Live review: Foo Fighters, Summer Sessions, Glasgow, Sat 17 Aug (4 stars)

Live review: Foo Fighters, Summer Sessions, Glasgow, Sat 17 Aug

credit: Ryan Johnston

Greatest hits delivered with expert showmanship in the Glasgow mud

There's no need to build any hype for the return of the Foo Fighters to Glasgow. The crowd are ready for Dave Grohl 30 minutes before stage time. They've been ready since this show was announced, such is the fandom he inspires. They're ready for his band during Slaves' set too. Despite Isaac Holman's best efforts to coax something out of the audience they don't give much back during the call and response section of 'Fuck The Hi-Hat', though there are a small pocket of lads front and centre who go ballistic throughout. If nothing else it's a workout for Holman who utterly pulverises his drums, biceps rippling during the inane 'Where's Your Car Debbie'. 'Foo Fighters will be on soon', Holman mutters with resignation, knocking back another can of lager.

When the Foos doo arrive there's no subtlety to it. Grohl sprints onto the stage, followed closely by his five bandmates, bellowing 'you knew we were coming back!', over and over again, before launching straight into an unlikely set opener, a rare outing for the deliciously fuzzed up 'Stacked Actors'. 'The Pretender' and 'Learn to Fly' follow in quick succession. The tone is set, the band are here at our service. 'I came back to play some rock'n'roll!', says Grohl, and he delivers on the promise, 'Times Like These', 'My Hero' and 'These Days' are all present in the first hour.

A big show is made of the band introductions, with snippets of Thin Lizzy, Chic and Bowie ('Pat Smear plays ... guitar') before Grohl and drummer Taylor Hawkins swap roles for a full cover of Queen's 'Under Pressure'. There are dedications to Grohl's monitor engineer of 30 years, the Edinburgh-born Ian Beveridge, and The Cure's Robert Smith, watching from stageside after his own long awaited return to Glasgow the previous night. In Smith's name the band play a ferocious rendition of 'All My Life', a thrilling, throat shredding highlight of the evening. The band are then briefly joined by three backing singers (including Grohl's 13-year-old daughter Violet) for Concrete and Gold's 'Dirty Water'. Despite the best encouragement of Bellahouston Park, Grohl Jr can't be convinced to join her Dad for a duet. She's got school on Monday. What a crazy life.

Longtime fans are rewarded in the closing stages with first album cuts 'I'll Stick Around' and 'This Is A Call', plus The Colour and the Shape's 'Hey, Johnny Park', which Grohl completely forgets the words to. There's no such problem with the closing 'Everlong', and even if there was, he'd have a chorus of tens of thousands ready and willing to back him.

Glasgow Summer Sessions

Annual series of concerts held every August at Bellahouston Park. The 2019 line up includes the Foo Fighters, The Cure, Mogwai, The Twilight Sad, The Joy Formidable and The 1975.