Foo Fighters/Cee Lo Green - review

Wembley Arena, London

One-off shows throw up some bizarre juxtapositions, and at this NME-sponsored Big Gig, Cee Lo Green was painfully aware he was not the support act that most Foo Fighters fans would have chosen. "I'll try not to waste too much of your time‚" he twice assured the audience as his all-female band struggled to communicate the nuances of his mercurial funk-soul through a sludgy sound mix. It was a tough gig, but he just about pulled it off with the closing, crowd-pleasing double whammy of his delirious 2006 Gnarls Barkley anthem Crazy and the cosmic psychedelia of his recent No 1, Fuck You, a song that it would take a heart of stone not to love.

Nowadays, Wembley Arena represents a relatively small gig for Foo Fighters, who headlined the stadium next door in 2008 and have two July shows booked at the Milton Keynes Bowl. It's some kind of achievement that singer and guitarist Dave Grohl, who last week picked up a Godlike Genius award from the NME, is now arguably as well-known for this band as for his time as the drummer of the great iconic band of his generation, Nirvana.

The plaudits are baffling because, as Foo Fighters debuted songs from their imminent seventh album, Wasting Light, it was clear that they remain a sleek, efficient stadium-rock band with nary a hint of the angst and edge that propelled Nirvana. New tracks like White Limo and Rope were big-riff workouts as clinical and therapeutic as a session in the gym, but the grinning Grohl's charm and witty asides couldn't obscure the many lulls in a long set. The Foo Fighters put bums on seats but, contrary to NME's belief, they are never touched by the hand of God.


Ian Gittins

The GuardianTramp

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