Foo Fighters secret gig at Manning bar

Holy cow, that was some gig.

I genuinely didn’t think, even as I made my way over to the venue at Sydney University by bus on Friday night, that I’d actually get to see the Foos. Somehow, I thought I’d get rumbled even though I had a legitimate ticket (thanks to the completely wonderful Fugitive Pieces).

And after running across campus in the rain to arrive just as the doors opened, I almost didn’t get in – they carded me. Me. Aged 39. Got carded. And I don’t have an ID card, Britain doesn’t issue them. Nor do I have an Aussie driver’s licence. And I didn’t have my UK driver’s licence on me since I went by bus, without a bag, just with my iPhone, keys and bank card shoved in my jeans pocket. For an awful moment I thought the bouncer was going to be a stickler for the rules: “Its not about your age, love, its for safety reasons, in case you get hurt and need to be identified, we’re turning people away without IDs, I could get in a lot of trouble for letting you in…” etc. “Oh my god, but pleeeeeeeeeeaaaaaasssseeee! I’m English, I’m so sorry, we don’t have ID cards, but I have my bank card, see? It has my name on it, and look, my iPhone has my emergency contact details and my medical history and everything on this app, look. I’m sorry. Pleeeeeease let me in, pleeeeeeeeaase.” So she did, gawd bless her.

And it was bloody brilliant.

They played a 2 and a half hour main set, followed by another half hour encore. And I was right in the middle, three (sweaty) people from the front, for the whole of it, jumping up and down with my arms in the air, rock horns a-pumping, singing along like an adoring banshee. Suddenly, all the working out I’ve been doing over the last 4 months made perfect sense; it gave me the stamina to survive – nay, thrive – for three hours in a Foo Fighters mosh pit.

The venue was tiny – just a bar at Sydney University – and there couldn’t have been more than a couple of hundred people in the audience. The music was deliciously LOUD – so loud, in fact, that the Foos blew out their PA system… but did Dave let that stop them? Nope, they just rigged up some sort of way round it, and carried on. He was clearly loving it as much as we were.

They played the whole of the new album, Wasting Light, which is due for release next month and which sounded so good that I’m now even more impatient to download it as soon as it hits iTunes. Then they played a selection of songs from their 16 year back catalogue, including some of my favourites.

I did try to take photos and footage on my iPhone for the benefit of friends who couldn’t be there but when I checked it on Saturday morning, well… let’s just say that there’s a lot of enthusiastic bouncing and lights and noise and no clear picture of anything. I was enjoying myself too much to be able to stand still long enough to take decent shots. The short piece above was taken at the start, before it all kicked off properly…

I spent most of Saturday grinning and recovering. I really hope the band enjoyed it as much as they seemed to, because they made a lot of people very, very happy with some seriously kathartic musical energy.

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8 Responses to Foo Fighters secret gig at Manning bar

  1. Colm says:

    That sounds terrific! Not the ID situation obviously, but the whole thing. How do you get such a famous band playing in such a small venue? Incredible.

  2. Woo says:

    Well, its not part of a ‘proper’ tour – that will come later this year after the album has been out a few months apparently. This was supposed to just be a visit to Oz to promote the new album with a few TV slots etc, then the Queensland floods and Christchurch earthquake happened and the band decided to add a couple of charity gigs to the stopover, to raise funds for the relief efforts (which has gone down really well, as you’d imagine, its a genuinely kind thing to have done) and then they apparently had an evening spare, love to perform and so booked a small and relatively easy to organise venue at short notice 🙂 They’ve done it a few times recently back in the US, to practice the new album live, and I’ve watched the tweets and been so envious of all the people over there who were able to somehow get tickets, but I never thought I’d actually BE at one of those secret gigs!

  3. sledpress says:

    ??? It sounds like a lot of explosions in a subway tunnel.????

  4. azahar says:

    Fabulous! Though my heart stopped a little when you were recounting the ID situation. What app is that?

    • Woo says:

      Yes, my heart stopped for a few seconds there, too!

      Its called ICE (short for In Case of Emergency) and its available on the Oz App store so I assume it would be available in Europe as well. I also have all my details in my Contacts under ‘I’ for ICE, too. Just in case! Its not something I was familiar with in the UK but apparently its the first place Aussie emergency medical staff check, so just in case I get hit by a bus, they’ll know which antibiotics I’m allergic to. I guess the UK doesn’t need it since the NHS is a central healthcare provider so has access to all records.

  5. Woo says:

    Yeah, they leaked their own album on twitter on April Fool’s Day! Sweet! I’ve been streaming it since Friday, its bloody brilliant 🙂

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