Last week, Foo Fighters made news when out of the blue they released the single “Run,” and made more when its video was viewed 2.2 million times in the first 24 hours. Today, they’re in the news again as they’re slated to return to the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience, along with Kendrick Lamar, The Killers, LCD Soundsystem and DJ Snake.
The Breton Sound plays arena-sized rock in indie-sized rooms. Many of the band’s models are pop classicists—The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Big Star—but the results are closer in spirit and sound to Weezer and Foo Fighters. It’s no coincidence that when the band performed a couple of Desert Island Disc shows last year, they covered Pinkerton and The Colour & The Shape from end to end.
[Update] When Foo Fighters performed in the front window of Preservation Hall, The Breton Sound’s Jonathan Pretus made it to the front row. Nola.com ran a photo of him, his wife Julia and his brother Brian from punk band Pears separated by a barrier and three feet from Dave Grohl, and the band’s recent EP makes his affection for the band clear.
I’ve contended from the start that Sonic Highways, Foo Fighters’ HBO series, works best as autobiography. It doesn’t so much shine a light on the cities’ music cultures as the parts of it that Dave Grohl related to.
Since Foo Fighters' appearance at Voodoo, I've been riding Dave Grohl and Sonic Highways pretty regularly here (and here) and on Facebook--probably creating the impression that I'm more hostile to him than I actually am. He's too amiable for me to genuinely dislke, and there are people making lousier, more cynical music in the world.
It was bad enough that The Tontons couldn't play loudly enough to keep Foo Fighters from being heard at the rail in front of the band at Le Ritual Stage Sunday night. When Taylor Hawkins' snare was part of the soundtrack for Miss Pussycat's handmade puppet show an hour later, it was hard to fight the vibe of bro privilege that comes off the band.
Voodoo lives on the cusp of the last gasp of summer and the first breath of winter, and nothing illustrates it like the half-dressed costumers juxtaposed with others wrapped in blankets. Sunday night is all about Foo Fighters, who have a generous two and a half-hour time slot to close the festival.