Foo Fighters in Cardiff review: Rock icons return to Wales and give fans Everything they need

"It's not rocket science," said Dave Grohl towards the end of the Foo Fighters' first Welsh date in a long while. "You keep coming and we'll keep coming back..." and so on the enigmatic frontman assured a huge crowd of adoring, moshing, bouncing fans on a hellishly sweaty night in the Welsh capital.

He's right, it's not rocket science and we would certainly have them back in a heartbeat based simply on the stunning crowd reactions during the band's first gig in 19 years (rather than the 25 Grohl at first believed.)

But it was definitely rock(et) and roll, I've not seen a band rock the stadium like that in a long while. And as Josh Freese's drum solos reverberated around the stadium and Dave Grohl's gut-wrangling screams cut through a stunning summer night, it felt good to see an out-and-out rock performance.

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The bells and whistles of previous weeks are all well and good and very entertaining, but sometimes you just want to see a bunch of musicians headbanging, shredding their guitars (or accordions) and a crowd go absolutely wild for it.

Kicking off with the undeniable riff of All My Life the band teared through an almost 30-year loaded back catalogue, one which any fan knows is ram-jam-packed with aforementioned undeniable riffs. It was just stunning hearing hits like The Pretender, Monkey Wrench, My Hero, Times Like These and Best of You travel around the stadium bowl like a marble in a pinball machine.

I loved the little blasts of Beastie Boys, Devo, The Ramones and Nine Inch Nails as the band are introduced, I loved Dave Grohl revealing the name of the middle bit of the stage that runs out into the crowd as "the thrust," and, of course the rendition of late drummer, Taylor Hawkins' favourite song, Aurora followed not long after by a cameo from his son, Shane.

More songs kept coming, like Son of Mine, These Days and Skin and Bone and one from way back when from their first album, Big Me - which sent me straight back to 1997 - showing my age there, but still a "kid" according to Dave.

The crowd callbacks to Best of You and The Pretender were just some of the most magical I've heard at the Principality and the frontman, often touted as one of the nicest men in rock, was impressed too, as he was with the Welsh crowd's ability to scream.

His reputation for engaging with the crowds did not wane in front of a hyped up Cardiff crowd who sounded like they gave him a decent amount of good-hearted cheek from down the front. Recalling Foo Fighters' previous visit to Wales, when they support Oasis on the 2005 Noise & Confusion Tour, the star remembered both how cold it was and how big the crowd was. He says: "I remember we played this place 25 (17) years ago and it was so cold!

"And I remember thinking that this was the biggest f*cking concert I had ever seen in my entire life. How is it possible for band to play in front of that many people. And here we are years later."

It almost seemed like he couldn't believe they were still going and a crowd of tens of thousands people would want to come see them. But, they are, we do and as Everlong closed the three-hour-long set in Cardiff - a song I will absolutely never tire of hearing - I'm putting a call out to Dave, Nate, Chris, Pat, Rami and Josh that they'd better come back, well because Dave kind of promised.


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