By: Joseph Kathmann
My partner-in-crime Derek is in Ireland right now, so that means you're stuck with me as we talk about our latest adventure with Foo Fighters. While (obviously) nothing will compare with our once-in-a-lifetime experience with Foo Fighters at the Metro during Lolla, I still went into this set excited to hear what Foo Fighters sounds like in the arena world they've been forced to inhabit. Of course, they didn't disappoint.
First up, though, was The Struts. A (supposedly) sold-out US Bank Arena slowly filled in and the sleepy crowd was greeted by the hard-rocking, head-bobbing 80s-esque rock group, but few seemed to be really turned on by their sound. Which is a real shame: I've been a fan of the group since they toured the festival circuit last year (I last saw them at Pilgrimage 2016) but their sound is just not meant for an arena the size of US Bank. The lifeless crowd didn't help much, either, despite the bands desperate pleas to get up and move, they stayed largely still in anticipation for the headliner. I don't know if it's because of the cross-genre appeal of FF, but this crowd was not the best of crowds by any means. And, while it was great to hear some of their great hits like "Kiss This" and "Could Have Been Me" again, their set remains almost identical to what we saw last year, right down to their on-stage banter. While I do look forward to some new material from the group, and will enjoy seeing them again at that point.....I have no plans of seeing this group again until then.
Finally, though, came FF. The biggest rock group in the world took the stage and tore through a 27 song set that lasted nearly 3 hours. It's hard to believe this band performs at the level of intensity they do for 3 hours night in and night out, but the band's endurance is so absurd they were outlasting a vast majority of the crowd as the set went on. But what a set it was. While it was eerily similar to our Metro set, (they even played the same Tom Petty cover in Cincy as they did a few months earlier....though they did play that song this time around to commemorate Tom Petty's birthday) and the banter, aka Dave Grohl telling the crowd they were going to be there all night, was similar.....it still felt organic. Maybe it's the fact that the band has been touring for 20+ years together, or maybe its because they're one of the best live acts the music industry has ever seen, but it never really bothered me that this set was so similar to what we got in Chicago. I still loved every second of it, and it sure seemed like the band did too. The set featured only a few songs from the latest album (the crowd seemed very disinterested in these songs) and leaned heavily on the band's massive list of hits and singles. Front man Dave Grohl even got a little cheeky with the audience right before the encore, inviting one of the cameramen backstage and toying with the crowd about how many more songs they were going to play. The band sounds great anywhere, and even though they definitely sounded better in Chicago, it was still a blast to see them again here in Cincy, and I can't wait to see them again. There is no bigger rock band in the world than Foo Fighters, and it is awesome to see this group while they are still at the height of their prime. If you haven't seen these guys yet, take it from us and put them on your bucket list. It's more than worth it.
You can check out a setlist of their Cincinnati performance here, and check out a live performance of two of their new songs, "Run" and "The Sky is a Neighborhood," below.
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: