By Richard Jordan
Classic Rock (UK)
In a packed-to-the-rafters venue on Park City’s snowy Main Street, Dave Grohl is kicking off the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in ambitious, history-making style. Here to prornote his directorial debut Sound City, a documentary chronicling the hallowed LA studio where Nirvana recorded Nevermind, Grohl has assembled a roll call of its famous tenants to play their greatest hits and songs from the film’s accompanying album, Real To Reel.
It may be cold outside (freezing in fact), but inside the temperatures fuelled by the unique chemistry of the shape-shitting supergroup – anchored throughout by ringmaster Grohl (switching between guitar and drums) and his infectious, childlike enthusiasm. During the course of the three-hour-plus show, we’re treated to lively vocals from Alain Johannes, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor, and Stevie Nicks, supported by the likes of Trent Reznor, Taylor Hawkins and Krist Novoselic. It’s a who’s who of rock’s finest, and it’s exhilarating to see them on stage together.
There’s barely room to breathe between baton passes, and the constantly rotating line-up keeps the excitable audience on its toes. Both Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” and John Fogerty’s Creedence hit “Proud Mary” are greeted with roof-raising mass singalongs. However, it’s the ethereal Nicks who alters the night’s real highlight, teaming up with Grohl for an emotional, acoustic version at Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” – a goosebump-inducing close to what been a superbly surreal evening.
Sound City: Real to Reel is available now on CD.