The Supper Club
New York City
October 31, 2002
In honor of Halloween, America’s reigning garage-grunge combo took the stage dressed as Europe’s reigning garage-grunge combo. “I don’tknow how the fuck the Hives wear these monkey suits,” Dave Grohl said, tugging at his white tie. “These shirts are fucking hot!” Then the Foo Fighters launched into a dead-on version of the Swedish quintet’s “Hate to Say I Told You So,” and with little more than a quick “Happy Halloween!” and a portentous burp into the microphone from Grohl, they slid into the slow burn of their own “All My Life.”
Trick-or-treating as younger upstarts was an interesting choice for the Foos, because after struggling for eight years to shake their image as Grohl’s post-Nirvana project, they’ve finally established their own identity as one of the best rock bands in the world. Maybe it has something to do with the settlement of the Nirvana lawsuit (at one point, the sold-out crowd spontaneously began to chant “Courtney sucks!”) and the long-delayed release of that band’s best-of collection. But the Foo Fighters now sound like they’re out to prove that they havenothing to prove. The songs were tight, and the attitude was loose. Grohl maintained his affable surliness throughout the show, singling out people who were trying to cop feels off female crowd-surfers (“Evidently, my friend with the grabby hands can’t get a lady of his own”) and goofing on the Hives (in a Swedish accent: “I’m from the Hives, or maybe you’re too stupid to recognize great music”).
After blazing through the old standards (“Learn to Fly,” “My Hero,” “Breakout”) and breaking out some newer ones (the edgy “Low,” the poppy “Have It All,” and the plaintive “Times Like These”), the Foos fake-closed the set with “Monkeywrench.” For the encore, they reemerged with B-52’s frontman Fred Schneider (also dressed as a Hive), for a raucous version of the B-52’s’ “Planet Claire.” Before closing for real with “Everlong,” Grohl emceed a quick costume contest for a local radio station, giving the prize to a kid dressed as a member of Devo. As the crowd clamored for more, Grohl announced, “It’s a done deal, dude–I got parties and celeb stuff to do.”