When we think of the reinvention of rock, the artists that come to mind first are David Bowie, the king. Then the likes of Neil Young, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, the artists / troubadours. Dave Grohl is not someone who usually enters this conversation.
Hell, by Grohl’s own admission during his brilliant three-hour solo show on the tour de force at the Ford Theater in LA. he dresses the same as in seventh grade, flannel shirt and Vans.
That Grohl is not thought of as an artist who reinvents himself or as a troubadour does not strike him. I called him the coolest guy in rock. He’s brilliant at what he does, which is stadium rock. No one, and I mean NO ONE, throws a better rock party than Grohl in 2021. He is a worthy descendant of David Lee Roth, Mick Jagger, Steven Tyler, who he shared a stage with, and all he has. expressed admiration for.
While all of these guys are more than capable, and in fact would excel at what Grohl did on Wednesday night on the last night in his memoir Storyteller tour of the book, the point is, they didn’t attempt to transform from stage rock star to intimate storyteller.
It is the territory of the singer-songwriter. It is Springsteen on Broadway or what you think of someone like Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Patti Smith, maybe Pete Townshend. Cat Stevens in her shiny A cat’s attic tour of a few years ago.
But Grohl didn’t just try to play the role of Storyteller, in honor of his New York Times number one bestseller, whose accomplishment he was told before taking the stage at the Ford as he announced from the stage late in the show, he fascinated, dominated and utterly enthralled for a full three hours.
An artist holding a stage for three hours is at the Laurence Olivier level. Okay, maybe Olivier meets Bowie, because Grohl put a few songs in there. Of course, her drumming on Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was the most viral moment of the tour. And he performed some Foos songs, “This Is A Call”, “My Hero”, “Everlong”.
But the songs made up less than ten percent of the show, and honestly, they were the least interesting part of the night, because Grohl’s stories were so compelling. We have all seen Grohl do Foos songs. But hearing him talk about the impact Kurt Cobain’s death had on him, being an outcast in Springfield, Virginia, joining Scream, playing with Iggy Pop in Toronto one night, was dazzling.
It turns out that Grohl may have to be the next rock star, after Springsteen, to hit Broadway. Because his pace, his delivery, the way he stopped, the performance, the authenticity, the honesty, the emotion were a revelation. He wasn’t some guy going up there and reading stories from a book.
It was a well-produced stage show, which relied solely on Grohl’s ability to entertain you with the journey of his life, from being a little kid hearing the Beatles to becoming a father and understanding, in Young. , that you could have music and family. This success did not automatically prevent having a house.
The three hour trip worked as a full story, although Grohl, according to his own account, had 20 minutes to squeeze in the last 20 years towards the end thanks to the curfew, so some stories like outstanding. Obviously, his talk about Cobain and the dire consequences of stardom was haunting and sadly fair.
However, his stories of listening to AM gold from the 70s – Phoebe Snow, Andrew Gold, Gerry Rafferty – just as interesting (and please make a reading list from this book, his references are incredible !!). Grohl is a true music historian and fan, so listening to him take an interest in punk rock is fascinating.
His speech about his parents, including his dedication to his mother and his complicated relationship with his father, also deeply personal, touching and offered a lot of information about how Dave Grohl the child he thought looked like someone else. ‘one from the 80s movie Revenge of the nerds, has become Dave Grohl, one of the greatest rock icons in the world.
Hopefully one of these shows was filmed for streaming services at the Springsteen on Broadway on Netflix, or Grohl realizes that while the world needs the connection he spoke of seeing the Foo Fighters perform in front of tens of thousands of fans, the world benefits just as much from hearing his inspiring stories told as they do. rockers turned storytellers can tell them one of the great stages of rock.