Rock was alive and well at the sold out show at the Mid-Florida Amphitheatre show on Wednesday night! The last time Dave Grohl and company came to Tampa was September 11, 2005, and the Amalie Arena was the St. Pete Times Forum! Times have changed, but good hard rock and roll is always in style, just ask the fans!
Dave Grohl came out like a hurricane on to the stage opening with “Run” which was exactly what he was doing and screaming at the crowd, reminding us just what great rebellious rock and roll is all about! Playing close to three hours, the band was on fire!
Dave Grohl respects his audience, acknowledging them continuously through the show. He is the working man’s rock star. Understanding they are spending their hard earned dollars for this show, he promises to play all night and not give them some BS hour long show. He brought an artist from the audience who gave him a painting on stage and shared a beer with him. He apologized for taking so long to come back to Tampa and the audience screamed because he means it! Grohl is a beloved member of the 90’s grunge hierarchy that brought a new sound to the rock with his late friend Kurt Cobain. Nirvana is now inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grohl had to keep rockin’ after Kurt left and he formed Foo Fighters in 1995. Beside Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins, there was Pat Smear on guitar, Nate Mendel on bass, Chris Shifflet on guitar and Rami Jaffee on keyboards, they have all been playing together on stage or recording since 1995, Jaffee being the newest since 2005.
Touring for their number one charting album “Concrete and Gold”, the setlist was a mix of many hits, covers, and new music. “Concrete” has guest artists Justin Timberlake and Paul McCartney on its tracks. Grohl and his musical cohorts have moved on with new music and aren’t just an alternative band out playing old hits. They paid homage to those rockers who influenced them, with covers of Alice Cooper’s “Under My Wheels” and a great performance of Queen’s “Under Pressure” with Taylor Hawkins on lead vocal with Grohl switching to drums. Joining with them was guest opening act The Strut’s leader Luke Spiller, who brings young Freddie Mercury to my mind.
Making a name for themselves in the last several years, opening act The Struts kicked off the show with their brand of English rock. Clearly influenced by Queen, Rolling Stones, Aerosmith as well as My Chemical Romance, they are glam, retro and a breath of fresh air in the current rock marketplace. You will be hearing more of them and about them.
If you missed the Tampa show, you have a chance to catch the Foo Fighters this Sunday at the Rockville Festival in Jacksonville which also has Billy Idol for a Sunday of rock!
photos courtesy of Vicky Sullivan / Rock the Lens Photography