Foo Fighters live performances

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Foo Fighters performing at Hyde Park, London, in 2006.

Foo Fighters is an American alternative rock band, founded in 1994 by musician Dave Grohl. After recording by himself what would become the album Foo Fighters, Grohl decided to recruit a full band with him as singer and guitarist. The original line-up included bassist Nate Mendel, drummer William Goldsmith, and Pat Smear.

Taylor Hawkins took over the drums in 1997 after Goldsmith was fired. Smear left in 1998 being during the tour for second album The Colour and the Shape, with Franz Stahl becoming the guitarist for the reminder of the tour. Afterwards Stahl left for creative differences, and while the band recorded There Is Nothing Left to Lose as a trio, for the tour they again had a second guitarist, Chris Shiflett. Smear eventually became part of the band’s tour musicians in 2006, and rejoined as a full-time member in 2011.

Foo Fighters tour (1995-1996)[edit]

The first Foo Fighters show took place in February 19 above a boat house in Seattle and was performed for friends and family; the band's first public show took place in February 23 on the Jambalaya Club in Arcata, California; the band were in the area mixing the album and a local promotor asked the cover band The Unseen if Foo Fighters could open for them, which they agreed to; Grohl also played drums with The Unseen on a cover of Slow Down. On the spring of 1995 (starting on April), the Foo Fighters embarked on their first ever United States tour supporting Mike Watt along with fellow tour newbies Hovercraft, whose line-up included Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder at the time. As well as performing with their own bands, Grohl and Vedder each picked up a role as a member of Watt's backing band throughout the tour, supplying drums and guitar respectively.[1] The band's first show outside the United States took place in May 2 in The Opera House in Toronto; they played their first show outside of North America in June 3 in the King's College London; after playing two songs, Grohl discounted the media rumors at the time, telling the audience that none of his songs were about Kurt Cobain. Foo Fighters was released July 4, 1995 on Roswell Records, distributed by Capitol Records. The band promoted the release that summer by completing another US tour with Wool and Shudder to Think, with 25 concerts in little over a month. During this tour, Foo Fighters played several of their largest shows up to that point, making their debut on the festival circuit with performances at Pukkelpop, Reading and Lowlands.[2] Foo Fighters made their network television debut on The Late Show with David Letterman August 14, 1995 when they performed "This Is a Call".[1]

That fall, the band continued to tour extensively, completing a European tour with Built to Spill. Amid the tour, Foo Fighters filmed the MTV special I'm OK, Eur-OK: Foo Fighters Live in London which featured exclusive footage recorded on November 15, 1995 at the Brixton Academy in London, England, with the majority of the broadcast featuring songs culled from the debut album. Foo Fighters appeared as the musical guest on Saturday Night Live for the first time on December 2, 1995 with host Anthony Edwards, and performed both "I'll Stick Around" and "For All the Cows". The band then closed out the year with their first trips to Japan and Australia.[3]

Foo Fighters continued to tour in support of the album on into 1996, performing at the Summersault Festival that January. The band made an infamous appearance on the March 18, 1996 Rockline radio broadcast, where they performed acoustically. Included in the set was a version of "Wattershed" that contained improvised lyrics by Grohl, delivered in the vocal style of Fred Schneider from The B-52's. That same month Foo Fighters embarked on yet another US tour, this time with a revolving door of supporting acts, including that dog., Ween, Jawbreaker and The Amps. Most shows featuring That Dog on the bill included member Petra Haden joining Foo Fighters on stage during "Floaty" to provide violin. Foo Fighters made an appearance at the first ever Tibetan Freedom Concert on June 15, 1996, a high-profile festival organized by the Beastie Boys to benefit the cause of Tibetan independence, followed by a final tour of Europe that July, to close out support of the album.[3]

The Colour and the Shape Tour (1997-1999)[edit]

During the recording of The Colour and the Shape, William Goldsmith left and Pat Smear expressed interest in leaving the band. Taylor Hawkins became the new drummer, while Smear remained with the band as a replacement was to be found.[4]

The tour started on May 1997 with dates on Europe and Japan, before going to the United States in June and July. Another overseas tour followed in August before a return to the United States in September.[5] During the September 4, 1997 concert at Radio City Music Hall, right before that year's 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, Smear announced his departure and gave his instrument for the new guitarist, Franz Stahl, to finish the set. Stahl, who played with Grohl in Scream, flew from a tour he was performing in Japan after getting the invitation to join the band.[4]

There Is Nothing Left To Lose Tour (1999-2001)[edit]

Despite recording There Is Nothing Left To Lose as a three-piece, Grohl felt the band still needed a second guitarist for the tour. After auditioning many players, Chris Shiflett of the punk band No Use for a Name was hired. The North American leg of the tour included an overlap with the Red Hot Chili Peppers' Californication Tour.[4] On July 2001, the band interrupted the sessions for their fourth studio album for a short digression playing on United Kingdom festivals. This was cut short as Hawkins suffered a drug overdose and fell into a coma, leading the rest of the concerts to be canceled.[6] The band performed a large quantity of shows on this tour, which tired the band and influenced the sound of their following album.

One by One Tour (2002-2004)[edit]

Initial sessions for the Foo Fighters' fourth studio album were improductive, with escalating tensions and the band considering a break-up, but the bandmembers decided to give another chance to the record after their performance at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April. One month later, the band rerecorded the album One by One.[4] Following a UK mini-tour in August - which included the T in the Park 2002, Reading and Leeds Festivals - [7] and a Paris concert in September, the album was released on October 22, 2002,[8] with the promotional tour starting that same day at the Los Angeles Wiltern Theatre. Following dates in North America, which included Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit concert on October 26, came a European tour from November 16 to December 19. The Foo Fighters started 2003 with the Big Day Out festival tour in Oceania.[9] From April to July, the band had concerts in North America. V Festival in August.[10]

Five concerts of the tour were turned into the 2003 DVD Everywhere but Home.[11]

Supporting acts

In Your Honor Tour (2005-2006)[edit]

As the band’s fifth studio album, In Your Honor (2005), was a double album featuring a disk of the band’s regular rock sound and another with acoustic rock tracks, the related tour included this duality on the concerts, featured two shows per city, an electric one in arenas and an acoustic in smaller venues. The tour began in the summer of 2005, and ran through to June 2006.[13] The late 2005 concerts included the Foozer tour co-headlined with Weezer.[14] The acoustic tour lead to an extended band, featuring the return of Pat Smear on the guitar, plus some of the collaborators on the album: violinist Petra Haden, keyboardist Rami Jaffee, and percussionist Drew Hester. Smear remained for another five years as a touring musician before rejoining as a full-time member for the recording of Wasting Light.[4] An unplugged tour ran in eight cities in the United States between July and August 2006.[15] The acoustic shows from August 29, 30 and 31, 2006 at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles were turned into the live album Skin and Bones.[16] The June 17 concert in London's Hyde Park was released as both a complementary DVD on Skin and Bones,[17] and a separate release.[18]

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Tour (2007-2008)[edit]

Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace Tour
Tour by Foo Fighters
Location Oceania, North America and Europe
Associated album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace
Start date March 27, 2007 (2007-03-27)
End date December 3, 2008 (2008-12-03)
Legs 9
Shows 131

The promotional tour for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace begun in September 2007, after some concerts in the United Kingdom during the summer,[19] and lasted until Fall 2008.[20] The band performed shows throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Asia, including headlining the Virgin Mobile Festival in Baltimore on August 9. At the European MTV Music Awards in 2007 Pat Smear confirmed his return to the band.

While the back-up band compiled for the In Your Honor tour – though with Jessy Greene instead of Petra Haden on the violin - remained to perform complex songs such as "Come Alive", a few tracks had more stripped-down arrangements.[19][21] The tour lasted 131 concerts in 9 legs spread across Oceania, North America and Europe, from September 2007 to December 2008.

In June 2008, the band performed two sold-out nights on Wembley Stadium in London, which became the DVD Live at Wembley Stadium.[22]

Supporting acts
  • Supergrass (2008)[23]

Wasting Light Tour(2011-2012)[edit]

Wasting Light World Tour
Tour by Foo Fighters
Start date May 14, 2011
End date September 29, 2012
Legs 10
Shows North America: 51
Europe: 34
Oceania: 10
South America: 4
Total: 99

On December 21, 2010, the same day the band’s seventh album, Wasting Light, was finished, the band played a secret gig at the Tarzana, California bar Paladino’s, on which four songs from the new record made their live debuts.[24][25] Other warm-up shows in California followed. Then, a show in London for the NME Awards occurred followed by other promo shows in Europe. Next, the band headed to Australia and New Zealand to play benefit and promo shows. The band then head to North America for the first proper leg of the Wasting Light Tour.[26] with most concerts having the album played in its entirety along with other hit songs by the band.[27] Given the album was recorded in Dave Grohl’s garage, the band held a contest for which some shows of the promotional tour would be performed in eight fans' garages.[28][29] This leg was followed by a run of European Festival and headlining dates, including two sold-out shows at the Milton Keynes National Bowl. Then band then played at the 20th Anniversary of Lollapalooza in Chicago, during which part of their set was played in a rainstorm. The band then played some more European festival dates followed by an extensive North American tour. The band then closed out 2011 with a tour of Australia and New Zealand. The band had a tour of Asia scheduled, but the dates were cancelled due to Dave being ill. Then band then commenced a tour of South America in Spring 2012. Throughout the summer, the band appeared at sporadic North American festivals. The band will be returning to Europe in August 2012. This tour marked the returns of songs that the band hadn't played since 1996, such as Butterflies and Winnebago.

Supporting acts


  1. ^ a b Apter, Jeff (2006). The Dave Grohl Story. Music Sales Group. pp. 271–4. ISBN 978-0-85712-021-2. 
  2. ^ Rosen, Craig (June 24, 1995). "Time Off Re-energizes the Foo Fighters". Billboard. 
  3. ^ a b Apter, 2006. p. 294-8
  4. ^ a b c d e Moll, James (director) (2011). Back and Forth (documentary). RCA. 
  5. ^ Newman, Melina (1997-05-03). "Capitol Stresses Group 'Shape' of the Foo Fighters". Billboard. 
  6. ^ Brannigan, Paul (November 2009). "Dave Grohl: AMERICAN HERO". Mojo. 
  7. ^ Apter, 2006. p. 355-6
  8. ^ Foo Fighters Schedule Euro Visit
  9. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (2002-10-08). "Foo Fighters Plan Mini-Tour Dates One By One". MTV. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  10. ^ Apter, 2006. p. 355-6
  11. ^ Foo Fighters - Everywhere But Home, Sputnik Music
  12. ^
  13. ^ Scaggs, Austin (April 29, 2005). "Foos Reclaim Their Honor". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2008-06-20. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  14. ^ Montgomery, James (2005-07-15). "Foo Fighters/ Weezer Tour Confirmed — But The Suspense Continues...". MTV. Retrieved 2012-06-11. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Cohen, Jonathan (2006-09-29). "Foo Fighters Acoustic Trek Heading To CD, DVD". Billboard. Retrieved 2012-06-10. 
  17. ^ Foo Fighters - Live in London/Skin and Bones (Acoustic Live) (DVD),
  18. ^ Hyde Park, Sony Music Czech Republic
  19. ^ a b Cohen, Jonathan (18 August 2007). "Rock Steady". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  20. ^ Brannigan, Paul (December 2010). "Kerrang's 50 albums you need to hear in 2011 - Foo Fighters (Interview)". Kerrang!. 
  21. ^ Almond, Steve (October 22, 2007). "The Tao of Foo". Spin. Retrieved 2012-04-19. 
  22. ^ Billboard Bits: My Morning Jacket, Merge, Foo Fighters
  23. ^
  24. ^ Diehl, Matt (2010-12-23). "Foo Fighters Reunite, Play New Songs at Secret Show". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  25. ^ Collis, Clark (2011-04-15). "Dave Grohl Q&A: The Foo Fighters frontman talks about the new Foos album, saying no to 'Glee,' and playing 'Smells LIke Teen Spirit' for the first time in 18 years". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2012-01-11. 
  26. ^ Peters, Mitchell (2011-03-25). "Foo Fighters: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  27. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (2011-04-13). "Foo Fighters Play 'Wasting Light,' Other Hits on 'Live on Letterman'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 
  28. ^ "The BlackBerry Garage Contest - Foo Fighters Garage Tour". Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  29. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (2011-04-19). "Foo Fighters Cut Loose in a Fan's Garage". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2012-01-15. 

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