Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl pens love letter to live music in article
13 May 2020, 13:10 | Updated: 13 May 2020, 13:23
The Foo Fighters frontman wrote a piece for The Atlantic's Uncharted series, which explores how the pandemic is changing our world.
Dave Grohl has shown off his writing skills once again by penning an article about the power of live music.
The Foo Fighters rocker has been flexing his editorial muscles by writing up real true stories on Instagram, but now he's contributed to The Atlantic's Unchartered series, which explores how the pandemic has changed the way we live.
In a piece entitled The Day the Live Concert returns, Grohl began by asking the rhetorical question: "Where were you planning to be on the Fourth of July this year?"
He answered: "I know exactly where I was supposed to be: FedExField, outside Washington, D.C., with my band Foo Fighters and roughly 80,000 of our closest friends. We were going to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of our debut album. A red, white, and blue keg party for the ages, it was primed to be an explosive affair shared by throngs of my sunburned hometown brothers and sisters, singing along to more than a quarter century of Foo.
"Well, things have changed."
Grohl goes on to discuss the power of live music, writing: "There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music. It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favorite performer onstage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image glowing in your lap as you spiral down a midnight YouTube wormhole."
After citing epic gigs such as Queen's iconic Live Aid performance and U2's 2001 Elevation Tour, the rocker recalled the time Bruce Springsteen watched the Foos live, and the wise words he shared with him soon after.
He recalled: "Bruce wanted to say hello. Having actually stayed for our set (cue jaw crashing to the floor), he very generously thanked us and commented on our performance, specifically the rapport we seem to have with our audience. Something he obviously understood very well. When asked where he watched the show from, he said that he’d stood in the crowd, just like everyone else. Of course he did. He was searching for that connection too.
"A few days later, I received a letter from Bruce, handwritten on hotel stationery, that explained this very clearly. 'When you look out at the audience,” he wrote, “you should see yourself in them, just as they should see themselves in you.'"
Grohl went on to describe the live crowd as their own instruments, and sharing his hope that the time would come again for our voices to join together.
"In today’s world of fear and unease and social distancing, it's hard to imagine sharing experiences like these ever again," he mused. "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."
Grohl concluded: "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."