Skip to content

Concert review: Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players at Park City Live

by on January 19, 2013
(Photo courtesy Park City Live)

(Photo courtesy Park City Live)

You can bet that around about 1980, there was no way consummate punk frontman Lee Ving would ever imagine sharing a stage with Stevie Nicks from arena-sized corporate-rock faves Fleetwood Mac, or with soap opera actor/pretty boy Rick Springfield.

Leave to a man like Dave Grohl–who has comfortably resided in the dingiest of punk clubs back when he was in Scream, and eventually turned into an arena-sized rock star himself after the abbreviated life of Nirvana–to bring such seemingly disparate musicians together. And give him credit for having it all make musical sense when he gathered a supergroup from his Sound City documentary that premiered at Sundance this weekend.

With an ever-changing lineup that included all of the Foo Fighers, Grohl’s old Nirvana-mate Krist Novoselic, his Queens of the Stone Age peer Alain Johannes and some bonus firepower from Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and John Fogerty, Grohl and company delivered a three-hour show that was a blaze through some classic pop and rock–more than three dozen songs in all.

I never thought I’d return to a show at Park City Live (formerly Harry O’s) during Sundance after some heinous past experiences, but the new management was ready for this show. Remarkably, it started a mere 35 minutes after the announced time, and instead of packing the joint to uncomfortable extremes, you could actually move around a bit. Getting a drink was dangerously easy–although dropping $24 for a Full Suspension and shot of High West Whiskey was Sundance gouging at its finest.

The show, though, made any complaints seem ridiculous. Grohl and his guests were obviously having a blast on stage. The early parts of the show were filled with the most obscure tunes–Ving’s Fear stuff and some of Johannes’ own music from Queens of the Stone Age and his former band Eleven.

As the show moved on, the guests and hits got bigger and bigger. Nielsen charged the crowd with his hyper-active persona and stellar guitar on faves like “Surrender” and “Ain’t That A Shame.” Springfield’s time on stage was a pleasant surprise, as Grohl grinned through ’80s hits like “Love Somebody” and, of course, “Jessie’s Girl.”

John Fogerty is one mean guitar player, and he showed just that during a mini-set heavy on the Creedence Clearwater Revival songs; “Born on a Bayou” and “Bad Moon Rising” were both epic highlights in a night full of great performances. Stevie Nicks naturally drew a huge cheer from the crowd, and hearing her and Grohl trade lines on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” with Grohl subbing for Tom Petty, was one of those special musical moments that can happen at Sundance. “Gold Dust Woman” and “Dreams” weren’t too shabby, either.

The Sound City Players delivered some of the original songs that Grohl recorded for his movie’s soundtrack, and they stood up pretty well next to the cavalcade of classics. But Friday night was all about having one of the best collection of musicians imaginable come together to celebrate the music created at the Sound City studio Grohl pays tribute to in his film.

It’s hard to think of a better way to honor the place’s legacy than the amazing night Grohl put together.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: