Foo Fighters December 31, The Chelsea.
When Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl listed off some of the band’s Las Vegas New Year’s Eve competition—Maroon 5, Bruno Mars, Britney Spears—the audience at the Chelsea inside the Cosmopolitan erupted into boos, and while Grohl attempted to calm the fans down, it’s clear that his long-running rock band offered a major contrast to the typical Vegas spectacle on display for the holiday.
Later in the show, Grohl even teased the possibility of the Foos launching their own Vegas residency, playing three-hour shows each night with changing setlists, in a small, sweaty venue. He claimed that the band members tossed the idea around four years ago, but might come back to it “someday before we’re in our 70s.”
In the meantime, the Vegas NYE audience was very receptive, frequently shaking the flexible floor of the Chelsea, for which Grohl repeatedly expressed his appreciation. The band members had just as much energy, opening the show a little before 11 p.m. with a series of powerful rockers, starting with single “Run” from recent album Concrete and Gold.
The momentum slowed a bit thanks to the lengthy instrumental breakdowns the band added to practically half the songs in the set, but pretty much every lull was followed by another of the band’s massive number of radio hits, including “Learn to Fly,” “Times Like These,” an appealingly scaled-back version of “My Hero” and the expected set-closing anthem “Everlong.”
Although the long jams and somewhat indulgent stage banter meant the Foos only made it through 17 songs in 135 minutes, they still made room to cover AC/DC (“Let There Be Rock,” right after the midnight countdown), Alice Cooper (“Under My Wheels,” with guitarist Chris Shiflett on lead vocals) and Queen (“Under Pressure,” with Grohl on drums and sharing lead vocals with drummer Taylor Hawkins).
The casual camaraderie was perfect for what Grohl said was the Foos’ first-ever NYE show, playing to an eclectic mix of rock fans and Vegas visitors out for a night on the town (the guy standing in front of me was wearing a tuxedo). A tighter show could have packed in a few more hits or strayed a little more from the best-of format, but the band will have plenty of time for that during their theoretical Vegas residency in a decade or two.
“All My Life”
“Learn to Fly”
“The Sky Is a Neighborhood”
“Let There Be Rock”
“Times Like These”
“Under My Wheels”
“Best of You”