Dave Grohl's ode to live music will make you cry

'We will do it again, because we have to.'
May 12, 2020 11:41 a.m. EST
May 13, 2020 2:26 p.m. EST
Foo Fighters frontman and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl was looking forward to rocking out with fans this summer to mark 25 years with the band that gave us hits like “Ever Long” and “Big Me.” It was to be a massive stadium rock show held on the Fourth of July outside Washington, D.C., putting 80,000 sweaty, swaying, singing bodies all together in one place. “Well, things have changed,” says Grohl.In an essay the singer penned for The Atlantic’s pandemic-themed "Uncharted" series, Grohl laments the cancellation of his “red, white, and blue keg party for the ages” at FedExField but recognizes that his own band’s show represents just a tiny sliver of what COVID-19 has taken from us when it comes to culture and community.“The coronavirus pandemic,” he writes, “has reduced today’s live music to unflattering little windows that look like doorbell security footage and sound like Neil Armstrong’s distorted transmissions from the moon.”While our valiant attempts to share music (and everything else) through screens is, of course, meaningful and has raised both spirits and a hell of a lot of cash for COVID-19 relief, Grohl's got a point. Livestreams just can't offer the same experience live music can. It isn’t, as Grohl says, the same as seeing a sports venue transformed into a “sonic cathedral.” “It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favorite performer on stage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image glowing in your lap as you spiral down a midnight YouTube wormhole," he continues (See also: Wikipedia spirals, unending Twitter threads, and Instagram deep-dives). "Even our most beloved superheroes become human in person... Freddie [Mercury] and Queen somehow managed to remind us that behind every rock god is someone who puts on their studded arm bracelet, absurdly tight white tank, and stonewashed jeans one pant leg at a time just like the rest of us."[video_embed id='1692333']RELATED: Dave Grohl’s mom wrote a book about being the mother of a rock star[/video_embed]Grohl adds that as a performer, he gets the "best seat in the house" because he gets to see the whole audience and he longs for the moment when we can “celebrate and share the tangible, communal power of music” once again.“I don’t know when it will be safe to return to singing arm in arm at the top of our lungs, hearts racing, bodies moving, souls bursting with life,” he writes. “But I do know that we will do it again, because we have to. It’s not a choice. We’re human.”Until then, we've got Dave Grohl's Pandemic Playlist to keep us going.[video_embed id='1956772']BEFORE YOU GO: Tim McGraw on quarantine, kids and wife Faith Hill[/video_embed]

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