Watch a rare acoustic performance from the 1999 Foo Fighters

(Credit: Wikimedia Commons)


The Foo Fighters have almost perfected the acoustic performance at this point. Three decades into their career as the world’s greatest rock band, Dave Grohl and his company know exactly which songs will have maximum impact when reduced to their very essence. ‘My Hero’, ‘Times Like These’ and ‘Everlong’ are often performed partly acoustically at concerts, and after centering halfway through a double album, the 2005s In your honor, around acoustic material, the group embarked on an acoustic theater tour to highlight the softer side of the group.

But the roots of a more subdued sound originate from the 1999 album. There is nothing to lose. While the group’s previous effort, Color and shape, mixed dynamic, he still retained much of the punk-inspired post-grunge that the Foos had made their signature sound. There is nothing to lose, on the other hand, heavier pieces like “Stacked Actors” and “Breakout” move fairly quickly, settling into a much calmer second half that tackles new wave, soft rock and singer-songwriter styles. . It’s funny about Dave Grohl: when he stops screaming, you realize that he can actually sing.

Recorded as a trio and intended to be a relaxing low-pressure situation after the band nearly burned out, having lost guitarist Pat Smear and replacement guitarist Franz Stahl during the tour of the previous album, There is nothing to lose allowed the Foo Fighters to settle into a more comfortable and less confrontational space. They met Me First and Gimme Gimmes guitarist Chris Shiflett for the supporting tour, traveling the world and eventually heading to the Netherlands for a session at Wisseloord Studio for the program. 2 meters Sessions barely three weeks after the album was released.

According to Grohl, the band didn’t expect to play acoustically and hadn’t really rehearsed or performed in this arrangement before. The relatively calm setting and quieter nature of some tracks on the album, however, seemed to match the acoustic feeling, and the band picked up some acoustic instruments. The only person plugged in is bassist Nate Mendel, and the session provides excellent insight into his playing style, which is typically drowned out in the loud rock shows the band usually performs. Mendel took a more basic, root-centric approach when he joined the Foos, but his playing here is more reminiscent of the melodic style he employed with his first band, emo legends Sunny Day Real Estate.

Grohl is also in rare form, clearly slightly edgy with the privacy and lack of yelling he can make. His voice almost turns back to a whisper, and it’s a stark contrast to the ear-shattering screams he’s best known for. Drummer Taylor Hawkins mostly sticks to the brushes since his primary playing mode is “loud”, reminiscent of Grohl’s own volume reduction of Grohl’s peccary during Nirvana. MTV unplugged in New York concert. As a newcomer, Shiflett refrains from being too flashy, upping the songs with delicate fills that move the tracks forward.

The setlist is a time capsule for a band just starting to accumulate enough sweet tracks to warrant an acoustic performance. ‘Floaty’, a Lush-inspired track from the band’s early days, gets a rare live performance, as does ‘Next Year’, which would rarely make setlists after 2000 and haven’t been played in any form since 2009. ‘Ain’t It the Life’ is pretty much the same, having been largely retired since the 2006 ‘Skin and Bones’ acoustic tour. These are songs that don’t normally fit in a stadium setting Foo Fighters, but they fit right in here.

The other two full songs are pillars: ‘Everlong’ and ‘Learn to Fly’. Even though their first appearance was on There Is Nothing Left To Lose and the band had only been playing it live for about two months, ‘Learn to Fly’ would have a permanent place in the band’s setlists from now on, having been played. every year, at almost every concert, since its inception. “Everlong”, of course, is the band’s signature song, having been performed over 1,000 times. This makes it the band’s most played track, and it’s not hard to see why. Grohl first performed ‘Everlong’ in acoustics at The Howard Stern Show in 1998, and it would be a preferred format for the song in subsequent years.

Watch a rare acoustic ensemble from the Foo Fighters below.

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