Foo Fighters: The Perfect Headliners

If there was any question as to who the big draw of Day 1 was, it was answered by the frenzy the broke out in the densely packed crowd (a solid 100 rows stretching the entire South Stage area) when Foo Fighters tore into "The Pretender" and "Times Like These."

Dave Grohl's band has become the ideal festival headliners, drawing on a seemingly endless supply of both hit singles and rock star charisma. The usual moves were accounted for - leading the crowd in a clap-along, taking an extra long pause before launching into the chorus of "Breakout," stalking the entirety of the stage to get up close and personal with as many fans as possible, swinging his long, black hair in an old-school Metallica manner, leaping from the drum riser. Sometimes it went a little too far - the band introduction segment was good-natured but way too long, even if it did give the audience the triangle solo it surely craved. (Actually, it was perfect - since there was no music being played, it let me hear "Born Slippy" booming from the Dance Tent, allowing me to race over to catch the Underworld anthem. And yeah, I stayed for "Moaner," too, sue me.)

There was a dip in energy when Taylor Hawkins was given a too-long drum solo (is there any other kind?) during "Stacked Actors," which then led into a brief acoustic set that featured a violinist, pianist and second drummer. But "My Hero" worked better as sentimental fare in this incarnation, and it's always a treat to hear the Grohl-penned Nirvana b-side "Marigold."

By the time the Foos got back to hard-charging rockers like "Monkeywrench" and "Best of You" it was clear why they've become the biggest of the bands that made their name during the mid-90s alt-rock boom: they're the funniest, most likeable and, most importantly, they have the best songs. Just ask Prince.

-- David Malitz

By David Malitz |  August 9, 2008; 10:09 PM ET Virgin Festival
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I guess you either like the Foo Fighters or you don't. For me, I preferred The Offspring. It resonates with a time when I had two little kids and I had to "keep'em seperated."

Both the lead singer and the drummer need haircuts! There they were on-stage on the monitors looks like dirty, stringy heads.

Which way to the other stage?

Posted by: RoseG | August 10, 2008 8:12 AM

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