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News:
Foo Fighters launch new projects at SXSW
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

AUSTIN, Texas – The South By Southwest Music + Media Conference may be primarily about highlighting new and up and coming talent. But on Tuesday, March 15, it belonged to the very well established Foo Fighters.

The multi-platinum group had a couple of reasons for being in Austin this week: the world premiere of a new documentary, “Back and Forth;” and the upcoming release of its seventh studio album, “Wasting Light,” on March 12. And both had a chance to shine on Tuesday.

Earlier in the evening the Foo Fighters drove the limousine from their new “White Limo” video – albeit without heavy metal icon Lemmy at the wheel. The group was lustily cheered as it disembarked in front of Austin’s Paramount Theatre for the “Back and Forth” screening, and once inside frontman Dave Grohl commented that “when we were pulling up the street…I was looking around thinking, ‘God, I wonder who else has a f***ing movie today, because I couldn’t imagine that so many people would want to see this.” He also noted that the group refers to the film as “the history of us getting fat” and that watching it is “weird. It’s kind of like showering together or something – which we do.”

The revealing “Back and Forth” chronicles Foo Fighters’ history from Grohl’s days in Nirvana through his adventures as a one-man band and beyond. It features interviews with all of the current band members as well as former members William Goldsmith and Franz Stahl, along with a wealth of historical footage and personal still photos as well as new scenes of the group making “Wasting Light” – including scenes of recording with guests Krist Novoselic (Grohl’s former bandmate in Nirvana) and Bob Mould – in Grohl’s garage in Encino, Calif.

The film will have a limited theatrical run on April 5 prior to its April 8 premiere on VH1, VH1 Classic and Palladia.

Following the screening, Grohl greeted a packed crowd at Stubb’s by declaring, “We’re f***ing movie stars!,” launching a 21-song, hour-and-50-minute set that featured “Wasting Light,” the Foos’ first new album in four years, in its entirety from front to back. The group sounded like it’s been playing the 11 songs for years, and the crowd received each enthusiastically, shining particularly to the single “Rope” and the tracks “Miss the Misery” and Matter of Time.”

The appreciative Foo Fighters then rewarded that indulgence with a long set of what Grohl called “massive f***ing hits,” nearly everything any fan of the band could want – including “All My Life,” “Times Like These,” “Learn to Fly,” “The Pretender,” “Monkey Wrench,” “Everlong,” “Best of You,” “This is a Call” and a charged, extended version of “Stacked Actors.” Exhorting the “industry motherf***ers” to sing along during “My Hero,” Grohl playfully admonished their attempts (“You clearly need to do more shots!”) but also expressed genuine gratitude “to still be here playing for you…people.”

He also noted that the show was somewhat shorter than the Foos would have liked to play and promised to “be back soon and play for two hours and 45 minutes” – though nobody at Stubb’s was complaining with that they did get.

Foo Fighters perform at the mtvU Woodie Awards on Wednesday, March 16, in Austin and kick off a U.S. tour on May 17 in Tulsa, Okla. No Detroit area date has been announced yet.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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