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Foo Fighters complete busy week in the UK with headline performance at Invictus Games Closing Ceremony

By Simon

With three club shows, a private for show for troops and the previously announced Invictus Games closing ceremony performance Foo Fighters had an extremely busy week in the UK.

Foo Fighters arrived in the UK this week ahead of their already announced performance at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games but they were in no mood to sit back and wait until Sunday to perform. Before arriving they were already suggesting further shows with a reference to the photo of Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson on Taylor Hawkins’ drum skin.

Then on arrival in the UK they went one step further, announcing three club gigs on twitter with a photo of the UK 3-Pin Plug as confirmation of the location of the gigs.

Those gigs were not their only other planned activity however. They kicked things off on Monday with a recording session at the famous Maida Vale Studios in London. The appearance was not publicly announced but musician Kersha Bailey tweeted about meeting the band in the studio and shared a photo on instagram of herself with Taylor Hawkins.

The band most likely recorded songs to be aired on BBC Radio 1 at a later date, although this is of course merely speculation. When we know more, we’ll let you know.

Next up on Tuesday Grohl was pictured by cameraman and instagram user ‘Barney Clyro’ at AIR Studios in the City.

Whilst no details were shared by Barney given the recording studio location it seems likely again the band were recording something to be aired at a later date.

Later that same day came the first performance to fans, although not at a public show. The band were at Winfield House in Regent’s Park, London, to perform for troops, athletes, their friends, family and various other personnel related to the Invictus Games. Prince Harry was also in attendance, seen below chatting to the band.

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It’s currently unknown what tracks the band performed, although some reports have listed ‘Times Like These’, ‘Best Of You’ and ‘Aurora’. If you know the setlist, please get in touch! Following on from that private appearance came the first of the three announced club gigs, and the first opportunity for the public to see them this week.

Formally announced at 4pm on September 9th the band, billed as ‘The Holy Shits’, took to the stage at the Concorde 2 club in Brighton, a venue they had previously played in 2007 for a BBC Radio 1 event. 

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The band played for approximately two hours with the following set list:

  1. Enough Space
  2. I’ll Stick Around
  3. See You
  4. New Way Home
  5. Up In Arms
  6. Big Me
  7. Generator
  8. Rope
  9. The Pretender
  10. Learn to Fly
  11. White Limo
  12. Arlandria
  13. Cold Day In The Sun
  14. Dear Rosemary
  15. Breakdown
  16. My Hero
  17. Hey, Johnny Park!
  18. Everlong
  19. All My Life

No huge rarities although there was an unique performance of one track, ‘White Limo’. Tribute act ‘UK Foo Fighters’ were at the venue and Grohl invited lead singer Jay to come on stage and sing vocals on the track. The paper setlist on stage was actually much longer than what was actually played but with four back to back performances it’s easy to see why some songs were cut.

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‘Two Headed Dog’ was presumably going to be a cover of the Roky Erickson song of the same name, rather than a new, original Foo Fighters song.

Next up on Thursday was the second club gig, this time a free show taking place at the relatively new ‘House Of Vans’ venue in London. The venue is situated underground, below Waterloo Station, making for a very hot and sweaty intimate gig. Again the band were billed as ‘The Holy Shits’ and performed for around 2 hours to around 600 lucky fans, including myself!
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The full setlist was as follows:

  1. White Limo
  2. Arlandria
  3. Generator
  4. Rope
  5. See You
  6. New Way Home
  7. The Pretender
  8. Learn to Fly
  9. My Hero
  10. Cold Day In The Sun
  11. All My Life
  12. Skin And Bones
  13. Monkey Wrench
  14. Hey, Johnny Park!
  15. For All The Cows
  16. Breakout
  17. Weenie Beenie
  18. This Is A Call
  19. Something From Nothing(part of)
  20. Times Like These
  21. Best Of You
  22. Everlong

Again as with the Brighton show no huge rarities were pulled out but we were treated to an instrumental version of ‘Something From Nothing’, a track from the upcoming Sonic Highways album. The snippet we were treated to was essentially the same section of the song seen in the latest trailer for the HBO TV series. It was however performed with no vocals. Other jams were played during the show which may have also been snippets of new songs. During ‘The Pretender’ a second teaser from the album was played, the same instrumental portion as heard in this video:

The rest of the setlist was a good mixture of tracks old and new with a good slant towards the first two records, ‘Weenie Beenie’ played for the first time since 2009.

The official website for the venue posted a review of the show afterwards which included a heads up that video of the gig would be uploaded in some way soon! A large screen TV was showing the gig in one of the other tunnels so it’s very likely the whole show was recorded, we’ll only have to wait and see if they upload it all. Perhaps worth keeping an eye on the main Vans YouTube account in the coming days.

House Of Vans London official website review

Unusually for Foo Fighters in recent years the band then played a fourth show in as many days with a third and final club gig, this time at the Islington Assembly Hall in London.

Sweet Baboo @ Islington Assembly Hall

The full setlist was as follows:

  1. Aurora
  2. All My Life
  3. I’ll Stick Around
  4. Rope
  5. Up In Arms
  6. Big Me
  7. White Limo
  8. Arlandria
  9. My Hero
  10. Cold Day In The Sun
  11. Generator
  12. Walk
  13. These Days
  14. The Pretender
  15. Learn to Fly
  16. Breakout
  17. Skin And Bones
  18. Monkey Wrench
  19. Hey, Johnny Park!
  20. Everlong
  21. Times Like These
  22. Best Of You

The set was mostly similar to the previous two gigs, the only addition being ‘Aurora’, which they opened with.

With a well needed rest on Saturday the band then came to the primary reason for them being here with a 70 minute set at the closing ceremony of the Invictus Games. Highlights of the set were show on BBC2 in the United Kingdom and featured ‘Times Like These’, ‘The Pretender’, part of ‘Walk’ and ‘Best Of You’. Hopefully a recording capture of this will appear soon, keep your eyes on here and the forums for the heads up. In the meantime if you’re in the UK you can re-watch the highlights on the BBC iPlayer, here.

The full performed set was:

  1. All My Life
  2. Times Like These
  3. The Pretender
  4. Learn to Fly
  5. My Hero
  6. White Limo
  7. Arlandria
  8. Cold Day In The Sun
  9. Walk
  10. Best Of You
  11. Everlong

‘Monkey Wrench’ was also on the setlist but was skipped as the band went on a little late and a strict 10:30pm curfew was in place. So, that was certainly a very busy and very enjoyable week in the UK for the band. No time to rest though, with the crowd funded show in Richmond, Virginia this coming Wednesday!

Photos from the shows

Were you at any of the performances in the UK this week? Did you take and pictures? If you did, and you uploaded them to flickr, please tag them with the following tags and they will appear directly on our website in the Live Guide!

Brighton – FF2014-09-10

House Of Vans – FF2014-09-11

Islington – FF2014-09-12

Invictus Games – FF2014-09-14

It’s that simple!

(Article photos by kershabaily, barneyclyro, Getty Images, Foo Fighters & Rugfoot Photography)