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Dave Grohl Of Foo Fighters

Dave Grohl On Touring During A Pandemic: “You Wake Up Every Day And Cross Your Fingers And Hope That We Make It To The Stage That Day”


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The Foo Fighters have played an instrumental role in the return of large-scale concerts in major markets of the United States this year. Most notably the band successfully reopened Madison Square Garden in New York City, NY this past June, playing the first 100% capacity event in that legendary venue since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared.

But their role in helping lead the charge for large concerts hasn’t been without setbacks. The group had also originally been booked to open The Forum in Inglewood, CA with the first 100% capacity show at the venue this past July, before ultimately being forced to postpone that date amid a confirmed COVID-19 case within their camp.

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Additionally, the band have been playing shows that often feature strict requirements for admission, namely proof a full vaccination against COVID-19 or a recent negative COVID-19 test taken within a day or two of the event itself. Their decision to do so has seen them draw criticism from other artists, fans and more.

Speaking recently with NME, Grohl addressed the elation and the anxieties that have come with touring amid a global pandemic. When asked how it feels to be back onstage, he replied:

“For the two-and-a-half hours onstage, it feels amazing. It’s the other hours of the day that pose a bit of a challenge because of all the new requirements and restrictions and guidelines. You have to be really careful out there. When you’re travelling with a crew of 60 people from state to state and venue to venue, you try your best to stay within your band bubble because the wheels could fall off at any moment. You wake up every day and cross your fingers and hope that we make it to the stage that day.”

When asked about how the band’s summer touring in the United States has been going, he offered:

“We were fortunate to complete this last two-week run – but, you know, we played a venue in Albuquerque [the 15,000-capacity Isleta Amphitheater] where it was the first time they’d had a show there in 688 days. And you could feel it in the audience. You could hear it when they sang along. You could see it when they danced. It’s been a town-to-town celebration of the return of live music everywhere we go – opening new venues, reopening venues that had shut down. And you could see that people have been starved of live performance – as have we. We hit the stage like we haven’t hit the stage for two years!”

It was then put to him that he sounded as though he was approaching touring with “a tentative kind of hopefulness” and not taking it for granted, to which he responded:

“No, not at at all. As a band, we’re most concerned with safety – the safety of the audience, the safety of our band, the crew – so we follow these guidelines. Some of them are self-imposed; others are mandates that are handed down from local governments or federal mandates and you’re very conscious of the whole thing just going away again – any time. Every day you’re just hoping that we make it through.

When you’re onstage… we’re playing like that quite possibly could be the last show. It’s great! When we hit the stage, a lot of the nerves go away because you’re back with the people, so it’s all right.”

The Foo Fighters have a wealth of touring booked for the weeks and months to come. Here’s what they have lined up:

08/17 Anchorage, AK – Dena’ina Center
08/19 Anchorage, AK – Dena’ina Center
08/21 Fairbanks, AK – Carlson Center
08/26 Los Angeles, CA – The Forum
09/03 Manchester, TN – Bonnaroo
09/05 Napa Valley, CA – Bottlerock
09/15 Syracuse, NY – St Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview (feat. Bambara)
09/17 Bridgeport, CT – Hartford HealthCare Amphitheater (feat. Bambara)
10/08-10 New Orleans, LA – New Orleans Jazz Fest
11/10 Mexico City, MEX – Foro Sol (feat. The Warning, Kills Birds)
11/12-13 Monterrey, MEX – Tecate Pal Norte
05/27-29 Boston, MA – Boston Calling
06/08 Berlin, GER – Flughafen, Tempelhof (feat. The Pretty Reckless & Greta Van Fleet)
06/10 Nickelsdorg, AUT – Nova Rock Festival
06/12 Milan, ITA – I-Days
06/14 Basel, SWI – St. Jakob-Park (feat. Weezer)
06/16 Valencia, SPA – Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
06/18 Lisbon, POR – Rock In Rio
06/20 Madrid, SPA – Wanda Metrpolitano Stadium (feat. Liam Gallagher & Amyl & The Sniffers)
06/22-23 Nimes, FRA – Festival de Nimes
06/25 Manchester, UK – Emirates Old Trafford (feat. St. Vincent & Loose Articles)
06/27 Birmingham, UK – Villa Park (feat. Courtney Barnett & Hot Milk)
06/30 London, UK – London Stadium (St. Vincent & Shame)
07/02 London, UK – London Stadium (feat. Courtney Barnett & Hot Milk)

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