People say that the instant you hold your newborn child, you forget everything you went through to get to that moment. All the pain, panic and planning disappears into thin air, as you come to the realization that, it’s all good in the hood… so they say. I don’t have kids. But I have had a really tough couple of years, which no longer mattered when a black curtain dropped at 8:40pm on July 8th 2015.
When Foo Fighters announced their North American tour, I wasn’t as thrilled as a North American Foo Fighters fan should be. To any other fan it was fantastic news, but to me it was just another year I couldn’t afford to see them. It was embarrassing to be thirty years old, calling myself a “huge fan” when I had never seen them live. And now they were coming to Toronto again, and I wasn’t going… again. I’d like to say I took it well but that’d be furthest from the truth.
Straight out of some rock and roll fairytale, I made it to the show. My younger cousin had made his own announcement about the tour, and it was that he was going and I was going with him, as there was no one else he’d rather go with. So I did what any fangirl would do, I graciously accepted the offer, bounced off the walls, blared Foo Fighters for a year and counted down the days till the show. As the counts grew less and less, the band made a new announcement, Dave Grohl had broken his leg and they were forced to cancel shows. At the time, July 8th was only weeks away, and as badass as Dave Grohl is, he’s still human and would need time to heal. The amount of cuss words that flew out of my mouth the day I read the news, would force Jason Mewes to cover his ears. “Could this get any f***ing worse!?”
One appearance and six shows were cancelled in the UK and Europe, but no word on any Canadian cities. I stopped looking into the matter, as my fingernails couldn’t take the chomping and chewing. I wished Dave a speedy recovering, unplugged myself from any entertainment news, and kept my fingers crossed.
“Hello I’ve waited here for you” was the first words sung out of Dave Grohl’s mouth, on Wednesday night, when the black curtain dropped to reveal a wounded, but not broken rock god. Ironic that after years of waiting to see them, he sings that he’s been waiting for me, during their show opener Everlong. As I write this, I must admit that it’s only days after the concert, and my neck is still kinked from all the head-banging, THAT is a testament to how good the show was and how much it was worth waiting for.
“You wanna keep me in this chair! I want out of this f***ing chair! I wanna dance too mother f*****s!” Dave confesses to the audience, referring to the rock throne he had custom made for, what is now being called, The Broken Leg Tour. Truthfully, it does suck that he’s broken and it does suck that he’s stuck in that chair all summer, but anyone at that concert can attest that it didn’t effect the bands performance. How is it even possible to have that much stage presence, if you’re feet aren’t even touching the stage?
The band made it clear “we don’t play no two hour shows! We play all night!” They vowed to play until they were done and, kindly enough, picked up the tab on a very pricey Molson Amphitheater fine, for playing past Toronto’s concert curfew. “I can afford it” Dave laughs.
By some twist of fate, half of our row was empty, giving my cousin and I plenty of room to dance the night away in honor of a key players busted dancing feet. A warm black sky hung out over us, as the Foo Fighters tore the roof off the place, playing hit after hit, squeezing in covers of Queen’s Under Pressure and good old Tom Sawyer by Rush.
Just as you begin to forget that Dave’s throne isn’t a long lost band mate, he rises from it, and with the help of his friends and some crutches, he makes his way down the catwalk, sits on a stool, in front of a mic, and proceeds to sing an acoustic version to Hero. A powerful song, with a whole new meaning. If one man can get back on stage after a gnarly fall, can’t we all? Ordinary or not?
“It could be worse. It could. At the end of the day it could be worse.” He says.
It could. The man had a point. My cousin put his arm around me, and I put mine around him as our voices melted into the crowd, while we all sang “there goes my hero, watch him as he goes.” Nothing else seemed to matter at that moment. Just how they say.