Foo Fighters: Epic ‘Sonic Highways’ Summer 2015 Tour
By Tobias Pettigrew
Where many have burned brighter but burned out faster, Foo Fighters are one band who have racked up success after success. From the post-Nirvana one-man-band era of the early ‘90s, to the stadium-filling, explosive rock group we have today, survival is almost certainly a euphemism. Foo Fighters have thrived where so many other fellow 90s alt-rock bands have failed. It surely begs the question – is it better to burn out, or fade away? Front-man David Grohl, in all likelihood, would defiantly answer with ‘neither’. True to form, Foo Fighters released their eighth studio album, ‘Sonic Highways’, in November 2014.
In the making of the album, David Grohl travelled to eight cities across America with a film crew, interviewing music icons such as ZZ Top, Buddy Guy, Dolly Parton, Kiss and The Eagles, along with renowned producers and industry veterans. While each song is inspired by the music scene and social background of each of the eight cities – indeed, Grohl collaborated with a long list of musicians on the album – ‘Sonic Highways’ holds on to the familiar feel-good, fist-pumping punk rock sound that makes Foo Fighters such an accessible, enjoyable band.
‘Subterranean’, recorded in the band’s ancestral grunge home of Seattle, is slow, moody, and represents the difficulties of moving on from the ashes of Nirvana in the band’s early years. Washington D.C. sets the scene for ‘The Feast and the Famine’, and it’s pulsating, angst-driven punk-rock sound harks to the energy and anger of the ’68 race riots that specifically impacted Washington D.C.
The final track of the album – ‘I am a River’ – begins as a melancholy ballad, before soaring to majestic, stadium-filling heights, with Grohl pelting out the title lyrics before being joined by the LA Youth Orchestra, who lend an appreciated depth of harmony to the song, and the album as a whole.
While ‘Sonic Highways’ might not be particularly groundbreaking, it doesn’t need to be. The album rejoices in the Foo Fighter’s signature energetic alt-rock sound. Not only that, ‘Sonic Highways’ – released alongside the documentary series of the same name – is an outright celebration of American rock ‘n’ roll – both past, present and future.
The Foo Fighters have always been an intermediary between the alternative underground and the mainstream, enduring three, often crisis-filled decades of rock. As such, it’s hard to imagine a band more suited to rejoice and reflect in the nation’s musical heritage, and their new album proves they’re the stronger band for it.
It only seems suitable that the Foo Fighters kick off a gigantic, ambitious ‘Sonic Highways’ tour this summer in the US. They’ll make their explosive debut in Washington D.C.’s RFK Stadium on the 4th of July, hitting up nearly 40 venues across North America, from New York to Vancouver, and Toronto to Albuquerque. Going full circle, they’ll also make appearances in the cities that inspired ‘Sonic Highways’, including Chicago, L.A., Austin and Nashville.
In celebrating their musical heritage, the Foo Fighters have also chosen fine young musicians to keep the rock ‘n’ roll torch burning. British hard-rock duo ‘Royal Blood’ seem like an obvious choice as a supporting act, their rhythm heavy performance is the perfect, groovy warmup for Foo Fighter’s famously crowd-pleasing rock riffs and singalong hits. The band, formed in 2013, has taken the UK by storm, debuting at number one in the charts. The likes of Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin have expressed admiration for the band, stating:
“I went to hear them in New York. They were fantastic. Absolutely riveting. It’s so refreshing to hear, because they play with the spirit of the things that have preceded them, but you can hear they’re going to take rock into a new realm.”
Watch out, US, you’re next.
Be sure to see Foo Fighters and Royal Blood on tour this summer in the US, from the 4th of July to 7th of October. Check out their tour itinerary below.
7/4/15 — Washington D.C. – RFK Stadium
7/6/15 — Camden, N.J. – Susquehanna Bank Center
7/9/15 — Toronto, Ontario – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
7/16/15 — New York, N.Y. – Citi Field
7/18/15 — Boston, Mass. – Fenway Park
7/19/15 — Boston, Mass. – Fenway Park
8/12/15 — Edmonton, Alberta – Rexall Place
8/13/15 — Calgary, Alberta – Scotiabank Saddledome
8/17/15 — Denver, Colo. – Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
8/19/15 — Maryland Heights, Mo. – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
8/21/15 — Kansas City, Mo. – Sprint Center
8/22/15 — St. Paul, Minn. – Xcel Energy Center
8/24/15 — Detroit, Mich. – DTE Energy Music Theatre
8/25/15 — Pittsburgh, Pa. – First Niagara Pavilion
8/27/15 — Indianapolis, Ind. – Klipsch Music Center
8/29/15 — Chicago, Ill. – Wrigley Field
9/11/15 — Vancouver, British Columbia – Rogers Arena
9/12/15 — George, Wash. – Gorge Amphitheatre
9/14/15 — Portland, Ore. – Moda Center
9/16/15 — Mountain View, Calif. – Shoreline Amphitheatre
9/18/15 — Anaheim, Calif. – Honda Center
9/21/15 — Los Angeles, Calif. – The Forum
9/25/15 — Phoenix, Ariz. – AK-Chin Pavilion
9/27/15 — Albuquerque, N.M. – Isleta Amphitheater
9/29/15 — Oklahoma City, Okla. – Chesapeake Energy Arena
9/30/15 — Wichita, Kan. – INTRUST Bank Arena
10/4/15 — Atlanta, Ga. – Centennial Olympic Park
10/5/15 — Nashville, Tenn. – Bridgestone Arena
10/7/15 — Memphis, Tenn. – FedEx Forum
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More at: http://foofighters.com/tour
Photo Credit: Hayley Madden