Foo Fighters Live

TBT: Relive the first time Foo Fighters played Glastonbury Festival in 1998

By Simon Kilmore

In light of their recent announcement for 2017 we look back at their first (and only) previous appearance at the festival

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It was probably one of the most open secrets in recent festival history – Foo Fighters have now announced they will be headlining Glastonbury Festival in 2017. Most fans are aware that this comes after the cancellation of their planned 2015 appearance following Dave breaking his leg. Not all fans however may be aware that they have played the festival once before, in 1998.

Foo Fighters appeared on the famous Pyramid stage but were far from headlining, instead performing an early afternoon slot on the Friday. The band performed a quick but raucous set that lasted around 30 minutes, featuring the following songs:

  1. Monkey Wrench
  2. Alone + Easy Target
  3. Big Me
  4. I’ll Stick Around
  5. This Is A Call
  6. Enough Space
  7. Everlong

Glastonbury, being a festival that takes place in the UK, is well-known for being hit by inclement weather and in 1998 things got particularly bad. Much of the arena resembled a mudbath pretty quickly into the weekend, as the below photo demonstrates.

Photo by Westscapes @ Flickr
Photo by Westscapes @ Flickr

The Foo Fighters set didn’t escape the weather with heavy rain falling for much of the set. This certainly didn’t stop the band though, and the early afternoon crowd were also enjoying the conditions, the steam from the evaporating rain pouring off them.

The festival took place right in the middle of the World Cup 1998 Football tournament and after one song Grohl announced to the crowd that the England football team had scored, eliciting a huge cheer. England were playing their final game of the group stage against Colombia, a match they needed to win (and duly did).

Television coverage came from both UK and US television at the time, with the BBC and ABC respectively airing footage. Unfortunately being VHS recordings from almost 20 years ago the quality is not the greatest but hopefully these go a little way to getting you in the mood for their 2017 headline slot.

First up is the ABC coverage, featuring ‘Everlong’, ‘Enough Space’ and ‘Big Me’.

Click here to download an MKV, coming in at just under 600MB in size.

Below is a screenshot to give you an idea of the quality.

The BBC coverage featured ‘This Is A Call’ and ‘I’ll Stick Around’. Unfortunately we don’t currently have a copy to hand to offer for download but you can see an equally iffy quality version of one song on YouTube:

There is one pristine video from the performance however, as the band’s performance of ‘This Is A Call’ was included on the simply titled ‘Glastonbury’ DVD, released in 2006.

The DVD is still available to purchase from many outlets online, usually priced at around £10/$15.

It’s also possible that leading up to this years appearance either the BBC or Foo Fighters themselves will share/broadcast recordings of the 1998 show. Fans might remember leading up to their 2015 Reading Festival headline slot Foo Fighters uploaded audio of their complete 1995 appearance to their own website. So keep an eye out!

Also if anyone reading this has any better quality recordings of the performance, or if you have a copy of the BBC Radio 1 audio broadcast, please get in touch!