Review: Foo Fighters make up for delay with an electrifying show

Review: Delayed Foo Fighters deliver electrifying set

Dave Grohl and company rock St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater for two solid hours after their late arrival to Syracuse.
Published: September 16, 2021
The Foo Fighters jammed on the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater after a flight issue delayed the Wednesday concert's start until 10 p.m.
Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters jammed on the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater after a flight issue delayed the Wednesday concert's start until 10 p.m.

“You know, we almost didn’t f—— make it here tonight.”

These were the first words of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl to the packed audience at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater. After hours of delays, the band finally took the stage around 9:55 p.m., and the smile on Grohl’s face made it clear there was nowhere else he’d rather be.

However, at one point, it wasn’t certain whether or not the show would even go on. Grohl set the scene well; the band was stuck on the airport tarmac in New York City for four hours, suffering delays due to weather. It was ruled that a final decision would be made at 8:20 p.m. as to whether they would make the trip or call off the show. Grohl wasn’t optimistic, but fate pulled through in the end; at 8:19 p.m., the plane was cleared for take-off, and they took off en route to Syracuse.

Opening act Bambara came out around 8:30 p.m., when Foo Fighters were initially set to play. The New York City-based punk band delivered a strong performance and had a solid stage presence, albeit a bit of a darker tone than Foo Fighters. Despite the looming questions over where the Foo Fighters were, they were a solid warm-up for the night and succeeded in getting the crowd excited for the main act.

Dave Grohl played his bright blue electric guitar the whole performance on September 16th, 2021.
Dave Grohl played his bright blue electric guitar throughout the Foo Fighter's performance Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater.

When the band finally took the stage, the crowd was ecstatic, and Grohl matched that energy. Almost immediately, they kicked it into high gear with “Times Like These.” If the delay rattled them in any way, it certainly didn’t reflect in their playing. They were energized and clearly having a blast, with Grohl running around the stage and yelling back at the cheering crowd.

The excitement was kept up as they continued through their vast catalog of songs, ranging from older hits like “Learn to Fly” to the more recent “Shame Shame” from their latest album Medicine at Midnight.

The concert was not one where you could be a wallflower. Audience participation was encouraged by Grohl for every song on their setlist, and fans were more than willing to oblige, singing along to every song. Every member of the band is extremely talented in their own right, but Grohl’s vibrant showmanship was consistently a treat to watch. It made for a show that anyone could enjoy, from the die-hard superfan to the new listener.

The group also stepped away from their classic rock sound, taking a disco break to cover the Bee Gees’ “You Should be Dancing,” because, in Grohl’s words, “Why the f— not?” Bringing out a disco ball and dubbing themselves the Dee Gees, it was one of the highlights of the night.

Another high point of the night was when drummer Taylor Hawkins and Grohl switched positions. Hawkins took over vocals as Grohl beat in the drums. The group then began a rousing cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” where Hawkins flexed his impressive vocal chops while Grohl showed off the drumming that’s helped to make him a household name.

On stage, Grohl said they aren't an encore band — they just keep playing until time runs out on September 15, 2021.
On stage, Dave Grohl exclaimed the Foo Fighters aren't an encore band and would just keep playing until time runs out.

Foo Fighters just added yet another excellent show onto their list of achievements this year: they were bestowed with the first MTV Global Icon Award at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards, and they’re set to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month.

Yet, after 26 years of performing together and putting out successful records, the band still plays with the passion and energy of people half their age. The concert was just another reminder of why they’re so deserving of the accolades and praise they get; they truly are global icons.

Grohl learned during the set that it had been 20 years since the Foo Fighters had last performed in Syracuse, and joked that they would try to come back sooner next time before closing the show with fan-favorite “Everlong.” However long it takes for Foo Fighters to return, rest assured that it will be very much worth the wait.