Foo Fighters preview new album at SXSW (yes, it rocks)


Image Credit: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

“What we like to do in these kind of situations is play the new record,” said Dave Grohl. “Would you like to hear the new record?”

The South by Southwest crowd, which had mobbed Stubb’s in Austin for last night’s “secret” show, responded in a “yes-we-do-but-we-also-want-to-hear-your-hits” kind-of way and the Foo Fighters proceeded to launch into the first track, “Bridge Burning,” from their upcoming album Wasted Light (out April 12).

The audience was doubtless still wondering if Grohl meant he was going to play the entire album, or just some of it. The answer quickly became apparent: Grohl & Co. pounded through, one track right after another, without taking a breath in between songs. They jammed out 11 tracks, and I can tell you this: The new album sounds like classic Foo. It’s relentless, without a single detour — no acoustic guitar, no piano, no excessive thrashing. You can imagine the songs coming from a lot of truck windows at stop lights. Assuming they played the songs in order of their released track list, No. 5, “Arlandria,” was a particular crowd pleaser that had industry types in the audience giving each other the approving, “Yup, that one works” nod.

After blasting the final note, Grohl declared: “And that’s the new record!” and the crowd went nuts, both for the songs and the bravado of the performance. From the moment he took the stage, there was something reassuringly familiar about Grohl. For a rock star, he’s weirdly ageless and always seems to look the same, complete with T-shirt, wristband and long brown sheepdog hair that makes you want to cut it so he can see better. It’s a weirdly likable quality — he’s arena rock’s Constant.

“This wasn’t supposed to be our show,” Grohl added. “We hijacked somebody else’s gig. So we don’t have a lot of time. So I’m not gonna tell funny stories and joke around like I usually do. I’m just gonna say, ‘Hi, how are you? Here’s the new record, and here’s some massive hits.'”

Foo then launched into a mini-greatest hits set, including “One by One,” “Monkey Wrench,” “Times Like These,” “Learn to Fly” and, yes, “Everlong” (the real version, not the wimpy acoustic one that some prefer for some reason).

Comments (32 total) Add your comment
  • Lilly Ngo

    The gig (or party) Dave mentioned that was hijacked was ours, Media Temple (not that we minded). If you don’t mind mentioning that in the article, I would appreciate it!

    • AER

      Did you guys atleast get to play last night? I wanted to be there but the crowd was insane. There was no way I was getting in. I sure do love this town :)

      • Jessie

        I love them and DatingSugarMommies was amazing

    • JJ

      Sorry, can’t say I ever heard of you losers.

      • AER

        Why point out that you’re ignorant? It’s not our fault you have no culture.

  • KC

    I’ve heard a few tracks off of this new CD and have to give a “meh”. It’s going to take a few listenings.

    • LOL

      “Meh” is so 2009.

      • UGH

        LOL is so 2001

      • LOL

        Irony is lost on some.

      • Pillow Pants

        You know how I know LOL is a hipster?

  • EC

    Love the Foo Fighters, not a fan of the first single (Rope). Still hopeful on this album.

    • KC

      I wish they had released White Limo as the first single.

      • LOL

        White Limo should have been the first single. It rocks.

    • Madelane

      Rope is great! I have listened to it a million times but I loved it from the first time I heard it, which rarely happens. What do you not like about it?

      • UGH

        I just thought it was just a generic-sounding FF song. Too safe?

  • pennyfoo

    I think you mean “All My Life” off of the One By One album. Foo Fighters don’t have a song called “One By One.”

    • Jennabel

      Play informtiave for me, Mr. internet writer.

  • Geli

    You forgot to add the few f-bombs he threw around in that salutation. haha Such an AMAZING show! All I wanted to do when I got home was listen the their discography. Can’t wait to get the new album.

  • Art

    They are called “The Foo Fighters”. Referring to them as “Foo” makes you seem like you might have a hard time tying your own shoes.

    • Madelane

      I am a huge fan, and I call them Foo sometimes. I thought I was being cute.

    • cmp99

      They are just called “Foo Fighters”. Not “The Foo Fighters”

    • Kelly

      It’s official: Foo Fighters have the most retarded fans and Art is the biggest retard of them all

  • Justin

    Its official Kelly has no life and she posts on stories she dosent care about to be a troll.

    • Kate


  • melissa

    I love the Foo Fighter and I’m kicking myself for not knowing they were here.

    • AER

      They’ll be at Austin Music Hall tonight filming for the MTV Woodie Awards. Not nearly as wonderful as Stubb’s but it’s better than nothing.

  • Anna

    I’m so excited for this album! Does anyone know if they are going on tour?

    • Winning.

      Duh! For more info, check out or



    • Luke

      Sure thing, I’ll go dig him up right now.

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  • private

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