The RBC Stage was the scene where thousands of music fans gathered to see the much-anticipated Foo Fighters concert closing the Wednesday RBC Bluesfest in Ottawa. After enduring the disappointment of the Foo Fighters’ canceled appearances at the Osheaga Music Festival in Montreal, not once but twice, due to the Corona Virus pandemic, it was a long-awaited moment for many. Luckily, for those who couldn’t secure tickets for the intimate Monday night (July 10th) Verdun Auditorium show in Montreal they now had the chance to see the Foo Fighter concert down the 417 highway in Ottawa.
The band promptly took the stage at 9:00 pm. Aware of their limited two-hour time slot, frontman Dave Grohl informed the crowd that they wouldn’t be taking many breaks, aiming to squeeze in as many songs as possible before bidding their farewell. With a musical repertoire spanning 28 years, the two hours they had seemed like a mere glimpse into their catalog. Nonetheless, the crowd, brimming with enthusiasm, eagerly embraced all the beloved Foo Fighter classics, along with some fresh tunes.
Ordinarily, a Foo Fighters concert stretches to a generous 2½ hours. However, this time, no time was wasted as they kicked off the set with two crowd-pleasers, “All My Life” and “The Pretender.” Hits like “Times Like These” and “Best of You” resonated as anthems that the audience wholeheartedly belted out, occasionally even overpowering the band with their enthusiasm.
The untimely loss of drummer Taylor Hawkins in March 2022 had cast a shadow of uncertainty over the band’s future performances. Nevertheless, the audience was introduced to their new drummer, Josh Freese, an accomplished musician well-versed in the music industry. With a portfolio boasting contributions to over 50 albums and membership in esteemed bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Devo, Weezer, Paramore, and The Offspring, among others, Josh proved his worth behind the drum kit.
Adding an element of intrigue, Dave Grohl introduced a special guest vocalist for two songs, someone he affectionately referred to as his favorite female singer. Curiosity piqued among the attendees, speculating on the identity of this mysterious guest. It turned out to be none other than Dave’s daughter, Violet, who graced the stage and lent her rich, melodic voice to performances of “Shame Shame” and “Show Me How.” Violet’s presence added a unique dimension to these songs, delighting the audience.
To honor the memory of Taylor Hawkins, the band dedicated the song “Aurora,” one of his favorites, tugging at the heartstrings of both the band and the audience, and evoking intense emotions.
Promptly at 11:00 pm, the band bid their farewells, leaving us with an overwhelming sense that we had witnessed something truly extraordinary. Some of us might have found ourselves already contemplating their next concert destination. A Foo Fighters show is an absolute must for any avid fan of live music—an opportunity that should never be missed.
FOO FIGHTERS SETLIST:
All My Life
No Son of Mine
Learn to Fly
Times Like These
La Dee Da
Sabotage / Enter Sandman / Whip It / March of the Pigs / Haven’t Met You Yet
This Is a Call
The Sky Is a Neighborhood
Show Me How
Best of You