On Sunday, legendary rock band Foo Fighters held their first solo live performance since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic (not including a brief warm-up act in Los Angeles earlier in the month). The group rocked Madison Square Garden for a massive crowd of fans, all verified to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, a stipulation that drew some ire from anti-vaccination protestors outside the venue.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for over a year,” Grohl said in a statement announcing the show last week. “And Madison Square Garden is going to feel that hard. New York, get ready for a long ass night of screaming our heads off together to 26 years of Foos.”
It was an evening of classics, of course, but also some fantastic cover tracks, including one with a very special guest. For their cover of Radiohead’s Creep, the band invited comedian Dave Chappelle onstage to take the lead singer role. Additionally, drummer Taylor Hawkins took over for frontman Dave Grohl for a cover of Queen’s “Somebody to Love,” and the group played a track from their new Bee Gees cover album, Hail Satin.
The Foo Fighters just brought out Dave Chappelle to sing “Creep” for the first concert at Madison Square Garden since covid. Incredible.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) June 21, 2021
Later in the show, Grohl took a moment to reflect. “Did you miss it?” he asked grinning guitarist Pat Smear and then the crowd. “Me too. I don’t think that we’d be here tonight if it weren’t for a lot of people that helped us get this far.”
This show celebrated the band’s 26th anniversary, though there was an unspoken assumption that it was supposed to be their 25th anniversary celebration, delayed a year by the pandemic. The show was also dedicated to the memory of the band’s stage manager, Andy Pollard, who passed away on June 18.