Written by Samuel Barker
Apr 23, 2003 at 08:00 PM
ImageA lot of time has gone by since the last time I had seen the Foo Fighters. The little side project for Dave Grohl has turned into a rock phenomenon, the band has gone from featuring Pat Smear to Chris Shiftlet and the venue has changed from Numbers to the Reliant Arena. Add this to the band coming off winning a few Grammys, and it’s not hard to see why this band seems to be so alive.Opening with current single, All My Life, Grohl and company gave the people a chance to cheer from the opening. With the stage shrouded with a curtain, the silhouettes of Grohl, Shiftlet, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer shone through until, as the band burst into the chorus, the curtain came down to show the band rocking out. The stage set up was simple, but the music spoke for itself.

Grohl took up the slack left by the meager stage appearance. Posing at the front of the stage in various rock poses, to the audiences delight, Grohl showed a light-heartedness that was missing from the first time I saw this band nearly 8 years ago. It appeared he was having the time of his life.

Pulling songs from all there releases, the audience was given a treat by this comprehensive, yet short set. Gems from their first Self-titled release, such as This Is A Call and For All The Cows, gave the older fans something to cheer about while newer tracks like My Hero and Learn to Fly got the younger crowd in a frenzy.

As time passes, you see this band growing and finding its niche, even after all these years. Though the formula has been refined, the songs still seem fresh and fun is dripping from the music. This is something most bands search for, for a long time, Grohl and the Foo Fighters have found it.

ImageOpening the show for the Foo Fighters was Transplants. Transplants is the newest band/project from Tim Armstrong of Rancid/Operation Ivy fame. Consisting of punk songs with cheesy rap lyrics, the sound comes off as a punked out parody of stale gangsta rap.

The band, being rounded out on album by Rob Aston and Blink-182/Boxcar Racer drummer Travis Barker, was flanked by Rancid bassist Matt Freeman as well as a few other musicians and also received a guest appearance from Lars Fredrickson of Rancid.

The slowly building audience seemed to confused by the band. While some, who made their way up close, responded well and made some noise, more just stood on the side and watched the action wondering what exactly they were seeing.

Better known tracks from this band, Diamonds And Guns and Tall Cans In The Air got a good response from even those on the fringes, but for the rest of the set, most set perplexed by what they were witnessing.

Aston spent the set running, jumping and rapping out his parts while Armstrong staggered around the stage with his guitar and added back-up vocals and some lead parts. On album this music came off a lot more serious than it did live. One can almost see this band as a project made to have a little fun and show the ridiculousness of the self-hyping, “better than you” attitude of rap music today. We can only hope that’s what it is.