I managed to catch one of the limited screenings of the new Foo Fighters documentary "Back and Forth" on the big screen on the weekend. It is coupled with a run-through of the new album "Wasting Light", played live in a band room, and shot with multiple cameras in 3D
It was a very candid film and a very informative and revealing. It begins with Dave Grohl joining Nirvana, working through their all-too-brief career and then onto the beginnings of a new project which he tentatively called "Foo Fighters"; a project he opted to explore and build upon rather than take on the job he was offered as the drummer in Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!
There's plenty of great music within, as you all know. It was interesting to see the growing pains that the band went through in their early days, including having to be compared to Nirvana at every turn, as well as being asked the most banal questions from rock journalists who all wanted to know about whether the songs were about Kurt. I was disappointed that they didn't spend much time talking about their music videos. Their videos are consistently entertaining and often very funny, with the band happy to take the piss out of themselves at will.
The documentary takes on the touchy subject of certain band member's addictions and overdoses, including those of Kurt Cobain, but it is curious how Dave's own battle with substances was omitted from the film. He is known for his wild drinking, and he even overdosed on caffeine during the making of the "Them Crooked Vultures" LP. Or the fact that he was picked up for driving over the prescribed alcohol limit in Australia circa 2006. It also overstepped the Beaconsfield mine tragedy in Tasmania, which resulted in the trapped miners having a song dedicated to them on the "Echoes Silence Patience and Grace" LP.
On the whole, it was a very entertaining watch, and even the most casual fan of the band can get a lot out of it. Those looking for gossip and mudslinging won't find much here, but at least this doesn't bear any of the tawdry melodrama of Metallica's "Some Kind Of Monster" - there's no public therapy sessions in this one!
The live set in 3D at the end just demonstrates how tight the band are as a unit and just how great the new material really is. The songs pack a punch, as well as being very hooky and melodic. The record flows well from start to finish and even the slow songs are worth a few listens. The 3D vision was impressive, with a camera set up close to Taylor Hawkin's drum kit. It looked close enough that you could almost reach out and grab the cymbals, or steal the picks from Dave Grohl's mic stand!
Highly recommended. Although it's a shame it won't be visible in 3D anymore though.
Below are a couple of highlights from new record: "Dear Rosemary" and "Bridge Burning", Live on Letterman