As show openings go it’s as simple as they come but the effect is electrifying as 60,000 devotees scream in anticipation as the enigmatic superstar prowls along the massive vanity ramp stretching halfway across the stadium.
Grohl responds with a series of his trademark earth-shattering howls before yelling “Are you ready?” and launching into a majestic version of All My Life.
MTV mega-hit Learn to Fly follows and has the seated sections instantly on their feet and there they remain for a near three-hour masterclass in stadium rock ‘n’ roll.
After a quarter of a century together the Foos are in every sense a classic rock band, following in the footsteps of predecessors such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC and Queen.
But there is a sad inevitability hanging over tonight’s performance that we may be experiencing the last of their kind to add to the lineage of power chord greats.
Music moves on and guitar sales are slumping, but as Grohl enthusiastically points out: “I ****in’ love rock ‘n’ roll” before telling fans “you’re not going to get any of that computer **** from my band”.
The now six-strong line-up, which Grohl formed as a four-piece after the tragic suicide of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, had earlier arrived at the stadium via a train from London – posing with fans for selfies as they headed north.
Their latest year-long globe-trotting tour hit the UK in Manchester ahead of two dates at the London Stadium this weekend on the back of their ninth studio album Concrete and Gold, and tonight four tracks are lifted from the long player sitting well alongside the greatest hits.
The already anthemic Sky is the Neighbourhood sees the arrival of three female backing vocalists to add some delightful harmonies to the full on barrage of riffs.
Ever the frontman Grohl teases and tempts the crowd to bigger responses covering every inch of the mammoth stage. But he does have a rival. Thundering away behind is madcap drummer Taylor Hawkins, sporting a permanent boyish grin-cum grimace as he launches into a stunning sole during Rope. His drum riser literally rises upwards out of the stage and as the sun finally starts to fade the stripped down light show kicks into place.
Grohl, now aged 49, dismisses recent concerns over his vocal chords to unleash thunderous screams during his in-between banter but shows his softer side when his 12-year-old daughter Violet is shown – much to her obvious embarrassment –on the video screens sat at the side of the stage as he introduces the song he wrote about her while on tour Walk.
A slightly stodgy mid-section sees an over indulgent band-introduction section with lead guitarist Chris Shiflett talking lead vocals for Alice Cooper’s Under My Wheels before the bass-line from Love Will Tear Us Apart segues into a mashed-up Imagine piano riff over which Grohl sings Van Halen’s Jump. It’s bizarre but The Ramones Blitzkreig Bop restores some sensibility before Hawkins swaps his drum stool with Grohl to channel his inner Freddie Mercury to “reclaim” Under Pressure from Vanilla Ice.
Monkey Wrench desperately attempts to bring things back to fever pitch but it feels like the concert’s impetus has been slightly lost until the stadium is turned into a sea of twinkling mobile phone torches during Walk before an unnecessary stop and tease before the first chorus of Breakout again dilutes the excitement.
A near 10-minute version Best Of You is fabulous in contrast and the haunting singalong is still being sung as the audience departs into the night despite being run close for best song of the night by traditional show closer Everlong.