“Who is this Holy Shits band?,” asked Taylor Hawkins, drummer for the Foo Fighters. “We haven’t even met them.” Those standing to the back of the Hollywood Palladium parking lot may not have seen a wink during his cover band Chevy Metal’s set, but all in the crowd were in on the secret: that the Foos were responsible for the Sunday afternoon pop-up, a warmup gig to promote the band’s upcoming Cal Jam Festival, to be held Oct. 5 and 6 in San Bernardino.
Indeed, the Holy Shits were the Foo Fighters themselves, who played an hour-long set comprised mostly of rarities from band’s two-decade-plus career. As frontman Dave Grohl explained halfway through the show, the band wanted to break out songs they don’t usually get to play in their arena- stadium-sized shows. Clearly the Foos took the challenge seriously, busting into “Gimmie Stitches,” a deep cut from the band’s 1999 album “There Is Nothing Left To Lose,” for only the second time in their career.
The non-hits kept coming, with half of the surprisingly small crowd taking in what Grohl called “Foo Fighter Nerd” heaven, and the other half looking perplexed through the drop-C gut punch of “Weenie Beanie,” played for the first time since 2014, and two key selections from the Foo’s seminal “The Colour and the Shape,” “Hey, Johnny Park!” and the epic “New Way Home.” The band encored with the undeniable “Everlong.”
Fans who got there early were treated to another surprise: Queen drummer Roger Taylor blasting his way through “Under Pressure,” while Chevy Metal’s Hawkins sang lead, visibly humbled to be playing alongside a drummer he described as his mentor. You could say the same of those in the audience within spitting distance of Grohl at this superfan dream-show.