Foo Fighters gave a tip of the cap to frontman Dave Grohl’s Washington, D.C.-area hardcore roots last night (May 30) by opening the first show at the city’s new 450-capacity Atlantis with a cover of the aptly named “At the Atlantis” by legendary D.C. hardcore band Bad Brains. The Foos were joined on the song by Scream vocalist Pete Stahl, the band for which a then-teenaged Grohl began drumming in 1986.
Atlantis owner Seth Hurwitz, who oversees D.C.’s beloved 9:30 Club and modeled Atlantis on its original dimensions, guested with the band on drums during “Big Me,” while “New Way Home” was played live for just the third time since 2011. Earlier in the set, Grohl snuck some lines from Foghat’s “Slow Ride” into the Foos’ own “Breakout.”
Grohl’s teenage daughter Violet contributed backing vocals to the songs “Shame Shame” and “Rope.”
Oddly, Grohl said neither he nor band members Pat Smear, Nate Mendel, and Chris Shiflett had ever actually played the original 9:30 Club, which was open at its first location on F Street downtown from 1980 to 1996. It moved to its present address on V Street later that year.
The Atlantis performance came hours after the Foos released “The Teacher,” the 10-minute centerpiece of their upcoming album But Here We Are. The band has already debuted four songs from the album in concert: “Rescued,” “Under You,” “Nothing at All,” and the title cut.
Earlier in the day, Grohl was present for the Atlantis ribbon-cutting ceremony along with Hurwitz and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, and was presented with a life-sized statue of himself made out of various found objects.
On the same day But Here We Are will be released (June 2), Foo Fighters embark on a European tour at Germany’s Rock am Ring festival. The group is hosting sunrise listening parties at venues in New York, Toronto, and Los Angeles, and is asking fans “to rise early, dress for the outdoors, and listen together.”