We arrived just in time to see Cage the Elephant hit the stage. They’re an amazing band out of … and definitely did not disappoint. I’m a big fan of Cage the Elephant and I could tell that the crowd mostly consisted of straight-up Foo Fighters fans with a few educated Cage The Elephant fans sprinkled in. Most were familiar with Cage, especially when they performed their singles like “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked” – but regardless if they were familiar or not, they were still grooving to the tunes and trying their best to lip-synch along to songs they barely knew. But regardless, they were dancing and feeling the music. Cage’s lead singer, Matt Shultz, does an amazing job of working a crowd of people who are still getting to know their music. He bounced around stage, jumped in the crowd, stage dived, crowd surfed… not missing a single beat. By the end of their set, they definitely won over the crowd. I was however, a bit disappointed when we walked in and didn’t see Dave Grohl on drums. Cage’s drummer appendix burst earlier in the tour, and while I don’t like to see anyone have to go to the hospital, I was kinda stoked that there might be a slight chance of seeing Dave behind the drum kit. But like I said, no Dave… but still an amazing set. I’m sure a lot of people went to go buy their CD after the show.
Next, it was time for the Foo Fighters. We were lucky enough to find a spot next to the railing in the middle of the crowd which blocked off the catwalk Dave Grohl would later walk / run down to the oohs and aaahs of the admiring crowd. After waiting for about 30 minutes the lights went out and the roars of anticipatory joy filled the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The place was packed. They opened their set with a blast of white light bursting from the stage as the lights raised up to reveal what we were all waiting for… Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Schiflett and Nate Mendel, otherwise known as the Foo Fighters!!! They opened their three-hour long, yes three-hour long set, with “Bridge Burning” to the enjoyment of the crowd. About a quarter into the set, Dave got on the mic and told the crowd they don’t do things like other bands… they have a lot of material and they plan on playing until they can’t stand anymore… you better expect a long show! Some were stoked, others were wondering how long their feet would hold up. The crowd, filled with people of all ages, was quite a classy crowd… ladies dressed nicely with their hair and make-up done escorted by their equally classy, well-maintained dates. However, there was one guy in the crowd slightly behind us, who looked like he was either going to pass out and fall flat on his face, or puke over everyone in front of him. I made sure I was nowhere near his 365 degree puking radius… just in case. The Foo Fighters played an amazing set of old songs, new songs and classic songs. They even busted out Breakdown by Tom Petty with surprise guest Bob Mould – who had never played the song before in his life.
Right about towards the end of the show… or so we thought, we decided to head towards the back of the room to get some refreshments and try and meet up with a friend. The Oracle Arena is pretty much on lock-down so either you’re a floor ticket holder or you’re up in the bleachers. There is no way up and no way down. So our friend had to sit by herself for the whole show. Lucky for us though, we were in the right spot at the right time. Just in time for their 45-minute long encore we posted up right in front of the end of the catwalk… which had a stage that elevated for Dave Grohl to get up close and personal with the fans in the back. He began the encore acoustic with “Long Road to Ruin” and then went onto play “Best Of You” and “Times Like These”. After serenading us with those nuggets of goodness, he joined the rest of the band on the main stage, as well as special guest Bob Mould, as I mentioned before, and played a random Tom Petty classic “Breakdown”. The Foo Fighters then ended their set with, “Everlong”, of course. It was such an amazing show and I can’t express everyone’s sheer utter enjoyment of having been in that room in the Oracle Arena spending some much needed quality time with the Foo Fighters. Even though they were playing an arena, at times it felt like you were in a small intimate club, with just some close friends, rockin’ out to one of the biggest rock bands on the planet, your pals the Foo Fighters.