i could’ve seen ‘em in ’97 in support of their color and the shape record, supported by verbena, if my memory serves me correctly. missed the wolverhampton show and later felt that sheffield was a tad far to go to (they played the octagon!). it was the period that pat had just left the band and the foos got one franz stahl (ex-wool) reeled in for second guitar duties. it wasn’t ’til 2002 that i finally caught dave et al. driving the crowd nuts at the arena in newcastle. saw them again in the summer of last year (see here to read my thoughts on the hyde park show). and when i decided to see them again this time, it was a no-brainer, really. they were playing sheffield!

the opener was serj tankian, performing his solo material from his elect the dead record. i have seen SOAD live before, and i’d say his solo material is kinda SOAD-lite. serj is SOAD, in my opinion, kinda like search without amy would be way weird, if you catch my drift. i have to say i only know empty walls and pretty much just went with the flow, nodding my head away with every tune he and his band churned out.

the foos had an ego ramp, similar to that at hyde park. at the end of the ramp was this circular platform. kazman made a comment about it and i didn’t really pay much attention to figure out its purpose. they kicked off at 8.45pm which was kinda nice, and i was sincerely hoping they’d play a longer set than what they did in londres last time.

the band started the show with their current single, let it die, and much to my surprise, they had pat smear! flippin’ ‘ell, now we have 50% of nirvana onstage, yo. as the tune had the extra acoustic thingamabobs, they also had drew hester and jessy green in tow. a foos show will always have bloomin’ sing-alongs (did i say they never write a duff tune?), both old and new.

after doing stacked actors, dave walked on the ego ramp with his black gibbo acoustic playing the skin and bones riff. remember the circular platform? a new bloody rig was at that time descending from the freaking ceiling! to paraphrase the neon, holy shi-yat. the rest of the band followed suit, got their instruments and did a mini rendition of the skin and bones acoustic set, complete with a drew hester triangle solo! they effortlessly did the foocoustic staples which included my hero, marigold and cold day. it was great to see that the standing area wasn’t chock-a, as we basically went up and down the arena catching as much a good view as we could.

dave then did the usual solo rendition of everlong and i thought, wait a sec, it’s only an hour an a half, we can’t stop now. he rejoined the rest to finish off the song only to do monkey wrench, which was a relief. they ended the main set with the fantastic all my life, letting the punters do the one-breathed bridge bit.

they had a camera backstage and we got to see dave showing the setlist. at the bottom of the list was the encore list hidden under white tape, which drew a loud cheer from the audience. dave and taylor then did an act of discussing how many songs they should do. dave did mention the absence of curfew!

they got back onstage and played wattershed from their first record. i have to say i can’t bloody remember that tune. some fan, eh? serj got out and did a dead kennedys cover with the guys and i looked to my right to see this chap doing a bez. bloody funny one. they did generator (i used to think the song was called radiator… don’t ask) which was pretty much encore staple again and for the piece de resistance, they ended the night with a resounding best of you.

see why i felt this was the best foos gig ever? ever ever ever?

the arena, sheffield 12.11.07 set: let it die / the pretender / times like these / breakout / long road to ruin / learn to fly / cheer up, boys (your makeup is running) / DOA / stacked actors // [acoustic set] skin and bones / marigold / my hero / cold day in the sun / but, honestly // everlong / monkey wrench / all my life / [encore] wattershed / holiday in cambodia [w/ serj] / generator / keep the car running [arcade fire cover] / best of you

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for more pics check out this guy’s flickr page. or just go to the foos’ official site.