When is the last time you’ve seen a veteran band successfully drive a concert with their new album? Enter Foo Fighters. The band — and specifically Dave Grohl — find themselves in an impressive place. They are both commercially viable and and a finely tuned machine. Some bands try to mix the new stuff in, leading to buzz kill bathroom breaks. Others will announce they opening with some new stuff, basically to get it over with. The Foos ripped through 8 new of their new songs (out of the 23) in Newark on Monday, including the first two songs of the night (set list on Last FM). ‘I Should Have Known’ started slow, leading many to head to the bathroom. But just like the studio version, the dramatic climax had those same folks running back as the song drew to a close.

The night was 100% Grohl-fueled ordered chaos; energy of a 22-year-old, skills of a craftsman and stage presence that was both viscous stand-up comedian and hard rock front man. Grohl promised and delivered ‘three hours of arena rock’. Nothing happened at this show that hadn’t already happened on this tour. But everything that happened — i.e. Dave’s mini-solo set and Bob Mould playing on ‘Dear Rosemary’ and the cover of ‘Breakdown’ — were just as awesome as you’d heard. ‘Walk’ was the highlight of the night.

There was a curious ticket scalping market outside which left the floor very comfortable. The venue was fantastic, the management less so. GA level has draft beer but no credit card machine. First level accepts credit but only has beer in mega cans poured into cups–the point? There was also a point where a beer line was being held up by someone purchasing a deli sandwich made to order (??).

What did I learn?

1. German people love the song ‘Wheels’.
2. I am excited for the next album and the potential for a promised club tour.
3. Pat Smear got fat.
4. You should see them if you have not already.

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