Foo Fighters Defiant Against Weather at FEQ

Foo Fighters Defiant Against Weather at FEQ

Main pic: Foo Fighters – Festival d’Été de Québec, 2015. Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

Quebec City (Quebec) 11 July 2015 – It had started raining a few minutes earlier, but the sky’s torrents opened up just as the Foo Fighters struck their first chord.  The effect couldn’t have been more perfect – the rain only seemed to add to the spirit of the 75,000 or so fans present.  The erupting cheers seemed to defy Mother Nature to bring on her worst… and she delivered.

Dave Grohl on his 'throne' - Foo Fighters - Festival d'Été de Québec, 2015. Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

Dave Grohl on his ‘throne’ – Foo Fighters – Festival d’Été de Québec, 2015. Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

Defiance was certainly on the menu even before the weather joined the fray.  Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl had broken his leg earlier during the band’s tour.  Famously, the break happened mid-concert and the ex-Nirvana rocker finished his set while paramedics held his bones together.  He was now seated on top of his “throne” – a larger-than-life set prop he designed under the effect of his subsequent painkillers, and from which he has played every show on the tour since.  “I don’t care about this,” he boasted, pointing to his broken leg.  “I don’t care about that,” he continued, pointing at the menacing sky.  “All I fucking care about is you guys – that you guys have a good time.”

The band got through Everlong and Monkey Wrench before it was clear the weather was taking a turn for the worse.  Thunder and lightning were growing close.  Drenched behind their instruments, the Foo Fighters were as amped up by the weather as their fans.  “We’re going to continue!” screamed Grohl, visibly speaking to his hesitant crew more than anyone else.  “We’ve come a long way to play this show!”  Taking their cue from the front man, the Foo Fighters carried on into Learn to Fly.

The weather kept getting worse.  By this point, most fans’ feet were in puddles growing to alarming depths.  Learn to Fly came to a sudden slowdown as Grohl broke off from the song’s lyrics.  Sheets upon sheets of torrential rain were blowing directly onstage, into the faces of Grohl, Hawkins, Mendel, Smear, and Shiflett.  Still rocking out in his throne, his broken leg in its cast, Grohl announced with near vengeful defiance of the storm that “I’m going to tell you when we need to stop, and that’s not now!  So long as you keep dancing, we’re going to keep fucking playing.”  The crowd erupted into screams of joy, drowning out the ever-approaching rumble of thunder.

Crowd in a violent thunderstorm at the Foo Fighters gig - Festival d'Été de Québec 2015 . Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

Crowd at the Foo Fighters gig – Festival d’Été de Québec 2015 . Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

The Foo Fighters managed to play through to the end of Learn to Fly and then Something for Nothing, but by then the heavens had made their point.  Facing down a wall of rain (quickly turning to light hail) was one thing, but with lightning now also joining the party the risk was simply too great.  Grohl and the Foo Fighters had 75,000 fans to consider – many of which were now ankle-deep in flowing runoff and far from the safety of a quick exit.  “It’s just not safe!  We’ve got to take a break!” Grohl managed, as his staff practically forced him off stage.

Though many fans headed for the exits and shelter, tens of thousands stayed put, braving the increasingly erratic wind and hailing rain in the hopes of a continuation of the show.  Finally, half an hour later, it was Festival d’Été president Daniel Gélinas who came on stage and announced the bad news: due to “execrable” weather conditions, the rest of the show had been cancelled.  The FEQ organisers took to social media to announce the cancellation – the first in the FEQ’s history due to such terribly bad weather.  By this point, flooding in some parts of the Plains of Abraham area reached three feet.

Most fans – still pumped from the experience – were a little disappointed but understood the situation.  Spirits remained very high as they moved towards the exit.  One particular twitter comment summed up the evening nicely: “Foo Fighters broke the weather. Best. Four. Tunes. Ever.”

Festival international d'ete de Quebec 2015. Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

Festival international d’ete de Quebec 2015. Photo credit: Renaud Philippe.

The Foo Fighters, meanwhile, responded with this:

Categories: Arts & Culture, Opinion

About Author

Farnell Morisset

Farnell Morisset has an engineering degree from Université Laval and common law and civil law degrees from McGill University, where he also studied economics.

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