I woke up early one friday morning, in the November of last year, eagerly securing myself tickets for one of the biggest events of 2015. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite Glastonbury, but it was the next best thing, tickets for Foo Fighters’ Friday residence at Wembley Stadium, with a stellar supporting cast including; the legendary Iggy Pop and Royal Blood, a band touted as the ‘saviours of Rock music’, this was going to be big! Having seen the band twice before (once at their 2011 Milton keynes Bowl Show and also the following year at Reading Festival), I was well aware of how formidable a live force Foo Fighters are and how epic an occasion it was sure to be. However, disaster struck on the 12th June at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden when Foo Fighters’ frontman (and general legend) Dave Grohl broke his leg after falling from the stage only two songs into the set (it was during Monkey Wrench if you were wondering)! Dave being Dave somehow finished the set sitting down, with a medic seeing to his leg, in what must have been a truly bizarre and spectacular event for both the fans there and the band! However, any glimmering hope that maybe he could still play the Wembley shows and Glastonbury began to diminish as a string of shows across Europe, including a headline slot at Pinkpop were all cancelled. Eventually the inevitable happened, with Dave Grohl announcing, in an open letter on the band’s website, that he has had six pins put into his leg to support the break and has had to cancel the remainder of Foo Fighters’ European tour. To say I was devastated would be an understatement. In an eager attempt to find some sort of replacement my brother and I attempted to convince my Dad to get Blur tickets for their show at British Summer Time (which sounded like it was a good show by all accounts) but to no avail… And in the space of a few weeks my summer gig plans were in ruins, heightened by the fact that there is not going to be any form of rescheduling of the event! But there’s plenty more music events out there, lets try and look on the brighter side and salvage something from nothing!
Cancellations and on stage injuries seem to be common in recent months, with Florence Welch (the person with the responsibility of replacing Foo Fighters as headliners on the Friday Night of Glastonbury, with her band the machine) also suffering a breakage jumping around the stage at Coachella in California and The Edge (guitarist of U2) ironically falling off the edge of the stage at a U2 show earlier this year. In terms of cancellations we’ve also had The Who delaying their O2 shows through illness, T in the Park being threatened with closure due to nesting Ospreys and even last weekend, the Kings of Leon were forced to end their set midway through due to extreme weather conditions. The real question has to be, are musicians being too reckless on stage or is 2015 just a year of misfortune for live music? It’s got to be just bad luck, if musicians stopped moving around on stage it would totally ruin the live spectacle and just would not be the same! Could you imagine a Foo Fighters show where the band all just stand there, play their instruments and then leave!?! It’s the unexpected that makes the live music experience so thrilling! I remember seeing The Orwells last year at Reading Festival and watching a drunk Mario Cuomo (the frontman) scale the scaffolding keeping up the stage, much to the annoyance of the security team, and then jumping into the crowd, much to the adulation of the adoring crowd! It’s moments like this that makes live music so memorable and exhilarating, but unfortunately also what from time to time leads to injuries…
One easy way to get over Post-Foos Blues is to camp yourself in front of your sofa from Friday to Sunday and take in the BBC’s 30 hours worth of quality coverage of Glastonbury Festival, that’s assuming you were as unlucky as I was in not being able to get a ticket. Even without Foo Fighters, there are plenty of other amazing acts (The Who, Jamie T, Alt-J, The Chemical Brothers, Alabama Shakes, The Vaccines, Paul Weller, Courteeners, Maccabees, Suede, Jungle, Death From Above 1979 and Ben Howard to name a few) on the illustrious bill and I’m sure Florence and the Machine will do Dave and co. proud as a more than worthy headliner! If live music is your thing then there are still plenty of opportunities to see some of the world’s top bands play in the UK, especially with the variety of different festivals that are on offer in this country! Reading and Leeds Festival has a line-up headed by the likes of Mumford and Sons, Metallica and The Libertines, Latitude has Noel Gallagher and Portishead and T in the Park also has a top-notch bill that lives up to it’s label as the ‘Glastonbury of Scotland’! Away from the more expensive festival format, hard rock band AC/DC are playing where Foo Fighters unfortunately couldn’t at Wembley Stadium, with seminal band Fleetwood Mac playing London’s O2 Arena, as well as a few Glastonbury warm-up shows in the coming week! A tip from me would be catching little known New York indie band Public Access TV, who are playing a series of free shows across London this month!
Furthermore, this summer sees the release of a host of good albums that should keep music fans smiling. Wolf Alice’s My Love is Cool and Everything Everything’s Get to Heaven are just a couple of top albums released this week alongside records from; Tame Impala, Frank Turner and Foals all due out over the course of the summer! While this may not quite me enough to uplift you out of the the realisation that the Foos shows have been cancelled, at least it shows that there is some musical promise in what’s sure to be a strong summer of music. Also if one things for sure, its that Dave Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters will return! Hopefully next summer, maybe even sooner, but rest assured they will be back and stronger than ever, knowing they have disappointed fans to win back! Perhaps they’ll even throw in a few guest performances as they have done in past years, inviting members of Led Zeppelin, Seasick Steve and Alice Cooper in past shows! I can’t help but wonder whether Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age frontman and friend of Dave and the band) was lined up for a guest appearance at the Foos show based on his appearance at an Eagles of Death Metal show in London last week. It also has to be said that following Dave’s leg break I’ve never heard so much Foo Fighter’s music on the radio and for anyone who wants a further Foos fix I strongly recommend the Foo Fighters: Sonic Highways documentary series, documenting the making of the album and its influences drawn from eight of America’s big musical cities. It just goes to show that it’s only a matter of time before Dave Grohl and Foo Fighters walk onto a UK stage in the near future, but for now there’s plenty of other music to get stuck into before summer’s end!