Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl is here to dish out more wisdom for a COVID-19 world. Last month, Grohl kept everyone entertained by sharing his Pandemic Playlist, an eclectic mixup featuring everyone from The Cars to The Smashing Pumpkins to LCD Soundsystem.
Today, the Foo Fighter published a love letter for The Atlantic titled, "The Day The Live Concert Returns." The poignant piece pays homage to the intimate and communal essence that lives at the heart of every concert experience, connecting every audience member to not only the musicians onstage, but also to each other. Grohl reflects on his past experiences on the road and his unabashed hopes for live music's future amidst the current coronavirus predicament.
"There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music," Grohl writes. "It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favorite performer onstage, in the flesh...even our most beloved superheroes become human in person."
He touched on some of live music's most historic moments, including the 1985's Live Aid benefit concert at Wembley Stadium, "Imagine being at Wembley Stadium in 1985 as Freddie Mercury walked onstage...Forever regarded as one of the most triumphant live performances of all time (clocking in at a mere 22 minutes) Freddie and Queen somehow managed to remind us that behind every rock god is someone who puts on their studded arm bracelet, absurdly tight white tank, and stonewashed jeans one pant leg at a time just like the rest of us. It was Freddie's connection with the audience that transformed that dilapidated soccer stadium into a sonic cathedral. In broad daylight, he majestically made 72,000 people his instrument, joining them in harmonious unison."
Grohl goes on to reflect on Foo Fighters shows, including an early gig Foo Fighters concert with "Boss" Bruce Springsteen in attendance. Despite his initial disappointment after realizing that Springsteen was there to see a supporting act, the two rock stars chatted after the Foo Fighters' performance, specifically on "the rapport the ban [seemed] to have with [their] audience." "He was searching for that connection, too." Grohl reflects.
Most importantly, he reflects on the current standstill of live music across the world and his final thoughts are ones of hope and not despair: "In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it's hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again. I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life. But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human. We need moments that reassure us that we are not alone. That we are understood. That we are imperfect. And, most important, that we need each other."
"I have shared my music, my words, my life with the people who come to our shows. And they have shared their voices with me. Without that audience—that screaming, sweating audience—my songs would only be sound. But together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again."