The line between “oldies-but-goldies” and “rightly forgotten album tracks” can be a thin one. It usually depends on how beloved a band is and how much material they’ve amassed over their career. For a band that has been around for three decades, has a following that can conservatively be tallied in the tens of millions, and has released ten studio albums, the opportunity to pull out a hidden gem is rich. And no band has a better opportunity than the Foo Fighters.
But do you know what the problem is? Foo Fighters are just too damn good at what they do. That might not sound like a problem, but it manifests in strange ways, like when the band promise that they’re going to debut a never-before performed song at their VR post-“Big Game” performance for Mark Zuckerberg’s Matrix-like societal takeover company Meta. For a casual fan, this might seem like a prime opportunity to play something like ‘Enough Space’ or ‘Floaty’.
But here’s where the problem comes in: they’ve played those songs already. Dave Grohl is smart enough to know that his fans love when he pulls something out of his ass that hasn’t seen the light of day in decades. Foo Fighters are too big to be a cult band, but the sheer size of their fanbase means that some of their songs can be considered cult favourites. This is especially true if the songs in question are from their first two albums, foo Fighters and The Colour and the Shape. Those are the albums that made people buy Foo Fighters tickets for the rest of their lives, and they’re the albums that are the most likely to bear fruit when you pull out an obscure track.
So Dave and the boys have done that before. But what could possibly have been left outside the live sphere? Unsurprisingly, it’s material from their more recent work. The Foos were actually really good about playing all of their then-contemporary material during live shows before getting to the classic hits, but that fell away around the end of the Sonic Highways tour. So when it turned out that the hyped “never before played” song wound up being ‘T-Shirt’, the first track on their 2017 LP Concrete and Gold, you’ll have to forgive most people for not really caring all that much.
But if your Foo Fighters fandom revolves around a completist mindset, then rejoice! Another box ticked. For all you completion-mad people out there, here are the rest of the Foo Fighters songs that have been deemed strong enough for studio recordings but have never been played live, according to setlist.com:
- ‘Live-In Skin’ – There Is Nothing Left to Lose
- ‘Halo’ – One By One
- ‘Burn Away’ – One By One
- ‘The Sign’ – most versions of In Your Honor
- ‘Stranger Things Have Happened’ – Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
- ‘Summer’s End’ – Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
- ‘Statues’ – Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace
- ‘Happy Ever After (Zero Hour)’ – Concrete and Gold
- ‘Holding Poison’ – Medicine at Midnight
- ‘Love Dies Young’ – Medicine at Midnight
Evidently, the band don’t like Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace very much. They also teased some rarities, with those songs ending up being ‘Home’ from the aforementioned Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace and ‘Waling After You’, a single from The Colour and the Shape that also awesomely appeared on the soundtrack to the 1998’s X-Files movie.
Otherwise, during their VR concert, the band stuck to the favourites. ‘Times Likes These’, ‘Best of You’, ‘All My Life’, and the more recent stalwart ‘The Sky is a Neighborhood’ were expected pulls, and while it was cool to hear tracks like ‘This Is a Call’ and ‘These Days’, there were days when those were unimpeachable parts of the Foo’s live set. Time makes fools of us all, but Dave Grohl refuses to forget about most of his tunes.
The major point to this is that teasing “rarities” and “never before played songs” for your Metaverse concert is kind of silly. But this is still the Foo Fighters, a band that thrives on being familiar and comfy and surprising in just the right ways. Expecting more probably isn’t just a pipe dream: it’s arguably not good for the band. I’m still going to hold up my sign to play either ‘Live-In Skin’ or ‘The Sign’ on a piece of cardboard the next time I see them, though.
Foo Fighters Super Bowl VR show playlist:
- ‘This Is a Call’
- ‘Best of You’
- ‘Waiting on a War’
- ‘The Sky is a Neighborhood’
- ‘Walking After You’
- ‘Times Like These’
- ‘All My Life’
- ‘These Days’