Dave Grohl has done something magical. In creating a documentary about the fabled Sound City Studios, home to the recording of classic albums like Nirvana’s Nevermind, Neil Young’s After The Gold Rush, and Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, Grohl got a slew of legendary artists to talk about the magic of the studio on film. Of those artists, Grohl recruited a bunch of them to perform original music for the soundtrack to the documentary,creating the famous “Nirvana Reunion” with Paul McCartney at the 12.12.12 Benefit. Finally, of the many artists featured on the album, a handful have been traveling with Grohl, performing one-off shows at the film’s premieres at Sundance and in Los Angeles…and one more show in New York City.
An extremely diverse line-up of musicians packed into Hammerstein Ballroom on Wednesday night and were greeted with a capacity crowd eager to get down to their rock and roll roots. Among them were Grohl’s Foo Fighters brethren, his Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Lee Ving of Fear, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Rick Springfield, and Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, among others. When you go down that list, it’s amazing to see how different each artist is, and how Grohl is able to be the rock keeping them all together, staying on stage for each act and basically putting on a musical costume. When Lee Ving took the set for an absolutely rocking set of Los Angeles punk rock, Grohl rocked out and head banged along with the Fear front man. When Nicks performed her classic track, ‘Landslide’, Grohl took a step back to provide the acoustic guitar.
While the Sound City Players were formed to create original songs for the film’s soundtrack, it wouldn’t be fair to stick to those tracks for the show, as the soundtrack hasn’t been released yet. Instead, we got a walk through rock history. Lee Ving looks and plays younger than his age, and with Grohl and the Foos backing him put on a hell of a clinic in old school punk rock. Rick Nielsen was joined by Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters, who was one of the night’s MVP’s, taking lead vocal duties and going full rock star status, and went through Cheap Trick’s classics ‘I Want You To Want Me’ and ‘Surrender’, two of the biggest crowd pleasers. John Fogerty graced us with Creedence’s classic ‘Born On The Bayou’, ‘Proud Mary’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, and ‘Fortunate Son’. Rick Springfield teased the crowd by almost leaving out karaoke classic ‘Jessie’s Girl’. Nicks stole the show with the aforementioned ‘Landslide’ before closing the show with ‘Gold Dust Woman’.
Many times people say a show or concert had ‘a little something for everyone’, but I don’t think a show has ever been truer to the statement than the performance put on by the Sound City Players. Where else can you see vintage, head banging, Los Angeles punk, an 80′s heartthrob, and the Queen of Rock and Roll in one night? Dave Grohl here has cemented himself as, along with Jack White, one of rock and roll’s real ambassadors. You can see how happy he is to be on that stage, how respectful he is towards everyone who has paved the way for him to play the music he wants. He’s living the dream, doing what he wants, and along the way, has made a small pet-project about legendary music into a whole slew of new music that will one day be talked about in the same breath as the music it’s honoring.
Heres the band on Letterman: