The Foo Fighters have been known for their loud and exciting rock shows, but on the band’s new live album, titled “Skin and Bones,” the Foo show their forgotten softer side.Frontman Dave Grohl decided to take the band on the road for a more intimate theater tour to showcase the band’s softer side, mainly with songs from the second disc of their 2005 double album, “In Your Honor.”
“Skin and Bones” was recorded live at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles and features Grohl, guitarist Chris Shiflett, bassist Nate Mendel and drummer Taylor Hawkins performing with guest players Petra Haden of the Decemberists (violin), Rami Jaffee of the Wallflowers (keyboards), Drew Hester (percussion) and former Foo Fighter and Nirvana member Pat Smear (guitar).
The album is a beautiful collection of Foo’s slower songs, and Grohl shows everyone that he’s not just a screaming rock frontman.
The track list includes 15 songs, six of which are off of “In Your Honor.” Foo classics such as “Walking After You,” “Big Me” and “Next Year” are also reproduced in beautiful form.
One of the standout tracks is the Nirvana B-side “Marigold,” which was never performed live before Foo’s acoustic tour in 2006. The song was a B-side of Nirvana’s 1993 hit “Heart Shaped Box” and it was the first Nirvana song that Grohl wrote, sang and played guitar on. Plus, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain played drums on the track.
“Skin and Bones” also features some of Foo’s rockier tracks redone to fit the acoustic styling of the show. Foo hits “My Hero” and “Everlong” are acoustically crafted and fit well in the intimate setting. Before Grohl kicks into the rocker “Best of You,” he tells the crowd, “You didn’t think I’d let you get away without me screaming at you for a little bit, did you?”
“Skin and Bones” also features the title track, a new song written just before the acoustic tour began. It is a haunting look back at a man who sees himself as being frightfully older and worn out, as Grohl sings, “All worn out and nothing fits/Brennivin and cigarettes/The more I give the less I get/But I’m all set.”
“Friend of a Friend” is a quiet, haunting acoustic ballad Grohl wrote back in Nirvana’s “Nevermind” days, and is quite obviously about Cobain, as Grohl sings, “He’s never been in love/But he knows just what love is/He says ‘nevermind’/And no one speaks.”
“Skin and Bones” is definitely a must-buy for Foo fans, and anyone who appreciates great rock ‘n’ roll will love this live record, as it showcases what great music and songwriting are all about.