Meadowbank Stadium gigs

T on The Fringe reviews

published: Thu 30th Aug 2007

Saturday 4th to Tuesday 28th August 2007
various venues, Edinburgh city centre, Scotland, Scotland MAP
prices vary
last updated: Thu 23rd Aug 2007

First up it's Dave Grohl and his explosive band Foo Fighters. Fresh from V Festival the previous weekend where Grohl claimed to have done something different in playing sober, he saunters onto stage looking as fresh as a daisy.

As my ears await the normal implosion of sound that usually accompany the former Nirvana drummer I detect an almost acoustic version of 'Everlong' As Grohl's bathed in blue and red stage lights he continues with the low key start before blasting out the 'Monkey Wrench'. Now that's the Foo Fighters I've come to expect. Most of the crowd know the lyrics and sing them out.

As the hardcore fans turn the front of the stage into hysteria verging on a mosh pit the set progresses with 'Learn to Fly' and 'Stacked Actors' - there's a steady stream of fans walking and staggering away from the front of the stage like shell shocked refugees from war zone. A nice touch came as Dave Grohl thanked support act Nine Inch Nails and recounted that he did not ever think he would play after them as headliners.

As the hits continued to come at breakneck speed it's not hard to see why this band have such a huge worldwide following. 'DOA' has got to be one of the finest live songs in the world of rock today. Amongst the jumping atmosphere there were a couple of lighthearted boos from the crowd that were nothing to do with the quality of the show. Firstly when Grohl failed to down a can of lager in one and secondly when the stadium video picked up on the fact that the base guitarist was wearing a celtic football club sweat band. Towards the end a treat was had by all with the rendition of their first hit "This is a call". After reminding the fans that the band would be touring Scotland later in the year and a short break at the end of the set the screaming and chanting demanding an encore was met with an explosive finish with "All my Life" blasting the summer sky and sending thousands of fans away wanting more.

Next for the stadium come Leeds finest Kaiser Chiefs. Would they be rioting? They may be one of the biggest pop acts around in the UK at the moment but failed to win over the Scottish crowd right away with their teasing few bars of 'Every day I love you Less and Less' before stopping in their tracks. As boos rang out round the old stadium and pints of Tennants started flying through the air to the extent that if you opened your gob you might get free beer, I started to think 'is this all going Pete Tong?' Bizarre start, but after their wee jest the Kaisers jacked it up good and proper and soon all was forgiven as the lyrics flew round the stadium.

He's maybe not the best looking front man around but Ricky knows how to please a crowd. From almost jumping into the crowd near the start of the set and treating the font few rows to an up close and personal rendition of 'Modern World', he never fails to please. Things really picked up in the later stages of the gig with 'I predict a Riot' sending the 20,000 crowd into a hyperdrive of frenzied singalong and pogo jumping. The hits continued with 'Angry Mob' and 'Thank you very much' until the chorus 'Ruby Ruby Ruby Ruby' filled the air with karaoke rendition from the crowd. If only they had saved this for the end. With most of their hits sung already there was a steady stream of fans leaving the stadium early. Those who left missed out on the ever energetic Wilson lead a Mexican wave round the stadium before ending with 'Oh my God' Did they peak too soon in the set? They might have but at least they put on a great show.

Last up for the headline acts was London's Razorlight...Before that, I wasn't going to mention the weeks support acts but tonight's deserves a mention as Editors put on such a solid indie rock show that must surely propel them further up the ratings towards their own headline slots. 'Smokers Outside The Hospital Doors' was the standout song in a set that did much to cement front man Tom Smith's reputation as one of the best front men in the business. Unassuming, he lets his superb guitar playing do the talking. On tonight's performance I would not have been bothered if Editors were the main act.

Still, in a wall of white light and wearing his trademark white tight trousers up pops Johnny Borrell. The crowd welcome them like heroes but outside the established pleaser of 'America' it was all a bit ordinary going through the motions kind of set. At least the chilly Scottish night means he keeps his clothes on for longer than usual. I Laugh when some say Razorlight are the poor man's INXS. There may be some truth in there. The entry of a string section and piano added a touch of panache at the end and the last two songs of the set 'Stumble and Fall' and 'Somewhere Else' went down well. But tonight, Editors blew them away.
review by: Greg Forbes

Saturday 4th to Tuesday 28th August 2007
various venues, Edinburgh city centre, Scotland, Scotland MAP
prices vary
last updated: Thu 23rd Aug 2007

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