It’s initially surprising how at home The Delta Riggs feel on such a massive stage, particularly when a couple of them muster up the courage to take a brief prowl down the extensive catwalk laid out before them. This is what they aspire to; and as they shake, rattle and roll through each track in their all-too-brief set, there’s a possibility they’ll see it realised quicker than they think.
Rise Against, on the other hand, clearly never dreamed of getting to stadium status – they were already uncomfortable enough with becoming an arena band – but here they accept their fate gracefully. There’s high-kicks, calls for sing-alongs and some kick-drum clapping for good measure – where once they would have been at a loss over what to do, they now thrive in unfamiliar territory.
Plus, Tim McIlrath can still scream paint off walls after all these years. Kudos, sir.
Whether it was your first time, your fifth time or – as it turned out to be for one front-row fanatic – your 27th (!) time, there’s a lot to like about a Foo Fighters show. It’s broad, yes, but it has to be in order to strike such a resonant chord with a hugely variant demographic.
There’s a lot of running, a lot of screaming and big, grandiose gestures that speak far louder than words. It also rests on a precipice that can often topple over or collapse into itself. Go ahead and stretch out a song’s bridge, but don’t expand to the point of no return – an exhausting Monkey Wrench exemplifies this.
Go ahead and throw in a cheeky cover or two – it’s always nice to see Brad Wilk playing drums, so any excuse will do – but dedicating nearly half an hour to them in what’s already a huge show is near unforgivable.
How a show like this works is a matter of compromise. You sit through forgettable lower-level cuts like Congregation and Cold Day in the Sun — the latter with drummer Taylor Hawkins out front — and you’ll be rewarded with This is a Call or Generator. You let Dave indulge in an acoustic detour and we’ll let you watch Rami Jaffee play the goddamn accordion like a champion.
You make it to the end? You get Everlong. Sweet, beautiful Everlong. Ageless. Timeless. As perfect a rock song as one is ever likely to hear. The destination is worth the journey.
Foo Fighters continue their ‘Sonic Highways’ Australian tour in Melbourne tomorrow night — details here. Check out photos and the setlist from Sydney below.
Gallery: Foo Fighters @ ANZ Stadium, Sydney 26/02/15 / Photos by Paul Cush
Something From Nothing
Learn to Fly
Cold Day in the Sun (Taylor Hawkins on vocals)
This Is a Call
Skin and Bones (Dave acoustic on catwalk)
Wheels (Dave acoustic on catwalk)
Times Like These
Detroit Rock City (KISS cover)
Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love (Van Halen cover, Brad Wilk on drums, Taylor Hawkins on vocals)
Let There Be Rock (AC/DC cover)
Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie cover)
All My Life
Best of You