By Timothy Finn
Kansas City Star
Friday, March 15, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas — Dave Grohl has been a busy man in Austin.
He has been promoting Sound City: Real to Reel, the documentary he produced about the recording studio in southern California, which has had several showings during the South by Southwest Music Fest here.
Thursday morning, he delivered the festival’s keynote speech. And Thursday night, he and several of his fellow Foo Fighters were the house band for the Sound City Players, an ensemble of performers who have recorded at Sound City and who gathered for a performance before a full house at Stubbs.
The three-hour plus show featured several high-proflle artists, such as Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Rick Springfield, plus Lee Ving of the punk band Fear. During a set by Chris Goss of Masters of Reality, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine and now Black Sabbath sat in on drums,
After an opening set by Alain Johannes, a Queens of the Stone Age collaborator, Nicks took the stage.
She and Grohl launched into “Stop Dragging My Heart Around,” with Grohl taking Tom Petty’s vocal parts. After that, Nicks introduced a new song she’d written, “You Can’t Fix This,” a dour ballad that temporarily lost the crowd of about 3,000.
She got it back immediately with a few of her best-known songs: “Dreams”; “Landslide,” which featured Grohl on 12-string acoustic guitar and which prompted a heartwarming sing-along throughout the huge venue; and “Gold Dust Woman.”
That one ended with a long, raucous instrumental that brought out the beasts in Grohl and Foo Fighter drummer Taylor Hawkins.
Ving followed Goss’ set, growling through several high-speed hardcore punk songs in what seemed like a minute or less for each. Springfield would follow Ving with some of his Top 40 bromides, a sign of how diverse a setlist Grohl and his band had to learn and the breadth of artists who recorded beloved albums at Sound City.