Music preserves us
The next installment in my nostalgic live music memoir series…
Austin, TX — I was a freshman in high school, and we were taking a field trip to the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. On the bus ride, the boy I had a crush on took the seat next to me. We had bonded over a shared love of music and were both rock and alternative fans. I remember, on the bus ride, we got to talking about the Foo Fighters. I had heard “My Hero” on the radio and enjoyed the song, and it turned out he was already a fan. We both had our Sony discman CD players on the bus, and he handed me The Colour and the Shape. He asked me to play, “Up in Arms.” And that was it!
We ended up dating for several months, but this moment started a lifelong love affair with the Foo Fighters.
I traded classmates burned copies of other CDs (I was really into Incubus and Weezer … still am!) and they burned me copies of Foo Fighters and There is Nothing Left to Lose so I could build up my catalogue. The first Foo album I bought at the record store (Waterloo Records — shop local!) was the double-disc version of In Your Honor, and I saw the band play (finally!) for the first time when they were touring that record in arenas with Weezer. I’ll always remember that first Foo Fighters concert at the Erwin Center, my friends and I waited in line for hours when tickets went on sale (I miss those days), and I’m still praying they don’t tear the Erwin Center (“The Drum”) down. The Foo Fighters play with an energy and authentic love for what they do that is unmatched.
Since then, I’ve made a point to see the Foo Fighters (and even Dave’s band Them Crooked Vultures) whenever and wherever I can. I went back to The Drum for the Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace tour — that album was my college jam. I saw them play ACL Festival (both with and without the broken leg and guitar throne), and was part of the legendary night at ACL Live, the night they played over three hours for a one-hour taping. I used my one favor with a connected colleague to get into that taping, and it was so worth it. And, in 2018, I stood in the front row at the Foo Fighters Austin 360 Ampitheatre Concrete and Gold show while I was pregnant! (Don’t worry, I didn’t mosh like I typically do and I had plenty of water and guardian fellow fans,) which means Foo Fighters were technically my daughter’s first concert!
I will always admire how the Foo Fighters play from the heart, and leave everything on the stage, every time. I have faith that they will rock as long as they possibly can, and I’ll be here for it!
Adding another layer to my deep appreciation, it means a lot to me that Foo Fighters show so much love for my hometown, Austin. Between featuring Austin on Sonic Highways and highlighting our need to preserve what makes us authentic as we grow and change, including preserving our live music venues (I’m an active advocate for historic preservation and our local music venues, and am grateful the Foos put the power of music and celebrity behind these causes), to collaborating with hometown guitar hero Gary Clark Jr., to recording the Saint Cecilia EP at the hotel of the same name here on South Congress —the Foo Fighters are that band that will always be closest to my heart. And, when I crank up their tunes, I’ll always feel free and at home.