Home > News & Reviews > Foo Fighters

The Setlist Draft: Curating Our Perfect Foo Fighters Show

Thursday, 06 June 2024 Written by Huw Baines

Foo Fighters don’t really do downtime. This summer they’ll return to Europe for another run of truly massive shows, including enormous stadium dates in Manchester, Glasgow, London, Cardiff and Birmingham.

Between June 13 and 27, Dave Grohl and family will run through their usual high-octane assemblage of shoutalong anthems and earnest rockers, with room also set aside for a supporting cast — including Wet Leg, Courtney Barnett, Chroma, Himalayas, Honeyblood, Hot Milk, and Shame — that pairs buzzy cool with a smattering of local heroes.

Setlist-wise, the Foos are a well drilled machine. You want hits, they got ‘em, basically. But their catalogue is deep these days — 11 LPs spanning almost 30 years — so there’s room for a few surprises. Right, Dave? Here we take a look at a few tweaks to the formula that we think might please the old heads in the back while lifting the roof clean off some of the biggest venues in the world.

When the moment calls for…something to celebrate ‘There’s Nothing Left to Lose’

It’s been 25 years since the Foos put out their third LP (and first to feature the late Taylor Hawkins behind the kit) and a few cuts have been making the setlist grade of late, with Aurora and Breakout joining Learn to Fly on the running order. The latter is a banker, but if the first two are in play then we have some suggestions. Something pretty? Look no further than Ain’t it the Life, which is cut from the same cloth as Aurora – all homespun charm and easy hooks delivered in Grohl’s breeziest register. And as for something that rocks? In place of Breakout, let’s do Stacked Actors, which has maybe the best, brawniest riff in the band’s whole discography. 

When the moment calls for…something to highlight Josh Freese’s insane work rate

Of late, March of the Pigs or Whip It! have been included in a medley of hits — the drummer has played in both Nine Inch Nails and Devo — but permit us to visit one of the more permanent homes in Freese’s nomadic career: the Vandals. He has been part of the Orange County punk institution for decades, first appearing on 1990’s ‘Fear of a Punk Planet’, so let’s pull out a sophomoric Freese-penned ripper that happens to feature his rapid-fire drumming in full flow: Cafe 405 from ‘Hitler Bad, Vandals Good’. Imagine that in a stadium. Imagine it.

When the moment calls for…something that’ll rock your face clean off

'The Colour and the Shape' will always be well represented on any Foos setlist because it’s home to three of their biggest hitters in Everlong, Monkey Wrench and My Hero. Be honest, though, you’d drop one of them in a heartbeat if it meant being flattened by Hey Johnny Park! — another contender as the finest riff to ever pour from Grohl’s fingers — or Enough Space, which would allow Nate Mendel to conduct chaos thanks to its addictive, looped lead bassline. Also, imagine how epic things could get if February Stars is recalled for the first time since 2017. If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the band’s 1998 second album, then you should get to it soon. It’s so good that its megastar singles aren’t all that in context.

When the moment calls for…a half-forgotten mid-career anthem

Remarkably, according to Setlist.fm it’s been 16 years since the Foos last played No Way Back live. That’s kind of wild given how hard it goes. Taken from their ‘In Your Honor’ double album (which turns 20 next year) the song is a short, sharp blast of everything that made you fall in love with the band in the first place. It’s got a fun riff, a massive chorus, it’s fast, and it’s winningly bittersweet. There are other songs in their rotation that perform a similar role with slight deviations — the ever-reliable Walk, for example, even the more elegiac Rescued — but few of them have the barrelling energy and muscularity of this one.

When the moment calls for…a timely cover

Way back in the mists of a different time (or 1995) the early Foo Fighters ran through a live version of Cactus — a barbed highlight from Pixies’ classic 1988 debut album ‘Surfer Rosa’ that was also a favourite of David Bowie — during a show in Osaka, Japan. Following the recent death of Steve Albini, who engineered that LP and later made Grohl’s drums sound like the world ending in your living room on Nirvana’s ‘In Utero’, it would be a neat callback to bring this one up again after such a long time on the shelf. 

Foo Fighters Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu June 13 2024 - MANCHESTER Emirates Old Trafford
Sat June 15 2024 - MANCHESTER Emirates Old Trafford
Mon June 17 2024 - GLASGOW Hampden Park
Thu June 20 2024 - LONDON Stadium Olympic Park
Sat June 22 2024 - LONDON Stadium Olympic Park
Tue June 25 2024 - CARDIFF Principality Stadium
Thu June 27 2024 - BIRMINGHAM Villa Park

Compare & Buy Foo Fighters Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


We don't run any advertising! Our editorial content is solely funded by lovely people like yourself using Stereoboard's listings when buying tickets for live events. To keep supporting us, next time you're looking for concert, festival, sport or theatre tickets, please search for "Stereoboard". It costs you nothing, you may find a better price than the usual outlets, and save yourself from waiting in an endless queue on Friday mornings as we list ALL available sellers!

Let Us Know Your Thoughts

Related News

Fri 10 May 2024
Extra Tickets For Foo Fighters' Everything Or Nothing At All UK Stadium Shows On Sale 9am Today
Wed 08 May 2024
Extra Tickets Released For Foo Fighters Everything Or Nothing At All UK Stadium Dates
Mon 11 Dec 2023
Foo Fighters Confirm Three New US Shows For May
Mon 02 Oct 2023
Foo Fighters Announce Summer 2024 US Stadium Shows For Everything Or Nothing At All Tour
Wed 13 Sep 2023
Foo Fighters' Chris Shiflett Posts New Single Overboard
< Prev   Next >