The Foo Fighters hit New Orleans with a special treat on Saturday night, playing a surprise show at Preservation Hall that drew a crowd large enough to shut down an entire city block. The Times-Picayune reports that the band hinted at the show earlier that day by tweeting out a picture of Dave Grohl with members of the famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the note, “So…NOLA, what’re you guys up to tonight?”
The show began at 9 p.m. with a 30-minute set by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The Foot Fighters took the stage next, facing out into the street where the crowd was for a 90-minute set that included “Times Like These,” “Cold Day in the Sun,” “My Hero,” and “Learn to Fly” before ending with “This Is a Call.” Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band joined in on the closing number.
The surprise set was part of the Foo Fighter’s latest recording project, an album that will be recorded at legendary music studios in eight different cities across the country, featuring important local musicians. The band spent the past couple of days recording at Preservation Hall and Grohl interviewed local musicians for his new HBO series. The series premieres later this year and the album is due out in the fall.
“This time, I feel like we really have gotten it right,” Grohl told the crowd regarding the band’s adventures in their city. “We stayed here long enough so we learned a little bit about the city. We made a lot of friends.”
In an interview with Rolling Stone this past fall, Grohl described the process behind the new album as “badass.” “We’re doing something that nobody knows about, it’s fucking rad,” he said. “We begin recording soon, but we’re doing it in a way that no one’s done before and we’re writing the album in a way that I don’t think has been done before.”
VIP guests for Saturday’s show included Arcade Fire’s Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, who joined the Preservation Hall Jazz band on “Iko Iko” during the first set, as well as Anderson Cooper, who was filming for a 60 Minutes profile of the Foo Fighters.