Although disappointed to hear that Foo Fighters would be headlining and Weezer would be opening for them, I was still looking forward to seeing both bands in concert.
We went into Joe Louis Arena around 8pm, which was just a bit late for Weezer unfortunately. I've never been late for a Weezer show, the excitement level was so high, it didn't seem to matter once we walked in. They were finishing up the first song of their set, "My Name is Jonas" from what we could hear, so we rushed in.
I, for one, was absolutely elated when we walked down the stairs to our seats and realized HOW CLOSE we were to the stage. Just as expected, these seats were 10 times better than main floor tickets, which is why I opted for them. We were the second section away from the stage off to stage right, and it ended up being the best view I could possibly imagine in the entire arena. We could see everything.
Not surprisingly, Weezer tore it up. I was so happy to see Weezer back in true form again. I saw them back in May and was a bit disappointed that the band didn't really seem to have a good time or care too much about entertaining the crowd. This time was a complete 180! They were more into the music and the show than I've seen them in years. I think I've seen Weezer 8 times now and this was one of the best. Surprising for an opener show!
The song they were knocking out when we took our seats was "Peace" off of the new album, quickly helping to boost it up on my list of favorite new Weezer tracks. It's a slower one, but a good concert song because of the emotion and the "ooo's" and "aahhh's" throughout.
I'm not sure on the order of the rest of the setlist, but I can list which songs they played. The important thing to note here is that they played MANY of the songs that I felt that they missed last time. Conveniently for us, it was sort of the more exciting sequel to the last Detroit show. Some songs that they didn't play last time, but gave us this time were "Perfect Situation" and "This Is Such a Pity" off of the new album. Two more of my favorite songs of the new one.
The definite highlight of the show was "El Scorcho" in which Rivers handed off his guitar to a backup player, and sang while walking around working the crowd and fooling around with the other band members. I've never seen Rivers perform on stage without a guitar, so this was interesting. He just looked to be having so much fun up there. I love to see that in a live performing band. The song sounded absolutely perfect.
This show made me realize how well the new bassist fits in with the band. Maybe he's finally finding his place. This brings me to another highlight. Scott the bassist sang "Dope Nose" while Rivers simply played lead guitar, which was a great way to switch things up. Other band members usually don't sing the songs and I've never heard Scott sing before, but he did a great job on that. Again, it sounded perfect.
Speaking of switching it up, Brian took the lead vox on "Why Bother?" again just like he did in May. That was cool to see again, it's a good song. I wonder if these songs were chosen by the band members themselves to sing, or maybe Rivers doesn't feel like singing these songs anymore and asked them to? Either way, it made the show more interesting and I like how it brought the rest of the band more to the forefront of the show for a while. Rivers went to the back and played the keyboard for that song.
Another HUGE highlight and one of the most surprising parts of the set was when Rivers said that he noticed that the Foo Fighters weren't playing "Big Me" in any of the shows, so they were going to play it for us instead. Wow, it sounded great! (I was lucky enough to snag an mp3 of that cover from the Mexico City show earlier this week) The crowd obviously went nuts with joy and excitement.
When they came back for their encore, Rivers surprised everyone by being in the back of the main floor on a mini-stage. He played "Island in the Sun" acoustic by himself. That was probably really cool for people in the back of the venue.
When Rivers came back to the stage, Brian the other guitarist had pulled a guy from the crowd to play guitar on the next song - The Sweater Song! That was pretty exciting for me to see, I can't even imagine how that guy felt. It sounded pretty together. Just imagine being able to say that you played onstage with Weezer, one of the greatest rock bands of our time! What was even better was that this kid had great showmanship along with the rest of the band. He interacted with the band members as he played, and he even jumped on backup vocals without being invited to! The band seemed pretty entertained by this and let him live out his rock star dream. The kid didn't go overboard though and he politely tried to hand the acoustic guitar back to Rivers, but Rivers said he could keep it. How awesome.
The final surprise and the show-ender was Pat the drummer coming to the front of the stage with Rivers taking over drums. He sang the hit song "Photograph", cutting it short only to bust into a cover of Blur's "Song 2"!!!! Wow, 2 covers in one show and Weezer rarely EVER does covers! Pat sounded awesome singing that song. I love that song and I'm so glad that they pleasured us with that.
The setlist from what I remember:
My Name Is Jonas
Don't Let Go
We Are All on Drugs
This Is Such a Pity
Surf Wax America
Say It Ain't So
Island in the Sun (acoustic)
Undone (Sweater Song)
Looking back, they played more songs than some headlining bands do. What a rock and roll extravaganza! When Weezer was done, I felt fulfilled. I knew I had already had my money's worth. The Foo Fighters would simply be a huge bonus deal.
The we prepared for the Foo. I went back to my seat early to make sure I didn't miss the opening song. They went outside to smoke and then to get more beer. I couldn't drink alcohol for this experience. I was high on life!
When the lights went down, the crowd went wild with anticipation. Suddenly, the guitar ripped into the opening of "In Your Honor", the new album's opening track. The curtain's went up to reveal Grohl and co. and a fantastic stage setup. There was an oddly shaped screen on either side of the stage showing the band members playing, with some sort of filter over it to make it look like a messed up film. There was a long screen across the top of the stage setup that would turn different colors depending on the mood of the song which really help the light show. Whatever color came onto that screen would light up the entire main floor audience. They also used this screen to flash "Foo Fighters" across the screen throughout the night.
"In Your Honor" is a slow starting (but loud) song that builds up and gets faster. Perfect opening.
Just like Weezer before them, the Foo Fighters seemed so happy and excited to be performing for us. Dave was smiling most of the time like a band on it's first headlining tour (though obviously this wasn't the case). He seemed so taken back by it all.
I never imagined the Foo Fighters could put on such a good show. I would say it was more of a greatest hits show than an advertisement for their new album or anything else. The only songs they played that wouldn't make up a Foo's Greatest Hits collection were the opening song and "Up In Arms", an oldie but goodie that starts off slow and turns into a punk-like diddy. One of my personal Foo favorites. Then they also played another song off of the new album sang by the drummer.
I like the way they did "Everlong". Dave did most of the song acoustic, then for the final chorus, the rest of the band joined in and just ROCKED. There was so much energy building in the crowd during the acoustic part, you could FEEL it. Then when the band rocked out, the crowd went NUTS. I couldn't even contain my excitement. Even up in the stands, we were jumping around like idiots.
Another highlight of the show is my favorite song of the Foo Fighters more recent work, "Times Like These". It sounded so perfect in concert, just like I would've expected. So much emotion in that song, I love feeling it. And of course my favorite song off of the new abum, "Best of You" sounded better than perfect in concert. I could not believe how good this sounded.
The setlist from what I remember:
In Your Honor
All My Life
Best of You
Up In Arms
Learn To Fly
This Is a Call
Cold Day In The Sun (with Taylor the drummer on lead vox)
Times Like These
Everlong (acoustic turned rock version)
I feel as if I'm missing something here, but that's what I remember. At one point in the show, Dave Grohl talked about his past in Detroit. "Anyone see us at St. Andrews back in the day? Yeah, we fucked up that place a cuppla times. How about the State Theatre? Yeah, we fucked it up a few times. Anyone at Cobo a couple years back? Well those were nothing compared to the rock and roll extravaganza we have planned for you tonight." He must've been right, because an extravaganza it was. I can't really imagine it being better than it was.
With the exception of "Up In Arms" and the acoustic version of "Everlong", the rest of the show was just all out hard rock and roll. I never realized the Foo Fighters were such a hard rock band. They turned up the energy like crazy on every song. Even if songs were sort of in the middle on the album, they sounded like hard rock anthems in concert.
One of the most interesting parts of the show was when Taylor the drummer sang his song off of the new album. Obviously, someone had to play drums and obviousl it was Dave. Now I don't know if you knew this or not, but Dave Grohl was the drummer of this little band that was around in the 90s called Nirvana, which is where he found his fame. Being that he was one of the most popular drummers of the 90s and seeing him beat up the drumset live in concert was quite an honor.
Bravo to Dave, Nate, Chris, and Taylor for exceeding my expectations as live performers. I am more of a fan of the band than ever before. I may have owned all of the albums previously, but I now have so much more respect and love for them than previously. And of course thanks to Weezer for opening such a great show and playing their hearts out for the fans. I really appreciate it.
Overall, probably one of the best arena shows I've EVER seen.