It was very frustrating, 20th June was fast approaching and the four eldest girls as well as myself and Zoe were, well, pumped I think is the best way to describe it. For three of the girls and Zo it was to be the first time they had seen the Foos live…. And Mr Growl likes nothing more than Foo virgins! Me, I’m a shameless slut and he’s had me before but i was still willing to be put through the aural assault that Wembley and the best live band on the circuit had in store for us. I wanted my ears to be violated by that beardy man like he’d never done before. And then….. well, then of course Gothemburg happened. True, it was funny watching him corpse when later in the set (with a shattered femur) he had to sing “Learning to Walk Again” We waited patiently for news but it was all too inevitable. First the mainland Europe dates were cancelled and then, Manchester, Wembley, Glastonbury and then more.
Gutted was not the word, it was also difficult to see when a reschedule could occur. We took the opportunity anyway to head off to London, enjoyed the sights sounds, smells and tastes of Camden Lock, Covent Garden and sadly way too much of the inside of bloody Primark for my liking. We returned without a visit to the hallowed turf to pray at the altar of rock.
Time passed…. And the memory fades. I believe we waited long enough….23 days in fact, though it seemed much longer and then a whisper became a rumour, became gossip and finally it all gave way to a fanfare, 5th September, Milton Keynes. Be there…. so we obliged, after what seemed like an interminable wait!
The day came and as is the way of these things, we were late to the venue, which unfortunately meant that we missed part of Royal Bloods set. They looked a little bit like this:-
What we did see of them was awesome, the sun was out and so even the imminent arrival of Iggy Pop could not dampen our enthusiasm. I’m Bored… The Chairman of the Bored.
The afternoon gave way to the early evening, the light faded and as it did so the area in front of the stage filled with ever more people. The expended breaths of every man, woman and child in that small area hung low in the semi lit arena, waiting for the moment. Time drew out, and the chatter and buzz of expectancy increased, the slightest flicker in the large FF flag drawn across the stage elicited hushes and pointing fingers until finally a cacophony of guitars and growly Grohl asked us ‘Are you fucking ready!?”
The opening strains of Everlong accompany Growl screaming at us
“We came back for you”
And then….. the curtains just seemingly disappeared in front of our very eyes, like an elaborate magic trick performed with silks leaving the Foos, the lights, and that fucking sound. As always, they pounded through the set with perfection (but always too fast); Everlong, Monkey Wrench, Learn to Fly.
Something from Nothing? Yep, they sure did that when they turned the tables on the crowd asking us to light up the stage for Dan the lighting guy. Big Me was very special as Im sure you’ll see from this video I found. I just loved turning around and seeing 100,000 candle phones. I seem to remember spending more time facing away from the main attraction for this song
And still they kept coming at us, Congregation, Walk, Cold Day in the Sun all delivered with the legendary humour that Foos bring before something a little bit special. In fact with this much historical perspective it becomes even more special than it seemed at the time.
Under Pressure, with guest appearances from JPJ and Roger Taylor. A special birthday tribute for Freddie and now with the passing of David Bowie not too much later the list of people by right of birth entitled to sing that song falls to zero. Dave and Taylor gave it their best of course, but they would be the first to acknowledge they were treading in the footsteps of Giants.
Times Like These, These Days, Breakout, Arlandria lifted us ever higher. We were then treated to the fabulousness that is Outside. But none of these were for me the ‘Take Home’ moment, this came later and when it did it took my both by storm and surprise:-
“We’re gonna play a song we’ve not played in a long fucking time”
“Because 7 people wanna hear it!”
I’m grateful to those 7 people, this song made my night and a lot of others people nights too I suspect.
And then, all too soon…. it was over. Yep, we always say this but I think in this instance it really was true. The reason was of course “that omission”, “that song” that didn’t get played… Sure Id have loved to have heard Johnny Park, Wheels and Stacked Actors but I’m talking about My Hero which for the first time in forever did not get played. I later learned that the song was on the set list right after Outside but was somehow… just missed.
“There goes my hero, He’s ordinary”.