Where do you even begin with Foo Fighters? Over the course of the band’s nearly 30-year career, Dave Grohl’s home recording project evolved into something incredible, conquering the world’s biggest stages and giving us alt-rock classics like “Everlong,” “Best of You” and “Learn to Fly.” Foo Fighters live shows are downright legendary at this point, bringing together a multigenerational audience for an hours-long celebration of music and life itself, and it’s all thanks to their ringleader.
You see, there’s no songwriter quite like Grohl. He’s the kind of artist who combines an encyclopedic knowledge of punk and alternative bands like The B-52s, Bad Brains and Chicago’s own Naked Raygun with the stadium-size ambitions of KISS or Led Zeppelin. One day he’s covering Hüsker Dü with Bob Mould, the next he’s releasing a damn good album of Bee Gees covers – and it all somehow makes perfect sense.
While there’s only one Foo Fighters, we thought we’d introduce you to some other artists on this year’s Riot Fest lineup who share influences and, in some cases, long-lasting friendships with Dave and the crew.
LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST ON
The mutual admiration between Grohl and The Breeders runs deep. In fact, one of the band’s first real tours was opening for Nirvana in 1992 while Kim Deal’s other band was on hiatus. Speaking of Pixies, Grohl actually joined the Deal sisters at a benefit concert last year for a performance of “Gigantic” that is basically all of our alt-rock fantasies come true. With their unquestionable punk rock bonafides, Beatles-like pop sensibilities and quirky sense of humor, The Breeders are truly kindred spirits with Foo Fighters.
Check out: “Divine Hammer,” “Cannonball,” “Doe,” “Wait in the Car”
You don’t need a degree in music theory to know that Foo Fighters and Kentucky’s White Reaper are ’70s rock devotees. Both bands have clearly studied the power-pop playbooks of jukebox heroes like Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy and Todd Rundgren, combining crunchy guitar riffs with colossal choruses that will get stuck in your head like gum on the bottom of your shoe. Their newest album, this year’s fantastic Asking for a Ride, finds the band firing on all cylinders with some of their sharpest, most focused tracks yet.
Check out: “Fog Machine,” “Judy French,” “Real Long Time,” “Bozo”
The Gaslight Anthem
Much like the Foos, The Gaslight Anthem write the kind of fist-pumping, scream-along songs that make you feel like you’re levitating about six inches off the ground. (We’re trying really hard not to describe them as “anthemic” here.) While Brian Fallon’s lyrics draw more inspiration from East Coast poet laureates like Bruce Springsteen, Patti Smith and Lou Reed, he cited “Everlong” as one of his favorite songs in a Reddit AMA and performed an incredible, heartbreaking acoustic cover during his 2012 appearance on Radio 1’s Live Lounge.
Check out: “45,” “Great Expectations,” “We Came to Dance,” “Positive Charge”
Kim Gordon’s work is always bold, brave and loud. Sonic Youth was such a massive influence on Grohl, he gave Gordon and the band a first listen to the “Everlong” demo because he thought he’d accidentally plagiarized one of their songs. Their friendship and mutual fandom has only grown over the years, and she was invited to perform lead vocals on a brilliantly chaotic version of “Aneurysm” when Nirvana was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame back in 2014. (Later that night, she joined them at a secret aftershow for “Negative Creep” and the live debut of In Utero outtake “Moist Vagina.”)
Check out: “Slow Boy,” “Grass Jeans,” “Murdered Out,” “Swimsuit Issue”
Tickets are available now to see all of these bands and many, MANY more at Riot Fest in Douglass Park this September 15-17.
LISTEN TO THE PLAYLIST ON
Riot Fest 2023 Tickets + Lineup
Single day tickets are available now to see Turnstile with Foo Fighters, Quicksand, Pinkshift and more on Friday, September 15. Get ‘em while they last!
Haven’t bought your ticket yet?
No worries, here are some buttons to do just that.