Photo: Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images
Dave Grohl Pens Love Letter To Live Music & Human Connection In Impassioned New Op-Ed
In the words of rock and roll hero Dave Grohl, "Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has reduced today’s live music to unflattering little windows that look like doorbell security footage and sound like Neil Armstrong’s distorted transmissions from the moon, so stuttered and compressed. It’s enough to make Max Headroom seem lifelike."
So sets the backdrop for Grohl's new op-ed in The Atlantic titled "The Day the Live Concert Returns." The Foo Fighters frontman shares his dissappointment at the cancellation of what would have been an epic homecoming, the band's debut album 25th anniversary celebration show on the 4th of July in Washington, D.C. Instead, he'll be at home, as will many of the 80,000 fans he looked forward to celebrating with.
"There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music," Grohl writes, pointing to a few of his live music heroes for exemplifying this magic. He recalls Freddie Mercury and Queen's 1electrifying and game-changing 22-minute set at 1985's Live Aid, and how super-famous U2 proved themselves human by coming out on stage with the house lights on during their 2001 Elevation Tour in great detail. Even as his generations most recognizable rock star, Grohl's stories from the other side of the microphone, from down in the audience (and often in the pit) ring true to a music community who have been forced to make due without the lifeblood live music pumps through it.
Earlier this year, Grohl sat down to recount the story of jamming with Prince on stage during soundcheck at The Forum in Los Angeles, during Prince's epic 21-night run there in 2011, an experience he never would have had - at least not with anything like the same intesity - from home.
Grohl also includes a touching story about Bruce Springsteen coming to a Foo Fighters show and ultimately shared some wise words with Dave, writing in a note to him after the show, “When you look out at the audience, you should see yourself in them, just as they should see themselves in you.”
The piece is full of examples of the human connection element of live music and reads like a love letter from a musician who devoted his life to something he can temporarily no longer do... for now. Grohl ends on a hopeful note:
"Without that audience—that screaming, sweating audience—my songs would only be sound. But together, we are instruments in a sonic cathedral, one that we build together night after night. And one that we will surely build again."
You can read the full article in The Atlantic here.