Arrow-right Camera
A&E >  Music

Foo Fighters make up for lost time with discography-spanning show at Spokane Arena

UPDATED: Tue., Dec. 5, 2017, 10:17 p.m.

About half a dozen songs into the band’s set, Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl welcomed the audience to “the Foo Fighters 2017.”

He mentioned that it’s much different than the last time the band played in Spokane, which he said he didn’t remember because it was “37 years ago.” (It was actually in 2003, when Pete Yorn opened for the band at the convention center.)

“If you would’ve seen us 22 years ago, we had 12 songs,” he told the nearly sold-out crowd. “If you would’ve seen us 20 years ago, we had 24 songs. Now, we have 367 songs, and we’re going to play them all for you.”

After a brief pause, he added “Or until we get tired and can’t play anymore.”

Either one was all right with the crowd, which was then treated to two dozen songs from across the band’s discography.

The band started the show with “Run,” the first single from its ninth album, “Concrete and Gold,” which was released in September.

The six piece then made good on Grohl’s note that the band tries to play songs from every one of its nine albums by playing songs from four different records: “All My Life,” “Learn to Fly,” “The Pretender” and “The Sky Is a Neighborhood.”

During “The Sky Is a Neighborhood,” Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins shared a moment that showed how much of a unit the pair has become in the 20 years since Hawkins joined the band, which Grohl formed in 1994 after the breakup of Nirvana.

Grohl didn’t take his eyes off Hawkins, though Hawkins seemed to have his eyes shut the entire time he was playing. Still, the pair performed a tight duet of sorts before the band left the stage as Hawkins’ drum platform rose and he performed a solo.

Once the band returned to the stage, Hawkins was still in the spotlight, taking over lead vocal duties on “Sunday Rain.”

The newest Foo Fighter, keyboard player Rami Jaffee, who toured with the band for 12 years before becoming a full-time member this year, then got his chance in the spotlight with a solo during “My Hero” before the band played “These Days” and “Walk,” both from 2011’s “Wasting Light.”

Then, “for all the hardcore Foo Fighters fans,” the band played “Let It Die” and “Times Like These.”

During the latter song, Hawkins’ drum platform moved closer to the front of the stage, and the diamond-shaped video screen behind the band began to lower, creating a kind of roof over the band.

Hawkins and the screen were reset before the end of the song, but for the moment, the compact stage made the show feel a little more intimate.

During “Breakout,” Grohl introduced guitarist/vocalist Chris Shiflett, who played at the Big Dipper in March, before he performed a solo.

After teasing the crowd with a bit of AC/DC’s “For Those About to Rock,” Shiflett took the lead on Alice Cooper’s “Under My Wheels,” but not before he instructed an audience member in the front row to hold up their sign reading “Chris you are sexy as (expletive).”

“Guess where Chris is getting a second home,” Grohl teased. “Chris is moving to Spokane.”

From there, Grohl ran with the “sexy as” bit, introducing the rest of the band – bassist Nate Mendel, Jaffee, guitarist Pat Smear and Hawkins – by calling each member sexier than the last.

After introducing Hawkins, Grohl noted that the drummer didn’t like singing “Cold Day in the Sun,” a song he wrote for 2005’s “In Your Honor.”

Instead, Hawkins switched places with Grohl and brought out Luke Spiller, lead singer of opening band the Struts, to perform an impressive cover of the Queen/David Bowie duet “Under Pressure.”

The band then returned to its own material, performing “Monkey Wrench.”

After telling the crowd they had reached the point in the show when they got to loosen up and do what they want, Grohl saw a fan in the front row holding a sign that said the singer had ignored him in 2015.

“I ignored you in 2015?” Grohl said. “I don’t come to your job and tell you how to make Slurpees.”

But there were no hard feelings, as Grohl brought the fan, Brian, onstage and serenaded him with “Big Me” (you know, the Mentos song), from the band’s self-titled debut album.

After getting a hug from each member of the band and declining a kiss from Grohl, Brian left the stage and the band closed the main portion of the show with “Best of You,” complete with an extended instrumental break.

While they were backstage, Grohl and Hawkins were shown on screen, proposing one, then two, then three more songs based on the crowd’s cheers.

“Maybe four,” Hawkins mouthed right before the band returned to the stage.

The band returned to the tour’s namesake album and played “Dirty Water” before paying tribute to Tom Petty with a cover of “Breakdown,” his first single with the Heartbreakers.

Foo Fighters then returned to its own beginnings and performed “This Is A Call,” the first single from its debut album.

“I hope you had a good time because I did,” Grohl said. “This is the best … job in the world. Shakey’s Pizza has got nothing on this.”

Before closing the show with “Everlong,” Grohl thanked the crowd one last time.

“We never say goodbye because we know we’ll always come back,” Grohl said. “We might be in our 70s then, but thanks for sticking with the Foo Fighters for so long.”

Longevity isn’t something every band achieves, but, now in its 23rd year, the Foo Fighters has more than earned its tenure.

Though fans surely hope the band comes back to Spokane before the band members are eligible for senior discounts, there’s little doubt that the Foo Fighters have another 20 years, at least, in them.

By then, the band might actually have 367 songs to play.