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Foo Fighters reopen Madison Square Garden with Dave Chappelle at sold-out show

·3 min read

Rock ‘n’ roll dreams came true Sunday night.

Specifically, the dreams of Dave Grohl, frontman of the Foo Fighters, who reopened Madison Square Garden in New York City to full capacity concerts with a sold-out show June 20.

“I walked out on the stage tonight and it was just like how I dreamed it,” said Grohl in the middle of the song “Best of You.” “Thank you everybody for making my dream come true tonight.”

The roar from the crowd suggested that it was not Grohl's dream alone. The Foo Fighters delivered nearly three hours of guitar-driven rock music framed by thundering beats and indominable energy. Grohl, with screams, yelps and growls, plus a flying shock of dark hair, is a rock 'n' roll survivor fueled of the primal energy of a big beat and distorted guitar. He's the former drummer for Nirvana who formed the Foo Fighters 26 years ago.

Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs onstage during the taping of the 'Vax Live' fundraising concert at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on May 2, 2021.
Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters performs onstage during the taping of the 'Vax Live' fundraising concert at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on May 2, 2021.

He has a sense of humor, too.

“Goddamn, I missed the attention,” quipped Grohl at one point.

There were also a few songs out of left field on Sunday. Deep left field. Comedian Dave Chappelle joined the band to sing the Radiohead hit “Creep.” He's done it before in public, but never with the Foo Fighters.

More: David Chappelle premieres emotional new documentary 'This Time This Place' at Tribeca Festival

Chappelle sang with just the right amount of comedic irony, and ended with a mic drop, flex and salute.

The Foo Fighters also have a Bee Gees thing going on. Drummer Taylor Hawkins has a picture of Barry Gibb on his bass drum and the band's Bee Gees tribute album, “Hail Satin,” is due out July 17. Grohl sang the Bee Gees’ “You Should Be Dancing” during the encore.

The crowd did indeed dance. The show was the first one in more than 15 months with no masks, social distancing or capacity limits at the Garden. Attendees did need to produce proof of COVID-19 vaccination.

“I'm hoping (everyone) observes the appropriate protocols and safety measures, but if everybody is vaccinated and everybody has their vaccination card to show, fingers crossed, we should all be able to rock 'n' roll.” said Austin Glasser from Brooklyn, New York, who attended the show with wife Danielle Glasser.

They left their 2-month-old at home with her grandparents for the first time. She's named Aurora, after the Foo Fighters song, which Grohl sang on Sunday.

A handful of anti-vaccine protesters were outside the arena before the show. They took umbrage with having to be vaccinated to see the show. Some had costumes and arresting signs, like “Kurt Cobain is Rock 'n' Rollin’ Over,” a reference to Grohl’s former bandmate who died in 1994, or “MSG & Foo Fighters Complicit in Crimes Against Humanity.”

Interview: Dave Grohl talks recording new Foo Fighters' album in a haunted house, having 'crazy dreams every night'

On stage, Grohl dedicated the song “My Hero” to those who worked to get us to this point.

“I don't think we'd be here tonight if it weren't for a lot of people who helped us get this far,” Grohl said. “Not naming names, but we can sing this song.”

Foo Fighters set list

"Times Like These"

"The Pretender"

"Learn to Fly"

"No Son of Mine"

"The Sky Is a Neighborhood"

"Shame Shame"

"Rope"

"Run"

"My Hero"

"These Days"

"Medicine at Midnight"

"Walk"

"Somebody to Love"

"Monkey Wrench"

"Arlandria"

"Breakout"

"Creep" (with Dave Chappelle)

"All My Life"

"Aurora"

"This Is a Call"

"Best of You"

"Making a Fire"

"You Should Be Dancing"

"Everlong"

Chris Jordan, a Jersey Shore native, covers entertainment and features for the USA Today Network New Jersey. Contact him at @chrisfhjordan; cjordan@app.com.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Foo Fighters, Dave Chapelle reopen Madison Square Garden post-COVID

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