Foo Fighters Churn It Up At Glastonbury 2023

Foo Fighters’ “surprise” performance at Glastonbury 2023 – finally revealing the true identity of mystery early Friday evening Pyramid Stage act “The ChurnUps” – was an absolute triumph, solidifying their status as one of the greatest rock bands of our time. From the moment they took the stage, the energy was palpable, and the audience was completely captivated and impassioned.

The Churnups @ Glastonbury Festival 2023

Dave Grohl of "The Churnups" @ Glastonbury Festival 2023 (Kalpesh Patel)
Dave Grohl of "The Churnups" @ Glastonbury Festival 2023 (Kalpesh Patel)

Opening with their 2002 stadium anthem All My Life, the band immediately established a powerful connection with the crowd. Frontman Dave Grohls’ powerful vocals soared through the air, while the band’s tight musicianship, with new addition Josh Freese on drums for them for the first time in the UK, set the stage for an unforgettable performance. They quickly and effortlessly moved through their catalogue of hits, including The Pretender, Learn To Fly, and My Hero, delivering each song with raw energy and perfect precision.

What truly set this performance apart were the unexpected surprises, the build up of tension in the lead up to the festival, the dropped hints but all the while recently reformed Britpop outfit Pulp also being rumoured for the spot, so not knowing for sure. In an electrifying display of musical prowess, midway through Medicine at Midnight cut No Son Of Mine Dave broke into the chords of Metallicas’ Enter Sandman before making a point of the limited 60 minute slot they were allocated and moving swiftly on to pack in all the songs they could.

Grohl later proudly invited his daughter, Violet Grohl, onto the stage to collaborate, as they performed a mesmerising rendition of soulful latest album single Show Me How, written about Dave’s mother who, like the group’s mainstay drummer Taylor Hawkins, also passed away unexpectedly last year, mellowing the crowd.

Ending the set, our Frontman dedicates the group’s biggest hit Everlong to his late friend and late band drummer Hawkins, asking the crowd to sing it “loud as sh!t for T” and the crowd deliver. The audience was completely engaged and connected with the band throughout their entire short, blistering performance. The sense of unity and euphoria was palpable as thousands of voices joined together in chorus, creating a powerful, emotional experience.

Foo Fighters’ performance at Glastonbury Festival 2023 was one hell of a display of rock and roll excellence. From their electrifying opening right the way through their one hour set the band demonstrated why they continue to be at the top of their game despite their recent losses and need to rework their dynamic. It was a set that will be remembered as a highlight of Glastonbury history and a testament to the enduring power of rock music.

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Review by Bernadette O’Malley and photos by Kalpesh Patel at Glastonbury Festival 2023.

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