Dave and his Foos Blow the Roof off the Shark Tank in San Jose

in SF Concert Reviews by

Dave Grohl’s story is really quite unique. How many drummers do you know hit it big in music by starting of one of the greatest rock bands in history (alongside legendary grunge icon Kurt Cobain no less)? Then after a tragic band breakup up decide to start and front their own band; to have it be yet another hugely successful group, one that’s ruled the airwaves for close to 25 years now.

It’s a feat that has rarely if ever been done, but one that’s quick to comprehend when you consider Grohl’s work ethic. The guy works hard, I mean really hard. And you can see it when he’s up on that stage. Last night at the SAP Center in San Jose, there was never a boring moment in the show as he ran around like a madman the entire set, singing and playing his heart out to an arena filled with screaming fans.

After a brief yet impressive set by opener The Joy Formidable, the Foo Fighters, a band that is completed by Taylor Hawkins on drums, Pat Smear on rhythm guitar, Nate Mendel on bass and with their newest addition of Rami Jaffee on the keys, kicked off the show with blistering performances of a few mega-hits comprised of “All My Life,” “Learn to Fly” and “The Pretender.”

During a quick break between songs, Growl then went on to address the crowd and apologized for the wait between bands. “Sorry it took us 45 minutes to get out here,” said Grohl. “But we’ve got a lot of songs to play. We’ve got about 175 to play before midnight!” The crowd went wild and Grohl kept his promise. It was hit after hit after that.

The best part of the show for me had to be the Taylor Hawkins drum solo midway into the show. Aboard a floating spaceship inspired contraption, he levitated above the crowd to knock out a Bonham-inspired flurry of drum fills. Hawkins, the multi-talented musician that he is, then busted out a passionate vocal for the song “Sunday Rain.” He showed off his pipes once more during an original version of “Another One Bites the Dust,” a song selection that comes as no surprise considering the bleached-blonde drummer’s affinity for Queen.

For a band that’s been around for almost three decades, the Foo Fighters are showing no sign of slowing down. And if last night’s sold-out show is any indication of audience interest, they’re well on their way to obtaining Rock n Roll nirvana. In fact, according to Rolling Stone, it looks like 2020 will be the year they are eligible for the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. Nirvana is already inducted, what a fairy tale ending it would be for Grohl if he did it again with a band that he started all on his own.

Photos by Louis Raphael

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An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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