REVIEW: Foo Fighters / Against Me! / HiFi Handgrenades – Live in Toronto, March 22, 2008
Despite having a perfect 1:1 ratio of good albums to totally shit albums, Foo Fighters are still one of the most entertaining bands in rock ‘n’ roll. I mean, they seriously haven’t put out a listenable record since 1999. So it’s beyond my realm of understanding how Dave Grohl and co. managed to play for two-plus hours and keep me (and about a blagillion other people) enthralled without making me doubt their sincerity (or ability to run full-speed down a catwalk while playing guitar) for even a second.
After getting to this monster show to interview opening openers HiFi Handgrenades (ex-Suicide Machines, the Fags), and then being denied an actual pass to said show, we just bombed around the concourse level of the Air Canada Centre for a while before strolling purposefully past an usher to some seats that didn’t belong to us. Like kings. The HiFi’s were solid, but kind of lost in the massive, mostly-empty arena. They still faired better than Against Me!, who followed with a set of soulless, rote “punk rock” and succeeded in proving how signing to a major label and continuing to sing songs about your D.I.Y. ethics is really kind of boring when everyone knows you’re just in it for the money now. Whoops, you suck.
Then you’ve got the Foo Fighters, who have never pretended to be anything but a bombastic rock band for the entirety of their career. Sure, they’re a shitty bombastic rock band now, but they got fucking Rush to jam on stage with them at this show. I don’t even like Rush! But seriously! Anyway, there was a huge catwalk, stages at both ends of the arena, and duck-walking. It was huge and it made you feel like everyone in the world, including people who listen to shitty music, are ultimately good people, and maybe, in another life, you could all be friends. Except they paid $80 to see a band that hasn’t been good for nine years, so probably not. But good jams!