The Foo Fighters were scheduled to play the K-Rockathon at the New York State Fairgrounds in the summer of 2000, but cancelled due to a scheduling conflict. They returned to play the Landmark Theater with Queens of the Stone Age later that year with Dave Grohl covering Prince’s “Purple Rain” that night as an apology to the Syracuse audience.
21 years later, Grohl and the band were about to send a virtual apology to the seated fans at the Lakeview Amphitheater big screen that the show might not go on. The band was stuck at JFK airport waiting on a plane for almost four hours due to fog. Grohl said the band set a deadline: if they weren’t en route to Syracuse by 8:20 p.m., the show wasn’t going to happen. 8:15 rolled around. Then 8:16. 8:17. 8:18. At 8:19 p.m. Grohl got word from the pilot.
“They said, alright, we’re going to Syracuse,” he said. “We got a fucking rock show.”
This energy carried from the plane’s landing at Syracuse’s Hancock airport to a police escort to Lakeview Amphitheater. The full band got out and immediately took the stage around 9:45pm. County Executive Ryan McMahon helped cater the show past the 11PM curfew, in true rock n roll fashion. “The question that was our call to make is how late do they play,” McMahon said. “The team made the right call: They can play as late as they want and we’ll deal with repercussions later.”
What occurred musically for the rest of the evening was pure rock n roll magic. The moment the house lights drew on the band, a mutual appreciation quickly developed between them and the crowd. Permission was granted to be able to rock the night away.
As Dave Grohl softly sang the opening verse to “Times Like These” it created an in-the-moment fervor felt immediately by 17,000 people. He belted extra loud the nights appropriate lyrics during “Learn to Fly:” “Now, I’m looking to the sky to save me. Make my way back home when I learn to fly high.”
The heavy drum intro to “My Hero” was another golden original played on the Onondaga Lake Trails. Drummer Taylor Hawkins sported an old band tee of The Police and his bass drum had a “RIP Charlie” tag to honor the fallen Rolling Stone. Hawkins switched spots with Grohl on drums For lead on Queens “somebody to love”. Freddie Mercury’s spirit was sang by the crowd and band in full bravado.
“Anybody, anywhere, anybody find me somebody to love love love! Somebody find me, find me love.” The band played off a new concept cover of The Bee Gees “You Should Be Dancing” that sent bodies back to the old discotheque. “All My Life” howled it’s lyrics “Hey, don’t let it go to waste, I love it but I hate the taste” The two Foo Fighters staples “Best of You” and “Everlong” completely unified the crowd to cloud nine to end the night. “Wait, it took 20 fucking years to play Syracuse? What the fuck, that is bullshit!” Grohl exclaimed.
Foo Fighters – September 15, 2021 At St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview, Syracuse
Setlist: Times Like These, The Pretender, Learn to Fly, No Son of Mine,The Sky is a Neighborhood Shame Shame, Breakout, My Hero, These Days, Walk, You Should Be Dancing (Bee Gees cover), Band member solos + Blitzkrieg Bop snippet, Somebody to Love (Queen cover) All My Life, This Is a Call, Best of You, Everlong
Encore: This Is a Call, Best of You, Everlong