Foo Fighters at London Stadium review: still the undisputed kings of stadium rock

 (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Foo)
(Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Foo)

“I’m going to kick your ass tonight ladies and gentlemen,” promised Dave Grohl at the very start of Foo Fighters’ headline gig at the London Stadium. The big, crunching All My Life and a ferocious No Son Of Mine soon proved he meant business, with the band going on to deliver a pummelling 150-minute set.

A lot has changed for Foo Fighters since they last properly toured the UK six years ago. Their 2021 album Medicine At Midnight saw the urgent rock and rollers dabble with slinking David Bowie-inspired dance while 2023’s But Here We Are was a return to rugged roots, following the deaths of their drummer Taylor Hawkins, and Grohl’s mum Virginia.

The first of two stops in London as part of the Everything Or Nothing At All tour found Foo Fighters vibrating between those two moods. The band threw one hell of a party, but grief, catharsis and hope were never far away from the dancefloor either.

For the first half of the show, Foo Fighters leaned heavily on stadium-ready anthems with the likes of The Pretender, Times Like These, Breakout and My Hero clearly written for nights like this. “You gotta sing along, even if you don’t know the words,” encouraged Grohl.

Snippets of guitar classics by Led Zeppelin, Beastie Boys, Black Sabbath and The Ramones kept the party vibe going as well. “Those of you who have seen the Foo Fighters before know we don’t f**k around. We come out here and blast as many songs as we can before they tell us to leave,” he explained.

There was no production trickery beyond lights and a final flurry of fireworks either, but that just gave the band more freedom to play.

However, the group weren’t afraid to step away from the expected rowdiness either. A stripped back Skin And Bone made use of an accordion, the sprawling ten-minute The Teacher shifted from ethereal to menacing and back again, while both Under You and Nothing At All showed a tender side to the typical might of Foo Fighters.

It suited them as well, adding to the rage of Breakout, and dialling up the stakes of the dreamy Best Of You.

Later, the band were joined onstage by Grohl’s daughter Violet for the gorgeous Show Me How,while Hawkins’ son Shane played drums on the furious I’ll Stick Around. With an audience spanning generations, this Foo Fighters gig really was a family affair.

Foo Fighters have been going for 30 years now and selling out venues this big for over half of that. On Thursday night, they played with the joyful intensity of a band with everything to gain, but the triumphant closer of Everlong was proof enough that Foo Fighters remain the undisputed kings of stadium rock.

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