Foo Fighters make live return with new drummer Josh Freese, unveil new song and pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins

Foo Fighters performing with new drummer Josh Freese at Studio 606
(Image credit: Foo Fighters)

Foo Fighters made their return to the stage last night (24 May), marking the band's first live performance with newly announced drummer, Josh Freese, who was unveiled on 21 May via Foo Fighters' streamed event, Preparing music For Concerts.

The show happened at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavillion, Gilford, New Hampshire, where Foo Fighters blitzed through a 21-song set, opening with Rescued - the first new song released following Taylor Hawkins' death, and the first single from the forthcoming album, But Here We Are (scheduled for release 2 June).

They went on to play a greatest hits set featuring classics including My Hero, Learn to Fly, Times Like These, All My Life, Monkey Wrench, This Is A Call, The Pretender and more. 

However the band also took the opportunity to play new songs from But Here We Are, treating the crowd to the first with-an-audience versions of Under You and Nothing At All (first heard on PMFC performance last weekend), as well as giving us the first listen to the new album's title track, But Here We Are - a mid-tempo tune in 7/4. At the time of writing only a short, fan-filmed clip has been uploaded to YouTube.  

Freese - wearing a sleeveless t-shirt featuring the words "Employee of the Month" - played what we can assume will be his staple Foo Fighters kit: a double-bass drum DW Collectors series, finished in a copper/champagne sparkle wrap. 

As well as the two bass drums (featuring Freese's poodles bursting through the front heads, and a Hawk graphic in tribute to Taylor Hawkins), the kit includes two rack toms, three floor toms (one positioned to the left of the kit), a pair of mini-timbales/piccolo toms and Josh's Paiste cymbals (two crashes, a PST-X FX crash, ride and hi-hats).

During an emotional between-song pause, Grohl introduced Cold Day in the Sun - originally written and sung by Taylor Hawkins and Grohl on In Your Honour - by asking the audience to welcome Josh Freese. "We would not be here tonight if it weren't for Josh, so everybody give Josh a big fucking round of applause, please."

The crowd obliged, and Grohl (choking back tears) continued, "Now, I have to say that this is something I never thought I'd have to do. I'm going to try to do it. Taylor wrote this song…we used to sing it together. So I'm going to do it for him tonight."  

Foo Fighters, Bank of New Hampshire, NH full set

  • Rescued
  • Walk
  • No Son of Mine
  • Learn to Fly
  • Times Like These
  • Under You
  • The Pretender
  • But Here We Are
  • Breakout
  • The Sky Is A Neighbourhood
  • My Hero
  • This Is A Call
  • All My Life
  • Nothing At All
  • Shame Shame
  • These Days
  • Cold Day In The Sun
  • Monkey Wrench
  • Best of You
  • Aurora
  • Everlong

Foo Fighters are touring throughout 2023, for a full list of dates click here. You can pre-order But Here We Are 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.