Foo Fighters Re-Open California With Intimate Show for Vaccinated Fans

·3-min read

“I don’t know when it will be safe to sing arm in arm at the top of our lungs. But we will do it again, because we have to,” wrote Dave Grohl for the Atlantic in May of 2020 when things were looking especially bleak. Tuesday night, on the first night of California’s reopening, that day came, as Foo Fighters welcomed back 600 fully vaccinated music fans for the unofficial start to the band’s 26th anniversary tour at the L.A. Valley-area Canyon Club.

The Madison Square Garden warm-up gig was announced via social media on June 12. The only way in was to buy tickets onsite at the Canyon Club, which, naturally, had hundreds of fans lined up outside the Agoura Hills venue, some overnight, with tickets selling out before they technically even went on sale. All attendees were required to show proof of vaccination, bringing out a group of protesters before the event, and had to be over the age of 21.

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It wasn’t Foo Fighters’ first performance in front of a live audience since the start of the pandemic. That happened May 2, when the band closed out the Vax Live event at SoFi Stadium with a roaring six-song set. Social distancing was still well in force at the time of that show, however, so the Canyon Club concert marked the first fulfillment of Grohl’s “arm in arm” vow, or at least its possibility.

“Tonight we’re gonna play until the cops get called or I fucking collapse,” proclaimed the always charismatic and sometimes hyperbolic frontman. Neither of those things occurred, but the 23-song setlist felt epic enough under the live-music-starved circumstances. The 2002 hit “Times Like These” was an appropriate start to their career-spanning set, and it wasn’t the last song to take on new meaning Tuesday.

The night also saw songs from the Foos’ latest album, “Medicine at Midnight,” including the title track, “Cloudspotter,” “Making a Fire,” “Shame Shame” and “No Son of Mine.” About halfway through, Grohl took a familiar spot behind the drums as Taylor Hawkins stepped into the spotlight for a cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” Other highlights cited by attendees were rousing renditions of songs that have turned into classics over a quarter-century-plus like “All My Life,” “Breakout” and “This is a Call.” The two-song encore ended with, of course, “Everlong.”

The 600 attendees were undaunted by a demonstration by what looked to be several dozen protesters — purportedly including former child actor turned controversial anti-vaxxer Ricky Schroder — making their feelings known about the vaccine requirement for admittance. Anti-vaxxers have also put in their sights this weekend’s Foo Fighters concert at Madison Square Garden, which has also required proof of vaccination for attendees.

The full Canyon Club setlist:

  1. Times Like These

  2. No Son of Mine

  3. The Pretender

  4. Learn to Fly

  5. Run

  6. The Sky Is a Neighborhood

  7. Shame Shame

  8. Rope

  9. My Hero

  10. These Days

  11. Medicine at Midnight

  12. Walk

  13. Somebody to Love (Queen cover)

  14. All My Life

  15. Arlandria

  16. Cloudspotter

  17. Breakout

  18. Skin and Bones

  19. This is a Call

  20. Aurora

  21. Best of You

  22. Making a Fire

  23. Everlong

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