Foo Fighters – 8/29/2015 – Wrigley Field

The building literally shook. While Wrigley Field might not be entirely equipped for a sizable earthquake, the seismic riffs of “Monkey Wrench” and the boisterous crowd swayed the building in unison. The Foo Fighters where just into their second song of their set, after opening with the crowd-pleaser “Everlong,” and a sold out Wrigley Field was in a state of head-banging frenzy.

For the next two and a half hours (with drizzle falling sporadically in-between), the band more than proved their adequacy in commanding a crowd this immense with hit after hit from a hefty career catalog to lean on. Front man, Dave Grohl, seemingly felt at home, albeit while sitting in a gaudy rock-star throne (oh, you don’t have one of these lying around your living room?).

Photo courtesy of Chris Sweda - Chicago Tribune

Photo courtesy of Chris Sweda – Chicago Tribune

Complete with flashing lights and the ability to move Dave to and fro, (he broke his leg while playing on stage back in June). The specially built runway allowed him to get closer to the fervent packed crowd stretched across the padded Wrigley Field outfield.

Halfway through the set, Dave found the opportunity to bring out his cousin and his mom (Mrs. Grohl) to wish them a happy birthday. Dave, in a contemplative mood, credited his cousin as one of his inspirations to want to start a band (seeing her have a band at the age of 10).

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Those inspirations weren’t the only things on his mind, the city of Chicago itself (integral to their Sonic Highways documentary and album of the same name) offered Dave his first concert he ever attended in his life at the Cubby Bear just down the street. The band he saw that night was none other than Chicago’s own Naked Raygun who were also one of the opening bands.

As the show came to a close, an introspective Dave Grohl choked up, possibly realizing what it took to get to this moment. The crowd, perhaps, felt the same way…both hoping to keep riding down that same sonic highway together.

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Setlist (courtesy of setlist.fm):

Everlong

Monkey Wrench

Learn to Fly

Something From Nothing (with Rick Nielsen)

The Pretender

Big Me (slow version)

Congregation

Walk

Eruption (Van Halen cover) (Snippet during band introduction)

You Really Got Me (The Kinks cover) (Snippet during band introduction)

Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love (Van Halen cover) (Snippet during band introduction)

Unchained (Van Halen cover) (Snippet during band introduction)

Roundabout (Yes cover) (Snippet during band introduction)

School’s Out (Alice Cooper cover) (Snippet during band introduction)

Cold Day in the Sun

My Hero

Outside

All My Life

Happy Birthday (to Virginia Grohl and Tracy [Dave’s cousin])

Times Like These

These Days

Miss You (The Rolling Stones cover)

White Limo

Arlandria

Breakout

This Is a Call

Best of You

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Why This Song Matters…In 143ish Words or Less – Kurtis Blow – “The Breaks”

Kurtis Blow – The Breaks

Extremely short story: Standing in the proverbial shadows of The Sugar Hill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” (watch the granny karaoke scene from the Wedding Singer for reference), nearly a year later in September of 1980, Kurtis Blow’s classic track actually notched the first hip-hop record to reach 500,000 records sold.

Really short-long story: Kurtis Blow was, arguably, the first premier solo rap artist to make it big because of this song. Let’s put it this way…starting out, this guy was like the Beatles in terms of a solo hip-hop act. He created so many firsts in the genre of hip-hop (first to hit a gold record, first to go on a major tour [even going international], and first to sign to a major label), that he was undeniably one of the principal forces in leading hip-hop to the mainstream.

Devoid of any samples (instruments where actually played here), this old school joint can still get you Electric Boogaloo fans moving.

So why not take a break and take a listen?

Why This Song Matters…In 143ish Words or Less – The Count Five – “Psychotic Reaction”

Extremely short story: One of the most quintessential psychedelic garage rock songs recorded.

Really short-long story: The Count Five formed in San Jose, CA in the early 1960s and unfortunately also became a quintessential one-hit wonder. Despite this, the band created a timeless classic.

Originally named the Counts (don’t worry Sesame Street fans…no copyright infringement here since the show still wasn’t on TV), the band wanted to bank on the massive British Invasion movement at the time and added “Five” to their name as a homage to the massively successful English band Dave Clark Five.

While, lead vocalist, John Byrne was sitting in his health education class in college, the subject of psychosis was brought up by his professor. His classmate Ron Lamb mentioned to John what a great song title “Psychotic Reaction” would be. With the basis of the song already in his head, John’s muse all but set up the classic in motion.

Take a listen.