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Foo Fighters New York Concert: 7 best moments

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Greg Allen/Invision/AP

“Everyday people ask me, ‘What happened to rock n’ roll?’ Dave Grohl asked his crowd from his Foo Fighters’ logo-emblazoned throne just a handful of songs into the Foo Fighters’ Wednedday night set. “And I’m like, ‘What do you mean?'” he continued. “When I look out at your audience tonight, I can see rock n’ roll!”

For two-and-a-half hours, Grohl shred harder than most could on two feet — at one point using his casted leg to actually play his guitar. He and his longtime bandmates dipped into old favorites and popped off enormous covers to a sold out crowd at the New York’s Citi Field, usually home to the Mets. And while watching him play, you had to believe he was right.

Here are the best things we saw.

Dave Grohl’s show-opening wail.

Yes, it was insane that the Foos opened their set ripping through “Everlong” (!), “Monkey Wrench” (!!), and “Learn to Fly” (!!!), but before even that, from his throne that we couldn’t yet see, fans heard Dave Grohl welcome the group with his signature wail. If somehow you thought you were going to get a tame show due to Grohl’s broken leg, you had to have known you were wrong, even then.

Grohl shows the crowd exactly what happened in Sweden.

“Guess what happened in Sweden,” Dave said, joking to his audience. “I have a slideshow presentation—want a slideshow presentation?” Except that part wasn’t a joke. He really had pictures of the broken bone, of Johan the medic who got him back on stage, of himself, high-as-a-kite in the hospital, and the drawing he sketched while high-as-a-kite of the throne he was currently playing from. Grohl beamed at the crowd and the crowd beamed right back.

A trip down acoustic memory lane.

About halfway through the set, Grohl made his way down the walkway with guitarists Pat Smear and Chris Shiflett to deliver an acoustic version of “My Hero”. Grohl held his crutches high above his head as the crowd sang every word back and it made you realize: Head banging Dave will get you to rock, but acoustic Dave, understated Dave, will sweep you off your feet.

Grohl proclaims the Foo Fighters the world’s highest paid cover band.

Throughout the night they covered AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock”, Tom Petty’s “Breakdown”, Queen’s “Under Pressure”, and the Police’s “Next to You”. They earned their keep.

Dave Grohl, in general.

The Foo Fighters have long been a band that played with heart, and Grohl is its pulse. In between head banging from his throne, Grohl talked to fans from the stage, and peppered the crowd with hilarious anecdotes and appreciation. (One highlight: “I know there are some old school Foo Fighters fans out there—minivan-drivin’ mother f—kers. I got one too! Honda Odyssey, it’s the one!”)

The Foos do an encore — with Chad Smith.

Dave Grohl and the gang rarely do encores — they play long enough sets not to have to — but Wednesday night they made an exception, all in the name of Chad. Smith, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, took over the kit to play “Stay With Me.” Taylor Hawkins, removed from his perch, handled the vocals and told the crowd of when the group toured with the Chili Peppers back in 1999. (When Hawkins said that was the year the Foos learned to be a band, Dave added, “It’s certainly where we learned how to party!”)

The setlist.

Old favorites (“This Is A Call”, “All My Life”), new favorites (“White Limo”), and all-time favorites (“Best Of You”) ensured not only that everyone was standing, or that the GA pit was jumping, but that every fan — no matter where along the Foos’ 20-year journey they joined — got to hear (and sing!) their favorite song.

The Foo Fighters continue their Citi Field stand with one more show on Thursday and future tour dates can be found on their website.

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