Foo Fighters headlined the Milton Keynes National Bowl for the second consecutive night as part of their makeshift ‘Break a Leg’ UK Tour.
Having originally planned to perform at London’s Wembley Stadium back in June, a fall from stage in Sweden left frontman Dave Grohl with a broken leg and forced to cancel a number of shows including Wembley and Glastonbury Festival.
But on this warm September evening in Milton Keynes, the band made it up to their adoring UK fans in the best possible way by putting on a hit-packed show to remember – with a little help from Royal Blood and Iggy Pop along the way!
Brighton rock duo Royal Blood were handed the honour of opening the show. On the back of a successful weekend at Reading and Leeds Festivals, the band were only added to the National Bowl’s bill at the last minute but proved to be an essential part of a memorable day.
Walking on stage to Jay Z’s ’99 Problems’, Mike Kerr (bass/vocals) and Ben Thatcher (drums) kicked off with ‘Come On Over’, before running through a 40-minute set filled with the powerful riff’s and on-stage swagger that have become an instantly recognisable part of a Royal Blood live performance.
‘Figure It Out’, ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Ten Tonne Skeleteon’ – all from their self-titled debut album, were among the eight songs performed. The set was then brought to a sensationally explosive conclusion courtesy of ‘Out Of The Black’, complete with a Black Sabbath ‘Iron Man’ outro, before heading off stage with the applause and cheers of an impressed audience in their ears.
Setlist: Come On Over // You Can Be So Cruel // Figure It Out // Little Monster // One Trick Pony // Ten Tonne Skeleton // Loose Change // Out Of The Black //
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Music legend Iggy Pop, best known as the frontman of The Stooges, provided the main support and fully lived up to his billing as an entertaining performer with his unpredictable and often bizarre on-stage antics!
The hour-long set was something that you just couldn’t take your eyes off and the shirtless, leather-skinned 68 year old pranced up and down the ramp with endless energy, swinging his mic around and sharing toilet-related anecdote’s with the crowd between performing his famous material.
His setlist of classic’s included opener ‘No Fun’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ – for which Iggy did multiple impressions of the animal, ‘1969’ and ‘The Passenger’.
Iggy and his accompanying band then ended their entertaining performance with the 8 minute epic track ‘Mass Production’, which was preceded by the singer telling everybody that it was time for him to “Get the f*ck out of here!”
Setlist: No Fun // I Wanna Be Your Dog // The Passenger // Lust For Life // Skull Ring // Sixteen // Five Foot One // 1969 // Sister Midnight // Real Wild Child (Wild One) // Nightclubbing // Some Weird Sin // Mass Production
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With the support acts now over and done with, the excitement truly began build ahead of the main event.
After what felt like a lifetimes build-up, the intro of ‘All My Life’ suddenly began to play. Then, as the chorus hit, the stage burst into life and flag previously covering it disappeared, allowing the ecstatic fans to get their first glimpse of this world-famous band in person.
The early part of the setlist saw Foo Fighters perform classic after classic, including ‘Times Like These’, ‘The Pretender’ and – ironically, ‘Walk’ alongside some of the brand new ‘Sonic Highways’ tracks ‘Something From Nothing’ and ‘Congregation’.
All this took place as the legendary frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl rocked out on his ‘throne’, built especially to accommodate for his injury and designed, as the man himself put it, “To look as cool as possible. With lasers and lights and sh*t!”
Around half way into the set, Grohl took a break to introduce the rest of the band – Pat Smear (guitar), Chris Shiflett (guitar), Nate Mendel (bass), Taylor Hawkins (drums), Rami Jaffee (keyboards) – and they showed off the musical skills with jamming snippets of songs by the likes of Van Halen, Queen and Iggy Pop’s band The Stooges. Drummer Hawkins, complete with his incredibly colourful leggings, was then given his moment in the lifeline to perform his own track ‘Cold Day In The Sun’.
Grohl interacted with the crowd brilliantly, telling stories and jokes all evening in between tracks. “Who needs Wembley” laughed the frontman as he apologised for the cancellations, before jokingly coming up with his own conspiracy theory about the entire incident. He also told the crowd that “second night is always better” and “we learned to be a band in England.” – earning the predictable cheers, before telling an interesting story about playing drums for Iggy Pop when only a starstruck 19-year old touring with his band ‘Scream’.
All this went on between their impressive catalog of material: ‘My Hero’ and ‘White Limo’ among the tracks before Grohl, seemingly on a whim stating that he wanted to play something they hadn’t the night before, decided to perform ‘Hey, Johnny Park’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’ from their second album.
The evening headed towards it’s conclusion as the band dedicated ‘These Days’ to Iggy Pop and then played ‘This Is A Call’ from their very first album.
Finally, arguably the bands biggest two tracks closed the show – the chorus of ‘Best of You’ being sang back to them long after they had finished the song, with Grohl sat gleefully in his chair, before a magnificent performance of ‘Everlong’ provided the perfect ending and made sure no encore was necessary to send the adoring fans home delighted.
Setlist: All My Life // Times Like These // Learn To Fly // Something From Nothing // The Pretender // Up In Arms // Congregation // Walk // Cold Day In The Sun // My Hero // White Limo // Arlandria // Outside // Breakout // Hey, Johnny Park! // Monkey Wrench // These Days // This Is A Call // Best Of You // Everlong
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