonphoto report : (08/04/15 @ Zepp Osaka) : photos by terumi
buttonDave Grohl's School of Rock : (08/04/13 @ Makuhari Messe) : review by jeff, photos by hoya
buttonphoto report : (08/04/13 @ Makuhari Messe) : photos by hoya
buttonreview (no title) : (02/09/12 @ Shinjuku Liquidroom) : review by michael
button今年、最高のロックはFoo Fightersにあり : (02/09/12 @ Shinjuku Liquidroom) : review by ali
button怒濤のフジ・ロックからわずか半年で再来日! : (98/01)

The official site

Foo Fighters


chcek 'em? --> MySpace / iTunes

The latest album

Foo Fighters

(国内盤 + DVD[limited Edition] / 国内盤 / US import / US import - '12analog / UK import / iTunes)

The latest DVD

Foo Fighters

"Live in Hyde Park"

previous DVD

"Everywhere But Home" (国内盤 / US import)
"Skin & Bones" (国内盤 / US import)
"Guardian Angels" (US import)
"Free Tibet" (US import)
The latest single

Foo Fighters

"Long Road to Ruin"
(US import / UK import - Pt1 / UK import - Pt2 / UK import -'7analog)

Previous works

"The Pretender [Single]" (UK import - Pt.1 / UK import - Pt.2 / UK import - '7analog / iTunes - video)
"The Lowdown" (UK import)
"Foo Fighters" (国内盤 - 限定盤紙ジャケット仕様 / 国内盤)
"The Colour and the Shape" (国内盤 - 限定盤紙ジャケット仕様 / 国内盤 - 10th anniversary version / 国内盤 / US import / iTunes)
"In Your Honor" (国内盤 - 限定盤紙ジャケット仕様 / 国内盤 + DVD - Limited Edition / UK import -Enhanced / UK import -'12analog / UK import -'12analog Box Set / iTunes)
"There Is Nothing Left to Lose" (国内盤 - 限定盤紙ジャケット仕様 / 国内盤 - Limited Edition)
"On By One" (国内盤 - 限定盤紙ジャケット仕様 / 国内盤 / 国内盤 + bonus CD - Limited Edition / US import - Limited Edition / iTunes)
"Skin & Bones" (国内盤 / US import / iTunes - Bonus Track Version)
"No Way Back/Cold Day in the Sun [Single]" (UK import)
"B.O. You" (US import)
"Resolve [Single]" (UK import - Enhanced / UK import / UK import - '7analog)
"More Maximum Foo Fighters" (UK import)
"ザ・カラー・アンド・ザ・シェイプ" (国内盤 - Limited Edition)
"Best of You [Single]" (国内盤 - Limited Edition / US import / UK import - Enhanced / iTunes - video)
"DOA [Single]" (国内盤 - Limited Edition / UK import / UK import - Enhanced)
"Times Like These" (国内盤)
"The Sessions Ep" (UK import - '7analog)
"All My Life[single]" (国内盤 / iTunes - video)
"ネクスト・イヤー [EP]" (国内盤)
"ブレイクアウト [EP]" (国内盤)
"グレイテスト・ヒッツ" (国内盤)
... and more

compilations and more

"Live Earth" (国内盤 / 国内盤 + DVD)
"Grammy 2006 Nomines" (国内盤)
"HEROES Selected By Brian May" (国内盤)
"クールボーダー ― オリジナル・サウンドトラック [Soundtrack]" (国内盤)
"Orange County [Soundtrack]" (国内盤)
"Me, Myself & Irene [Soundtrack]" (国内盤)
"Tibetan Freedom Concert" (国内盤)
... and more

check the albums?

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