When the Foo Fighters made the surprise announcement that they would perform at Inglewood, California’s the Forum on Saturday night, a show that doubled as Dave Grohl’s 46th birthday celebration and the band’s first gig of 2015, fans had no idea the concert would turn into an all-star jam session on the level of the Foo Fighters’ epic Sonic Highways blowout in New York.
At the Forum show, the Foo Fighters were joined onstage by Motörhead’s Lemmy Kilmister, Trombone Shorty, guitarists Zakk Wylde and Slash, Perry Farrell, Kiss’ Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper and Kyuss’ Nick Oliveri, just to name a few. However, one of the Forum concert’s many highlights came when David Lee Roth arrived onstage to perform Van Halen’s “Panama” and “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love” with the Foo Fighters.
Billed as “An Evening With Foo Fighters in the Round,” a portion of proceeds from ticket sales benefitted three charities, Sweet Relief, MusiCares and the Rock School Scholarship Fund. Given that last foundation, it was natural that Mr. School of Rock himself Jack Black, along with fellow Tenacious D member Kyle Gass, join Grohl onstage. Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash accompanied Tenacious D and the Foo Fighters for a raucous renditions of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and Queen’s “Tie Your Mother Down.”
Fans realized they were in for a special night when the concert opened up with Kiss’ Paul Stanley, who appeared on the New York episode of Grohl’s HBO travelogue Sonic Highways, kicking off the show by performing “Detroit Rock City” and Destroyer classic “Do You Love Me?” with the Foo Fighters. The latter song has some history for Grohl: A pre-Nevermind Nirvana covered the track back in 1989 for a Kiss covers compilation, and while Grohl wasn’t employed as the band’s drummer at the time – Chad Channing was behind the kit – the song, like Grohl, is forever tied to Nirvana lore.
Other guests at Grohl’s birthday bash included Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Alice Cooper, who performed “School’s Out” and “I’m Eighteen” with the Foo Fighters. Wylde stopped by for a pair of Black Sabbath songs, “N.I.B.” and “Fairies Wear Boots,” as well as the night-ending performance of Chuck Berry’s “Let It Rock” with Slash and Lemmy. Farrell stepped in for Jane’s Addiction’s “Mountain Song” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Miss You,” while Trombone Shorty joined the Foo Fighters for the band’s “This Is a Call,” a tandem they also formed at a November gig at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall.
In addition to all the special guests, the Foo Fighters also showcased their own work, performing a greatest hits set stocked with “My Hero,” “Learn to Fly,” “White Limo,” and “Everlong” alongside Sonic Highways cuts like “Congregation.”