In November of last year, it was announced that Atlantic Station would become the home of Direct TV's Super Saturday Night. The pre-Super Bowl event promised a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those in attendance. After months of construction, the venue was finally complete and ready for a sold-out show.
Going into the night, I was stoked to see Run the Jewels take the stage, led by Atlanta's own Killer Mike, during the city’s biggest event since the 1996 Olympics. I voted for “Driller Mike” way back when, and I'm a fan of his new Netflix series, Trigger Warning. I was ready for the world to see what Atlanta was all about, but the moment didn't last long. About 7 or 8 songs really. Killer Mike and El-P cranked out some favorites with "Blockbuster Night Pt.1," "Stay Gold" and "Down," but I still wanted more.
I was in awe how quickly Killer Mike was able to create a deep connection with the audience. In a pause between songs, he talked about the recent passing of his mother Denise and how her suicide attempt in his youth impacted him. It was a deep, thoughtful moment that I didn't fully expect to encounter. This moment was in stark contrast to the "Are you ready to rock?!" wacky, good time the Foo Fighters would soon bring to the stage. He and El-P brought a camaraderie and unity to their performance that I truly appreciated. I just wish it hadn't ended so soon.
Let me be clear, I know this wasn't meant to be a Run the Jewels concert by any stretch of the imagination. Essentially, this was a $250 Foo Fighters concert in a venue built just for them. When you first walk in, there are rows of Foo Fighters memorabilia on display, and further into the venue sits Grohl’s infamous throne.
Bursting onto the stage with "All My Life," the Foo Fighters were high energy from the get-go. Playing through all the big hits, Foo fans were in for a real treat. An hour and a half into their set, legendary Queen drummer, Roger Taylor, took the stage for "Under Pressure." And like a late-night infomercial that just won't stop, there was more. Two songs later, Tom Morello and Zac Brown joined the band to bring down the house during "War Pigs." And just when you thought things couldn't get more nostalgic, Perry Farrell hit the stage for a cover of "Mountain Song."
The energy throughout the night never really waned. After 25 years of playing music, Dave Grohl knows his audience. At one point, he instructed audience members who may not know the lyrics to "My Hero" to "just look at the guy with the minivan keys in his back pocket and do whatever he's doing." (But also, who doesn't know the lyrics to "My Hero"?)
All in all, the evening was a good competition for the following night's halftime show, and while I wish the Atlanta vibe with RTJ would have had a little more time in the spotlight, I was happy to see them represented well.
Leaving the concert, I had one lingering question on my mind: how much gum do the Foo Fighters actually go through? Half the band could be seen happily smacking away while playing, enough for me to notice anyway. Is the gum included on their rider? What flavor do they prefer? Is it the same piece the whole time? Do they swallow the gum or spit it into a tissue to neatly throw it away? These are the questions that haunt me now.
I may never know the answer.