Even broken and nearly immobile, Dave Grohl can make an arena smolder and quake.
Friday night at the Sprint Center, before an almost sold-out crowd of more than 15,000, he and his band, the Foo Fighters, unleashed a torrent of fire and brimstone during a show that lasted nearly 21/2 hours and comprised more than two dozen songs.
Grohl spent most of that time seated on a garish motorized throne stocked with guitars. Throughout the show, it rolled up and down a runway that ran from the main stage deep into the arena’s floor. He was wearing a removable boot on his right leg, which is healing from a fracture suffered in June when he fell off a stage in Sweden.
Always manic, Grohl hardly remained in repose. He expressed his energy in other ways, unleashing plenty of primal shrieks, thrashing his mane of hair and playing one of the more than a dozen guitars he had at his disposal.
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And he chatted plenty with his fans, stoking their fervor like a huckster and cheerleader, coaxing them into singing along and telling them stories, including the one about that fall in Sweden, which included a video of the incident and a photo of the X-ray of his fractured leg. It made for a show that was loud, rowdy and relentlessly energetic.
The set list spanned the band’s discography back to their debut “Foo Fighters” album and songs like “Big Me,” one of many highlights. It also featured several covers, including a hard and heavy version of Tom Petty’s “Breakdown,” a bubbly version of David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” and a cathartic rendition of Van Halen’s “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love,” featuring vocals by drummer Taylor Hawkins.
During band introductions, the Foos played snippets of several classic-rock songs: “Frankenstein,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and “School’s Out.” And late in the show, Grohl summoned the band’s first and only tour manager, Gus Brandt, out on stage to be serenaded with “Happy Birthday.”
For two songs in the middle of the set, Grohl was joined solely by keyboardist Rami Jaffee on accordion. One of those was “My Hero,” which he dedicated to all military personnel, living and deceased, and to those who stand up for their righteous beliefs.
Other highlights: the two rip-snorting openers, “Everlong” and “Monkey Wrench,” which set the mood for the rest of the show; “The Pretender,” a grunge-meets-hair-metal anthem; and “Breakout,” a hardcore punk tune that aroused one of the heartiest sing-alongs of the night.
The show ended with more thunderbolts and lightning, starting with “This Is a Call,” a Foo Fighters favorite that never gets old, then “These Days” and “Best of You,” which ended with a furious, wigged-out guitar jam.
When it was over, Grohl, walking with crutches, and his mates took their bows at the end of the runway, basking in an uproarious ovation. He will be walking unassisted soon, but it’s hard to believe the Foo Fighters’ live shows can get any more riotous than Friday’s show in Kansas City.
Everlong; Monkey Wrench; Learn to Fly; Something From Nothing; The Pretender; Big Me; Congregation; Walk; The One; Frankenstein/Another One Bites the Dust/School’s Out; Cold Day in the Sun; Skin and Bones; My Hero; Outside; Breakout; All My Life; Times Like These; Under Pressure; Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love; Breakdown; This Is a Call; These Days; Best of You.