Dave Grohl Announces Foo Fighters Will Rock Madison Square Garden With June Concert
Musician also talks recording with his old Nirvana bandmates and the Foo’s upcoming Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductionJune 8, 2021
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl made a surprise call into the Stern Show on Tuesday morning and broke some exciting news for Howard and his listeners.
“We’ve been waiting for the last year-and-a-half for shows to open up, for venues to open up. We’ve been waiting to get back out on stage. And, really, for the last six months, we’ve been in our rehearsal space just kind of chipping away and tightening up and getting ready to do a gig. So, I’m happy to say, that we’re finally going to do one,” he told Howard. “We’re re-opening Madison Square Garden on June 20. I cannot wait.”
The Foo Fighters show will set to serve as the Garden’s first full-capacity concert since the COVID-19 pandemic put the kibosh on them in March 2020. While masks and social distancing won’t be necessary, Dave confirmed the event would only be open to those who’ve been vaccinated.
“It’s going to be interesting to see, you know, the vibe, and how it works. It’s going to be great,” he said, adding, “The vibe will be just this huge celebration of live music and connection because I think that’s what it’s all about.”
When Foo Fighters joined the Stern Show in February, Grohl and his bandmates said they were heartbroken to have to press pause on touring and eager to get back on the road. Howard was curious why the guys picked Madison Square Garden as the venue for their big return.
“Because they were the first ask,” Dave told Howard with a laugh. “I’d play your nephew’s bar mitzvah at this point, but when we got the call to see if we wanted to open up the Garden it was like, ‘Oh, that’s how you kick it off. That’s how you start it. If live music is back, it’s going to happen there and it’s going to be big. And it’s going to be a long night.”
In Good Company
Dave wouldn’t share any set list details for the Foo Fighter’s return to the road (though he did already have one in mind), but he did talk about his band’s upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside the Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Todd Rundgren, Carole King, and Tina Turner.
“It’s really incredible to be inducted,” Dave said. “It’s not the reason why we do this stuff, but, hey man, when someone comes around and acknowledges you for the thing you’ve like devoted your life to for the last 30 years, it feels good. The band [is] really, really honored and excited about it.”
During Foo Fighters’ previous visit, Howard, co-host Robin Quivers, and the band memorably discussed who should introduce them at the ceremony, bandying about names like late-night TV legend Dave Letterman and Grohl’s own mom.
“I went back to my mom [after the interview] and she was like, ‘No fucking way. I’m not inducting you to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,’” Dave laughed on Tuesday.
Howard wondered if he and his bandmates put any thought into what they’d say at the ceremony after taking the stage.
“I’ve been talking so much for last 26 years that it might be the shortest speech I will ever give in my entire life,” Grohl responded. “Those [other] guys need to go up and say their thing.”
A Tale of Two Houses
Dave and Howard discussed a range of other topics during the call, from Dave’s memories of lounging in the pool at the infamous “Sharon Tate House” while Nine Inch Nails was inside recording its seminal “Downward Spiral” album (“it was super creepy, but [the pool] was amazing”) to how anxious he felt singing “Band on the Run” by himself in the East Room of the White House just a few feet away from Sir Paul McCartney and President Barack Obama.
“I was so nervous, like, I’m-going-to-faint-and-puke-and-shit-my-pants nervous. Like, this is going to be a total disaster. And then I had this epiphany-revelation. I was like, ‘Wait a second, this is one of the coolest moments of my entire life. I can’t just waste this on being scared. Like, I should be really, you know, honored and excited, and this is an incredible moment.’ And my nerves just kind of disappeared, and I walked out there—it was great,” Grohl recalled.
The Father, the Daughter, and the Holy Teen Spirit
Dave spoke at length about his family, including his daughter Violet Grohl, a Foo Fighters backup singer, and his mother Virginia, who he described as his best friend. He also opened up about his relationship with Frances Bean Cobain, the daughter of Courtney Love and late Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain, whom he recalled inviting over to his house about a decade ago.
“She came over and had dinner, and her mom came, and my mom was there, and we just had a big dinner at the house. It was really fun,” Dave said, explaining he hadn’t seen Frances since she was a young girl. “It was a trip to see Frances become this strong, independent woman … It felt like family.”
While Kurt died in 1994, the spirit of Nirvana seemingly lives on. In February, Dave and his Nirvana-turned-Foo Fighters bandmate Pat Smear made headlines after telling Howard they sometimes jammed with founding Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic. On Tuesday, Dave offered Howard a few more details.
“The three of us, you know, we like to be together. We like to see each other. If there are instruments around or a studio that’s available, we’ll just get together and kind of jam, you know? We don’t, like, run through a big ole’ Nirvana set list, but we do like to just fool around. And sometimes, as we’re fooling around, songs happen. And if we’re in a studio, we’ll record them,” he said.
“We’ve recorded some stuff that’s, like, really cool, but we’ve never done anything with it,” Grohl told Howard. “To us, it’s just more friends jamming around. It doesn’t seem like any big official reunion or anything.”
Howard wondered who sang when the guys got together.
“I’m just playing the drums. We don’t have a singer,” Dave said. “We kind of record these instrumentals and just mess around. It’s very casual … There’s no pressure on us to do anything the world has to hear. It’s more just for fun.”
“When the three of us get together and start playing, it sounds like it did. It sounds like it used to … It makes that noise, it still does,” he finished. “It sounds like Nirvana. We just make that sound when we play together. It’s really cool.”