Dave Chappelle Joins Foo Fighters For Radiohead Cover At Madison Square Garden
The concert was the first full-capacity event at MSG since the start of the pandemic.
Foo Fighters were joined by comedian Dave Chappelle on Sunday night at the first full-capacity concert at Madison Square Garden since the start of the pandemic. The collaboration in New York City featured a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
It had been 467 days since the World’s Most Famous Arena had music ringing through its hallowed halls. The last time everyone gathered at MSG was for a March 2020 celebration of The Allman Brothers Band’s music and history on the eve of lockdowns happening throughout the country and the world. MSG wanted to make a loud statement about being able to bring music back with a full capacity, vaccinated audience, truly wanting to celebrate the moment, and they sure chose the right band with Foo Fighters.
Going through the motions of getting ready for a show still feels weird right now. From acquiring tickets to having the show day butterflies in your stomach to actually showing up at the venue and getting in line to go inside. That line has changed with COVID-19 and to get inside for this event you had to prove your vaccination status, either by showing your vaccine card or using your phone. The line moved quickly despite this small addition to the process.
Once your ticket was scanned, the old routines came back like riding a bike as attendees climbed the escalators, got in merch lines, and enjoyed their half-priced food. Some people still wore masks inside MSG, but most folks just had smiles plastered on their faces as they roamed the hallways preshow. There were plenty of beautiful small moments, such as people hugging who clearly had not seen one another in over a year, as a smile beamed from ear to ear.
The energy in the arena was buzzing as the 8 p.m. showtime approached, and when the lights finally went out 15 minutes later, the roar from the crowd was one of the louder ones in recent memory. All of the pent-up emotions that have been bubbling during the past year were let out as the band took the stage.
For the next two hours and 45 minutes, Foo Fighters showed why they are one of the most reliable bands in the industry today. They moved through their 26 years of music with absolute precision. It didn’t matter whether the songs were from the latest album Medicine At Midnight or rarities the band had not played in years, they were their usual well-oiled machine.
“Times Like These” opened the show and with the lyrics being about learning to love and live again, it felt right to be the kickoff of the show. So many of the songs that frontman Dave Grohl and the crew write are easily relatable and take on new meanings constantly. When Dave screamed the never wanting to die portion of “Walk” and the crowd screamed it right back it was as if we were all acknowledging the loss of live music and so many lives during the last year. We’ve been through so much and moments like these can be so healing for everyone.
After the band introductions, Taylor Hawkins came out from behind the kit to sing Queen’s “Somebody to Love” with Dave going to the drums. Yes, this routine is part of every show the band has done for quite some time, but it just felt different last night. The musicians were giving everything they had on stage and clearly weren’t holding back any extra smiles anytime the crowd roared in approval. Dave and Taylor both joked that while they missed live music, they clearly missed the adoration and attention from the crowd. They were obviously joking, or half-joking at least, but the crowd couldn’t be happier to scream their favorite lyrics, dance, mosh, and even attempt to crowd surf.
There was speculation pre-show regarding if the band would bring out special guests and they did, but it was an unexpected one for sure. Dave Chappelle came out and sang Radiohead’s “Creep.” He actually did a fantastic job with the cover and while it wasn’t Mick Jagger or Paul McCartney, it was a fun couple of minutes of icing on the cake.
The other special moment was the premiere of The Dee Gees doing “You Should Be Dancing” by the Bee Gees off their soon-to-be-released Record Store Day album. Look, the band knows how to have a good time and performs covers with a ton of love infused in them and it was on full display last night.
For the set-ender “Best of You,” Grohl became emotional. The crowd sang the “oohs” so loudly (think the “Not Fade Away” chant at any Grateful Dead-related show of the past decade) that he had to stop and just take it in. It continued after the band left the stage ahead of the encore and continued until they came back out. It was a powerful reminder of what live music can do for everyone inside a room where it’s taking place.
“Everlong” closed the show, as it has done for the last almost quarter of a decade, and the famous bounce that MSG is known for was on full display. MSG has seen some of the most famous concerts in history and Dave acknowledged how special he felt being the one to open up it up many times during the night.
Live music is back and MSG has set the standard of how it should be done. Let’s see how everyone else does.
Foo Fighters at Madison Square Garden
- Times Like These
- The Pretender
- Learn to Fly
- No Son of Mine
- The Sky Is a Neighborhood
- Shame Shame
- My Hero
- These Days
- Medicine at Midnight
- Somebody to Love
- Monkey Wrench
- All My Life
- This Is a Call
- Best of You
- Making a Fire
- You Should Be Dancing