“We’re available for bar mitzvahs, keg parties and weddings,” joked Dave Grohl toward the end the Foo Fighters set Sunday (Aug. 26) in the parking lot The Palladium in Hollywood in what had to be the rock band’s smallest shows in years.
The free concert, attended by several hundred fans, served as a promotion and warm up to Cal Jam 18, the second annual Foo Fighter-curated festival, promoted by Live Nation, at Glen Helen Regional Park in San Bernardino, Calif., Oct. 5-6. While waiting for the performance, fans were able to enjoy eats from food trucks, partake in special merchandise deals, and take photos with the Foo Fighters white limo, featured in the video for “White Limo,” and the throne that Grohl used on tour after breaking his leg.
Chevy Metal, the cover band led by Foo drummer Taylor Hawkins, opened the 70-minute show with an eight-song set, that included The Knack’s “My Sharona,” The Rolling Stones’ “Bitch” and “Miss You,” and Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down” and “Under Pressure,” with Queen drummer Roger Taylor showing up for the second song.
Grohl joined for Faces’ “Stay With Me” as the set shifted to the Foo Fighters (performing under the pseudonym The Holy Sh*ts) running through a blistering nine-song set consisting mainly album cuts.
Staying away from tunes the Foos play “when we’re doing non-parking lot shows,” Grohl asked “how many hard-core, nerdy Foo Fighters fans are out there?” With almost everyone raising their hands, he added “That’s our target demo tonight.”
The set included several songs seldom played in concert, including “Gimme Stitches” from 1999’s There is Nothing Left To Lose, which Grohl said the band had only played live once before at the request the late Vinnie Paul. The day also marked the first time guitarist Pat Smear had played on “Low,” the freight train juggernaut from 2002’s One By One.
The rough spots showed occasionally, such as during a false start for “Hey Johnny Park!” From 1997’s The Colour and the Shape, but generally the band delivered a ferocious, tight set that thrilled the attendees.
The main set ended with “New Way Home,” a tune also from The Colour and the Shape, before the band returned for an encore “Everlong,” the only well-known hit in the show.
The concert marked the second year in a row the Palladium parking lot has been turned into party central to help highlight upcoming festivals. Last fall, Live Nation took over the site for two weekends to promote last November’s Ozzfest Meets Knotfest. The first weekend, Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne made an appearance at a keg party, while the next weekend, six member Slipknot showed up at the event and took pictures with fans.
In addition to Foo Fighters, acts confirmed for Cal Jam 18 include Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Tenacious D, Greta Van Fleet, Manchester Orchestra and Yungblud.