Watch Dave Grohl unleash a 36-minute live version of his Play instrumental

Dave Grohl playing drums on Play live, 2018
(Image credit: YouTube)

Remember Dave Grohl's 2018 Play instrumental where the Foo Fighters frontman/former Nirvana drummer jammed with himself for 23 minutes? Well now, an official video of the only live performance of the song has surfaced, and it's extended to 36 minutes-long.

Captured in 2018 at Warren Haynes' 20th Annual Christmas Jam in 2018, the live version features Dave Grohl where every drummer really wants to see him more often: behind the kit. 

Given that the original version was recorded solely by Grohl, he was obviously going to need some help when it came to playing it live, and luckily for Grohl, his 'Nicest Man in Rock' reputation means that wasn't a problem. 

For the live version, he's joined by producer and frequent collaborator Greg Kurstin (Foo Fighters, Liam Gallagher, Adele) on keys, bassist Chris Chaney (NHC, Jane's Addiction, Alanis Morrissette, Slash). The guitars are handled by Alain Johannes (Queens of the stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures, Eleven), Jason Falkner (Jellyfish, Beck) and recording engineer, Barrett Jones, Grohl's former housemate who produced the Foo Fighters' debut album. 

Drew Hester (who toured extensively with Foo Fighters during the band's acoustic tours for In Your Honor) is on percussion, meanwhile, Abbey 'The Spoon Lady' Roach (a street performer from Asheville, North Carolina) completes the line-up with a spoon performance.

Grohl originally recorded Play at Foo Fighter’s Studio 606 as a way of “celebrating the rewards and challenges of dedicating one’s life to playing and mastering a musical instrument”. It’s notable for its accompanying video, which features seven Dave Grohls playing guitar, bass, drums, percussion and keyboards on the track.

"To any musician young or old, a studio full of instruments is like a playground.” says Grohl at the start of the accompanying video for Play. 

“To me, I'm like a kid in a candy store. Most musicians are usually chasing the next challenge. You never feel satisfied, and you never feel like you've completely mastered the instrument that you're playing. 

“It's always going to be a puzzle, it’s always going to be a challenge. It's a beautiful mystery, but once it gets its hooks in you, that's when the obsession and the drive really kick in."

Warren Haynes' annual curated Christmas Jam takes place again this year, and as always, it seeks to raise money for the Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity. Since its inception in 1988, the Christmas Jam has raised over 2.8 million dollars for the charity, as well as funding the construction of over 50 houses.

The 2023 event will feature Slash & Myles Kennedy, Billy Gibbons, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Evening, Gov't Mule, Clutch and more. For tickets and more information, click here

The live version will be available to purchase as part of Warren Haynes Presents: The Benefit Concert Volume 20, which is released on 8 December. The release will also include performances from Joe Bonamassa, Eric Church, Jim James, Gov’t Mule and more. You can pre-order your copy here.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.