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Foo Fighters blow the doors off the Scottrade Center [Live Review]

For his first live review, our newest correspondent, Chad Baalman, took on a big assignment in the Foo Fighters show on Saturday night at the Scottrade Center. We commend his attention to detail with the lengthy set list and sticking it out through the marathon show.  By Chad Baalman

"We're going to play a song for every one of you. We're going to play 12,000 (expletive) songs."

OK, so Dave Grohl was kidding when he told the Scottrade Center crowd Saturday night just how much music he and Foo Fighters had in store for them. Still, the Foos unleashed a relentless 2-hour, 45-minute set on the third stop of their North American tour that undoubtedly left fans exhausted.

Grohl took a dig at the bands who punch the clock under two hours and proceeded to give fans the requisite Foo Fighters hits, a couple covers, two solo acoustic numbers by the ex-Nirvana drummer himself and eight songs from the band's most recent release, Wasting Light.

Two songs from that album kicked off the show. The opener "Bridge Burning" gave Grohl a chance to loosen up the vocal chords from the start as he screamed the opening lyrics, "These are famous last words!!"

Fans didn't have to worry. Grohl (lead vocals, rhythm guitars) had plenty left in the tank for the marathon set. He and his band mates -- Chris Shiflett (lead guitars), Pat Smear (rhythm guitars), Nate Mendel (bass), Taylor Hawkins (drums) and Rami Jaffee (touring member - keyboards) -- pumped the Scottrade Center full of energy with "The Pretender," with Grohl even giving a subtle nod to local legend Chuck Berry with a little duck walk during the number.

The show was only three songs old, yet the Foos had the crowd eating out of their hands and signing along in unison with a rousing rendition of "My Hero," the first of three songs from their sophomore 1997 disc, The Colour and the Shape.

The songs came at a rapid-fire pace as Grohl, when we wasn't chugging a Beck's, kept the amount of stage banter relatively low. He added some more local flavor to the show as he recalled playing at Mississippi Nights, the famous, now-closed Laclede's Landing nightclub (Nirvana's 1991 show there was high-(or low)lighted by a mini riot). He also called out acts that relied on computers to beef up their sound and referred to his band as "guys just playing instruments as best we can."

Hawkins took the mic for "Cold Day in the Sun," but his day job as the drummer for the Foos is where he shines the brightest. Hawkins brought it big-time on Saturday, abusing the drums as much on the last song of the evening as he did at the start.

Yet it's clear that the multi-talented Grohl stands front and center for the Foos. Grohl took strolls down the long catwalk that divided the floor in half and endeared himself to fans with self-depreciation and humility when he did work the crowd. He gave off the vibe of being a blue-collared, hard-working rock star even though the spotlight is often on him. He cozied up to the crowd by saying, "I wish we lived in the same apartment building and we could do this every night. With no consequences, no rules."

The middle portion of the 26-song set list was highlighted by "Walk," the second single from Wasting Light in which the band kept the emotion and intensity building throughout. The momentum continued with the straight-ahead, 100 mph rocker "Monkey Wrench."

Grohl and the gang deftly mixed in melodies like "Learn to Fly," "This is a Call" and "These Days" with the aforementioned rockers. In another change of pace, Grohl kicked off the seven-song encore on a riser in the back of the arena with two acoustic solo efforts -- "Wheels" and "Best of You."

The Foos covered Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with "Breakdown" and the smiles were proof the band had fun with it. But the end was near with the midnight hour approaching and they closed things out with a bang with "Everlong."

The fans at Scottrade Center got a little bit of everything from Foo Fighters on Saturday and it's hard to imagine many of them walking away from the concert feeling shortchanged.

Even if they didn't get 12,000 songs.

_____
Foo Fighters set list - Scottrade Center, St. Louis, MO - 9/17/2011

1. Bridge Burning
2. Rope
3. The Pretender
4. My Hero
5. Learn to Fly
6. White Limo
7. Arlandria
8. Breakout
9. Cold Day in the Sun
10. Long Road to Ruin
11. Stacked Actors
12. Walk
13. Generator
14. Monkey Wrench
15. These Days
16. I Should Have Known
17. Skin and Bones
18. This is a Call
19. All My Life

Encore
20. Wheels
21. Best of You
22. Times Like These
23. Young Man Blues (Mose Allison cover)
24. Dear Rosemary
25. Breakdown (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
26. Everlong

Opening Acts:Mariachi El Bronx, Rise Against

Hell Yeah! Free Energy rocked out at the Firebird [Live Review for KDHX]

In case some of you have wondered the genre of classic rock is not dead among younger musicians. Insert a *fist pump*, a *high-five* and a \m/. Of course, this third generation seem to only get the highlights first, but the original era was about the depth and scope. Bands from the early '90s mixed the sounds of their favorite New Wave and College Rock bands into what they listened to from the '60s and '70s, however, now Pop seems to find its way into the equation as well. For Free EnergyDelicate Steve and Via Dove it's all different aspects of the genre both musically and visually that have influenced their music.

Here's a link to my review of the show Wednesday night for the KDHX blog. Check out some video below of the respective bands. Cheers!

Free Energy - "Bang Pop"

Free Energy - "Free Energy" official video

Delicate Steve - "Wondervisions"

Delicate Steve - "Butterfly" (official video)

Via Dove - El Mundo Latino - Preview

Via Dove - "Fast Times" - Live at Off Broadway

Dazzling with lights and scope, U2 transforms St. Louis [Live Review]

Editor's note-- On our Facebook page we asked if anyone would like to submit a review for the U2 show last night in St. Louis. Our good friend Michael Steinmann, bassist for Edwardsville based band Belleview, stepped up to the plate. Read his review below: A week after its transformation began, Busch Stadium proved to be the perfect backdrop for U2’s 360° tour.

In its five-year existence, I’ve probably seen upwards of 80 baseball games at the stadium, but this was my first concert in the venue. I must admit, at first it was strange seeing the alien structure perched in center field, but it didn’t take long to sink in that this was probably the most impressive temporary structure that I’ve seen.

U2_Stats
U2_Stats

If you haven’t seen the U2 360 stage, I’ll spare you the details and refer you to (pics / links). As stunning as the ‘claw’ structure was, the 360 LED video display impressed me the most. It was difficult to tell where one side of the video display ended, and the other began and pretty much guaranteed anyone in attendance, or for that matter, anyone in a downtown high-rise, could visually keep up with the live action.

Interpol opened things off as the sun was setting, but it was still pretty steamy down on the floor. While the conditions were warm, the evening did not seem as bad as it was made out to be earlier in the day. The occasional breeze was just enough to keep things tolerable. When Interpol took the stage I was a bit concerned about the acoustics. As one would expect with any stadium show, there was a lot of reverb with the delay from the stage mix to the seats. To my relief, this was rectified about 3 songs into the Interpol set and from then on out the sound was unbelievable.

With an hour wait after the finish of the Interpol set, U2 finally took to the stage just after 9 o’clock. Ten years earlier I saw them last on their Elevation tour. That show was in November of 2001 and for me the concert will always resonate due to its proximity with 9/11. Much of the show that night was dedicated to those lost on that fateful day.

U2_Starburst
U2_Starburst

Last night, the band entered on foot as David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” played over the loudspeakers, a theme which would recur many times over the course of the show. Once the band hit the stage, it was business as usual. The Edge’s guitar sound was huge and with a 3.5 million watts system, I could hear why. Bono, the consummate showman, hit his marks, as usual. Every stop seemingly a chance to strike that perfect lead singer pose displayed on the video screen for all to see. The outer ring of the stage was accessible by two large metal bridges which The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and Bono utilized frequently. Midway through the set, Larry Mullen, Jr. even took a tour of the out ring playing a bongo on “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.”

For me, highlights of the night included Bono reflecting on a show they played in St. Louis 30 years ago at Graham Chapel on the campus of Washington University. He pulled out a set list and read it aloud to the crowd. Most were songs not recognizable to casual fans of the band, with an encore consisting of songs they played earlier in the set in addition to “A Day Without Me” which was their “big hit." Bono poked fun at himself again later stating his needs were that of a simple man, “Just give me 200 trucks, 400 tons of equipment and 56,000 people and I feel great.”

U2_Ship
U2_Ship

Though I’ve been a fan of U2 since the mid-'80s, I’d still call myself a casual fan of the band, most times enjoying them from a distance. Unlike the more stripped-down Elevation tour, this tour was for the masses. Loud, large, and doing what U2 does best; entertaining a large crowd with their hits, three decades strong. Throughout the show, I got the feeling that the band weren’t necessarily tired, but instead reflecting on their past and a tour that’s spanned seven legs, 100+ shows spanning over two years. With only four tour dates left, I’m sure that the home stretch was on their mind. The crowd seemed to enjoy themselves, and even though it was a warm night, it didn’t seem like that affected the more than 50,000 that sang along with most of the two-hour and 15 minute set. I must say, that I enjoyed the show thoroughly and was not disappointed by the band’s performance and the whole spectacle of the show. The scope of the stadium along with the stage was amazing to see and when the largest grossing tour of all time comes to town, I would have felt like I missed out if I didn’t attend.

U2 set list - Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO - 7/17/2011
1. Even Better Than The Real Thing
2. The Fly
3. Mysterious Ways
4. Until The End Of The World
5. I Will Follow
6. Get On Your Boots
7. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Many Rivers To Cross (snippet)
8. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
9. Beautiful Day / Space Oddity (snippet)
10. Elevation 11. Pride (In The Name Of Love)
12. Miss Sarajevo
13. Zooropa
14. City Of Blinding Lights
15. Vertigo
16. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
17. Sunday Bloody Sunday
18. Scarlet
19. Walk On

Encore(s):
20. One
21. Hallelujah (snippet) / Where The Streets Have No Name
22. Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me
23. With Or Without You
24. Moment of Surrender