Review: Foo Fighters — Live in Bangkok 2017

foo fighters bangkok 2017

Plenty of Malaysians traveled to Bangkok to catch the Foo Fighters live

It was almost like a life-long dream to watch the Foo Fighters play live. Being in Malaysia, opportunities were rare to none. Their last tour in South East Asia was back in 1996, 20 fucking years ago, when I was still a kid. Then their supposed return to Singapore in 2012 was cancelled due to frontman Dave Grohl’s vocal condition. As soon they announced they were going to Bangkok and Singapore this year, I instantaneously planned for the trip. At 6,000 Baht per ticket for the standing zone in Bangkok, there wasn’t much of a different compared to Singapore’s. But everything else there would had cost more, hence deciding to go for the one in Bangkok with my friends.

Held at Impact Challenger Hall 2 on August 24th (on a working Thursday), the gates opened at around 7.30pm although officially it said 6pm. Early bird ticket holders got to go in before the others, something which was not well informed by the organisers but fortunately a friend of mine found out about that by asking the staffs there and I joined him at his line. I was surprised that almost everyone around me were Malaysians. Someone even brought our national flag in hopes that the band would notice. I wouldn’t be surprised if 50% of the attendance were actually Malaysians ha-ha! That’s how much fans in Malaysia want to see the Foos.

dave grohl foo fighters bangkok 2017

The show was opened by two local Thai rock bands — Ebola and Silly Fools — which I didn’t quite enjoy to be honest (not only due to the language barrier). And then followed by the longest sound check ever — which took like 90 minutes or so. I was regretting for not having my dinner before this. The Foos finally came out at around 9.40pm and opened with Everlong. Usually when a band comes to a foreign country, they’d try to greet in their language. But not the Foos. Not even a “sawadee-kap” from them. They were being themselves — Grohl calling the fans in the crowd “crazy motherfuckers” and “old motherfuckers” in the complimentary way, and Pat Smear shaking his booty while playing and smoking when Grohl was doing a speech. It was hilarious and fucking amazing at the same time. To finally see Grohl and Smear play live, I mean, that’s it, man. If you’re a massive fan of 90s rock since you’re kid, you’d get what I mean. This indescribable emotion of happiness.

The band played almost every hit I wanted to hear. 24 songs in total, if I’m not mistaken. From their first single This is the Call, the “Footos” song Big Me (the slower live rendition), Generator (it was apparently the first time they played it in this tour) to three songs from their upcoming album Concrete and Gold, and ended the concert with Best of You without encore as Grohl explained, “We don’t do that.” I was quite satisfied with the set list. The only ones missing for me were Walking After You (remember that X-Files feature film?) and probably more stuff from their Grammy-winning album Wasting Light like White Limo and Arlandria.

dave grohl pat smear foo fighters bangkok 2017

Grohl’s vocals was on superb form that night. Apart from Pretender, he pretty much killed every number he sang. Drummer Taylor Hawkins did lead vocals for Cold Day in the Sun and Sunday Rain but we could hardly hear him and were the only times that people stood quietly. Sorry to say, those tracks aren’t on my playlist either. But his drumming performance though, was faultless. It was also nice to see a decal of Chris Cornell on his kick drum as a tribute to the recently passed rock legend.

In overall, I really enjoyed the show. It was fucking awesome. A true rock concert. I screamed and moved to almost every song till my throat fucking hurt from the second half onwards, while a mosh was happening not too far behind me. I had an absolute blast. Worth every Ringgit spent buying the ticket, flying to Bangkok, taking off working days and paying for accommodation. Foos, please don’t take another 20 years to come back to South East Asia. Anywhere in SEA is fine ’cause I know my country’s authorities might restrict you from even swearing.

A post shared by Tony Teh (@toninkush) on Aug 24, 2017 at 11:26am PDT

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