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Music DVD Review: Foo Fighters – Live At Wembley Stadium

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So the Foo Fighters are selling out Wembley Stadium these days? Two shows within 24-hours that is! Where the hell have I been? The fact is, the Foo Fighters have been one of the hottest bands on the planet this last decade, with almost all of their albums cracking the top ten of the Billboard 200 chart, and a slew of hit singles and Grammy Awards to go along with it.

I'll be up front and admit that I own a whopping zero albums from the Foo's, but when every third song on the radio is by them, then who needs to buy the stuff. Now, concert DVDs are a whole different ball game. You aren't likely to overdose on any live Foo Fighter footage on TV any time soon, and unless you are able to score tickets to one of those 90,000 seat stadiums they are selling out as if it were frigging CBGBs, then the ol' concert DVD may be your only chance to see these boys play live.

Live At Wembley Stadium was filmed during the band's two sold out shows on June 6th and 7th, 2007 at London's brand new Wembley Stadium, which had only opened a few months prior. The new Wembley replaced the original famous football (uh, soccer) stadium that was demolished back in 2003. The video features performances from both nights, with most of them coming from the second night when Led Zeppelin legends Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones joined them onstage for an incredible jam.

The video opens in dramatic fashion with Dave Grohl strutting down the huge catwalk that extends the entire length of the stadium, and strumming a power chord as he soaks in the magnitude of the event. The massive stage has no backing or sides, and it offers a clear view of the band for almost every spectator in the joint. The stage is also capable of completely rotating 360 degrees, which it does on a few occasions to give the fans on each side of the arena a treat.

The setlist features at least a couple of songs from each of the Foo Fighter albums, with the exception of the first one getting passed over. Although the Foo Fighter's debut was essentially a Dave Grohl solo project, it does contain a couple of his best songs, and they would have went down great here. "The Pretender," from the band's latest album, Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, was the perfect opener to get all 86,000 fans on their feet (and in the air), and the supercharged follow-up "Times Like These" served to keep them there.

The only real momentum killers for me were the two other, rather mediocre, new tracks from Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, "Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)" and "Long Road To Ruin." "Skin And Bones," "Marigold," and "My Hero" made for a nice mid-set acoustic break, before things really kicked into gear again with the fiery first set closing finale of "Monkey Wrench" and "All My Life."

When Dave Grohl proclaimed that "This is going to be the show that we'll be talking about for the next 20 years of our lives," he was probably referring to himself and his bandmates, more than all of the fans in attendance. He appeared overwhelmed by the whole spectacle at times, and it came to a head when Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones joined him onstage for what was probably the most memorable encore of his life.

Grohl handled drum chores during the Zep classic, "Rock and Roll," while Taylor Hawkins took the lead vocals. Page looked like Zeus up on stage, with his long flowing mane of white hair, and his guitar riffs were still equally god-like. Hawkins and Grohl traded places again to tackle "Ramble On," which must have left all the old-timers in the crowd grinning from ear to ear. I know this old timer was.

Other than the camera work being very dizzying at times, the overall production quality of this DVD was excellent. Both the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround and PCM stereo tracks sounded great, and the high definition, widescreen, picture looks incredible. This DVD screamed out for some good bonus features, such as a tour documentary, or some backstage footage, but surprisingly there were none to be had.

You don't have to be the biggest fan of the Foo Fighters to appreciate such a kick-ass concert DVD as Live At Wembley Stadium. Save this one for the big screen and be sure to crank it up loud.

Set List
01. The Pretender
02. Times Like These
03. No Way Back
04. Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)
05. Learn To Fly
06. Long Road To Ruin
07. Breakout
08. Stacked Actors
09. Skin And Bones
10. Marigold
11. My Hero
12. Cold Day In The Sun
13. Everlong
14. Monkey Wrench
15. All My Life
16. Rock And Roll
17. Ramble On
18. Best Of You

Performance 8/10
Production 9/10

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