Foo Fighters Cover “Stairway To Heaven” At Ohana Festival
via Todd Norris / Youtube
The Forbidden Cover
It should not be surprising that Dave Grohl paid homage to one of the genre’s legends by spontaneously covering Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” at a recent concert because he has always been a passionate and meticulous student of rock history.
During the Foo Fighters‘ Oct. 1 headline performance at the Ohana Festival, the group broke out the well-known song to pass the time as an audience member apparently needed medical attention.
Grohl questioned from the stage:
“Should I stop playing while you take care of that?
“Go take care of that, and I’ll play something while you do that.”
He performed the first verse and some memorable vocal parts before pausing, humorously remarking on the song’s length. Foo Fighters concluded their set with hits “Best of You” and “Everlong.”
At the Ohana Festival, the Foo Fighters weren’t the only band to perform a classic rock song. Sammy Hagar assisted fellow headliners the Killers as they covered Van Halen’s “Why Can’t This Be Love” in their own unique way.
Dave Grohl Played ‘Stairway to Heaven’ at The Late Late Show
Grohl has previously performed “Stairway to Heaven” for a crowd before Ohana Festival. During a wild, primarily acoustic performance of the song on The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn in 2000, he had a bit of a mishap—he made some mistakes while singing the song, but it added to the charm of the moment.
Instead of playing the iconic guitar solo by Jimmy Page, Grohl bravely attempted to sing it, which was a novel twist on the song. His friend and bandmate, Taylor Hawkins, joined in by playing the drums.
Ranking 5 of Foo Fighters Best Covers
Foo Fighters have a knack for breathing new life into classic songs. From their disco-inspired alter ego, The Dee Gees, delivering faithful renditions of Bee Gees hits like “Night Fever” and “You Should Be Dancing” to their energetic take on Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Born on the Bayou,” the band’s covers are as fun as they are respectful of the originals.
1. “Kids in America”
Dave Grohl’s solo performance of “Kids in America” from 1991 is a quintessential Foo Fighters-style cover, blending punk energy with a dose of optimism. It remained unreleased until 2015 when it was part of a Record Store Day release featuring Grohl’s early demos from Laundry Room studios. This recording captures Grohl before his superstar status, showcasing rawness, urgency, and inviting vocals that would define his career. In essence, it’s a fun declaration of the Foo Fighters’ love for rock music.
2. “Sister Europe”
Featured on the Deluxe version of “One By One,” the Foo Fighters’ rendition of Psychedelic Furs’ “Sister Europe” incorporates elements of shoegaze and psychedelia. The song is lush and subtly dynamic, transitioning between moments of intensity and spaciousness. Grohl’s vocals reflect the original’s disinterested tone, providing a unique interpretation.
Although technically written by Grohl for a different, relatively obscure band, “Marigold” qualifies as a cover here. Its strength lies in its fundamental songwriting, featuring a catchy melody and a distinct ’90s chord progression. This track showcases Grohl’s early songwriting talent and remains a beloved piece in the Foo Fighters’ repertoire.
4. “You Should Be Dancing”
Another foray into the Dee Gees’ catalog, the Foo Fighters’ rendition of “You Should Be Dancing” takes the disco classic to new heights. Grohl’s falsetto and playful use of the wah pedal enhance the song’s silliness, with a backdrop of shimmering synths. Importantly, the cover is executed with genuine joy, emphasizing the band’s enthusiasm rather than poking fun at the Bee Gees.
5. “Born on the Bayou”
From a b-sides compilation during the In Your Honor era, the Foo Fighters’ version of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Born on the Bayou” may lose some of the original’s southern charm but compensates with infectious enthusiasm. Listening to it, you can practically feel the smiles on their faces as they deliver a joyful performance. It captures the kind of energy you’d experience watching a cover set at a local bar, where the band’s sheer enjoyment shines through.
As part of their highly anticipated Everything or Nothing at All 2024 tour, the Foo Fighters have unveiled a series of stadium concerts across North America. Their musical journey will kick off in New York on July 17, promising an electrifying night for fans in the Big Apple. The tour will then make its way through various cities, finally concluding in Seattle on August 18.
What makes this tour even more exciting for fans is the diverse lineup of supporting acts set to join Foo Fighters on different tour dates. The Pretenders, Mammoth WVH, L7, the Hives, Amyl and the Sniffers, and Alex G will each bring their unique energy and music to enhance the overall concert experience. This mix of talent ensures that every stop on the tour will offer a fresh and memorable live music event for audiences across North America.