Live Review: Foo Fighters with Biffy Clyro at Milton Keynes National Bowl – 2nd July 2011

By on Friday, 8th July 2011 at 2:00 pm

Foo Fighters are no strangers to stadium gigs ad shows of epic proportions. They rocked Wembley two nights running, bringing on none other than rock legends John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin to power through covers of Zep hits ‘Ramble On’ with Grohl on vocal duties and ‘Rock and Roll’ with the ex-Nirvana sticks man behind the kit this time around. So when they announced two shows at the ‘Milton Keynes National Bowl’ in support of their new album, ‘Wasting Light’, it was a surprise to almost nobody. Such is the draw of these titans of stadium rock riff age that the tickets were snapped up within a day. Early support was provided by Americans Tame Impala and Death Cab for Cutie who did their best but really were acting as a sound check to the bigger acts to grace the stage later.

Biffy Clyro were first up and followed their weak set at Pilton Farm (on Glasto 2011, Day 1) with a set that cements them as “ones to watch” over the next few years. Opener ‘The Captain’ tore through the bowl like a thunderstorm of distorted guitar, followed by the riff assault that is ‘That Golden Rule’. Biffy were on terrific form today and when it came to singalongs ‘Bubbles,’ ‘Many of Horror’ and ‘Mountains’, the crowd were firmly on their side with many on their feet bouncing. Purists may complain that only two songs from their earlier albums were aired; to them I scoff, they are a band promoting a record, let them be. The crowd loved it and I sure as hell did.

If that wasn’t enough then, a band who surely will go on to sell out this arena on their own, you had a band that has done it 2 nights running. Grohl and co. arrive onstage to thunderous applause and tear into the opening chords of ‘Bridge Burning’, the opening track from their new record, then straight in to lead single ‘Rope.’

The new album gets its share of airtime but the hits are there too: ‘Learn to Fly’ provides the guilty pleasure, ‘Breakout’ highlights ‘Grohl’ at his unhinged best and ‘Stacked Actors’ gives a whole new meaning to the term “guitar battle”. Mid-way through the set Grohl announces that their will be special guests, so who could it be this time, more Zep members? Josh Homme? Nope. Roger Taylor from Queen, who drums for Taylor Hawkins’s song ‘Cold Day in the Sun’.

You get the feeling that the band could bring on anyone and the spectacle would still be the Foos themselves. Later in the set, legend Bob Mould is unveiled and joins in with the track he recorded with the band, ‘Dear Rosemary’. You would think that would be enough then. But no no, not for Grohl.

The final guest is the most surprising of all. After ‘All My Life’ sets the crowd into frenzy and ‘Best of You’ provides arguably one of the best sing-along choruses of all time, he brings out rock legend Alice Cooper to power through a rendition of ‘School’s Out’ and ‘I’m Eighteen’. In 2008 Grohl cemented his place in rock history with Wembley; in 2011 he confirmed he ain’t leaving for a long time yet.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

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