— Written by me and originally published on AlternativeNation, June 13, 2015 —
That night I witnessed something completely unique. I saw Dave Grohl trip and fall off the stage during a Foo Fighters show, break his leg, get medical attention and return to finish the show. An amazing heartwarming show unlike anything I’ve ever seen.
Foo Fighters visited Gothenburg, Sweden on June 12, 2015 to play at Ullevi stadium in front of 50.000 people during their Sonic Highways tour. The weather was perfect, a beautiful Swedish summer evening. I was expecting joy, action, energy, and excellent musical performance from a very talented band. I got all that and more. It would turn out to be a show that wasn’t so much about the music as it was about the emotions, the connection between Foo Fighters and their audience, joined together as one to make this a night to be remembered forever.
During ”Monkey Wrench”, the second song in the set, Grohl ran to one side, stumbled and fell headlong off the stage. A few moments later, lying down on a stretcher, he announced that he had broken his leg and had to go to the hospital. He promised that the Foo Fighters would return but right now Taylor Hawkins had to take over on vocals. Which he did, in an excellent way, supported by the band and an audience that showed no intention of giving up.
“I may not be able to walk or run but I can still play guitar and scream,” Grohl told the amazed and flabbergasted audience upon his return and went on with ”Learn to Fly”, ”Something From Nothing” and ”The Pretender” as if nothing had happened. It was the usual Dave Grohl with the same amount of passion as always. Propped up on a chair, probably with strong painkillers in his body, with a doctor holding his bandaged leg in place, Grohl sang with a fully intact voice and played the guitar as always. The band gave him their full support and you couldn’t even notice from their performance that something was wrong.
After those three songs though, Grohl was taken off stage again, to get a cast on his leg only to return again. I thought he would probably do a couple of more songs, then call it a night, but he kept on assuring us the evening wasn’t over and he wasn’t going anywhere before they finished the show. That meant about two and a half hours with a broken leg.
The most heartfelt moment was when Grohl walked out on the runway, on crutches and supported by Chris Shiflett. At the end of the runway the two of them performed acoustic and very delicate versions ”My Hero” and ”Times Like These” egged on by the most dedicated and moved audience I’ve ever experienced. I was sure the concert would end after that. It felt like a goodbye. I was hoping and praying inside that they would do ”Best of You” out there as well before walking away. They didn’t. Instead Grohl exclaimed ”I’m gonna go back and do some more rock n roll now!” and added smilingly ”But it’s going to take a while”.
What followed was eight more songs, ending with ”Best of You” in a way that’s impossible to explain.
It sounds crazy, but this might have been the best Foo Fighters show ever. All the pent-up emotions from the turmoil were put into the songs in the most tangible way. It was a marvellous and incredible night.
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