The Foo Fighters kicked off a week-long residency on The Late Show With David Letterman Monday with loud noises. Tag-teaming with country superstar Zac Brown, the musicians covered Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs”—and played with flawless garage gusto.
That’s Letterman at the end saying, “Oh my God” several times, followed by “What do you kids want from me?”
Over the weekend, I waited around until the closing minutes of the Austin City Limits Music Festival to see Pearl Jam feverishly burning a hole in The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.” Like the Sabbath cover, it was wholly inessential but visceral and emotive. There’s a kickass, lasting enjoyment to watching musicians born in the ‘60s dive into their adolescent vinyl and turn tricks. “War Pigs” is a comparatively easy, immortal guitar tab epic brought to life by Grohl and co. with an informal functionality that breathes life into the tired track.
Grohl took to the Letterman couch to talk about the conception of the band’s imminent Sonic Highways album (out Nov. 10 on Roswell Records), and its accompanying HBO documentary series about its conception (debuting Oct. 17). Turns out Brown was a collaborative voice on the project.
The band has a long, personal history with Letterman. For the host’s first show back from heart surgery in 2000, he personally requested the Foo Fighters, and the band flew up from South America to play Letterman back with “Everlong.”
Creatively, the band is a soaring signal for optimally arranged guitar rock built to shake arenas. Grohl’s no poet, but he’s a punk lifer with serious battery life. His musicality stems from an innate ability to cobble songs full of animal thrash-level chaos, bound together by an optimist’s spirit. Here are the best of them in one convenient Spotify playlist.
Screenshot via YouTube