Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players Book Sole New York Show

Hammerstein Ballroom gig is set for February 13th
Rolling Stone
February 1, 2013

Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players took over Sundance last month with a three-plus hour performance celebrating his directorial debut on the Sound City documentary in style. The show boasted an all-star lineup of musicians featured in the film, with Grohl bringing out friends including Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty and Rick Springfield for the extended set. Now, after performing last night in Los Angeles, Grohl and the Sound City Players have booked a sole New York show set for February 13th at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

The lineup includes Nicks, Fogerty, Springfield, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Grohl’s Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic, Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel and Pat Smear. Tickets will go on sale February 5th at 4 p.m. EST on Ticketmaster. 

Sound City, a cinematic love note to the Van Nuys, California, recording studio, is available on the film’s website, and its soundtrack, Sound City – Real to Reel, will be released March 12th.

Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty and Rick Springfield Take ‘Sound City’ to the Hollywood Palladium Stage: Concert Review

Sound City (2013)
Documentary, Music
Release date: 01/18/2013

By Emily Zemler
The Hollywood Reporter
Friday, February 1, 2013

The Bottom Line

Dave Grohl’s collection of classic rock musicians revisited old classics and offered new tunes in celebration of the Foo Fighters frontman’s documentary about the legendary analog recording studio.


Sound City premiere, ArcLight Cinemas, Hollywood

Sound City Players, The Palladium, Hollywood (Thursday, Jan. 31)

The L.A. premiere of Grohl’s documentary was followed by a rousing show that also featured Rick Nielsen and Corey Taylor, Lee Ving, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and others.

Dave Grohl gathered a slew of rock ‘n’ roll’s legendary musicians to celebrate the Los Angeles premiere of his documentary Sound City on Thursday night at ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. In the spirit of film, which tracks the history of Van Nuys recording studio Sound City, Grohl later brought the musicians onstage with him at the Hollywood Palladium under the moniker Sound City Players, reveling in both classics and material he recently recorded with the likes of Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty and Rick Springfield.

The film, which is in theaters and available digitally, is a love-letter from Grohl to the analog studio where he and Nirvana recorded Nevermind over the course of a few weeks in 1991. The initial focal point of the film is the studio’s custom-made Neve console, which Grohl since has purchased and used to record new original tracks with Nicks, Fogerty, Springfield, Trent Reznor and Paul McCartney, among others. If the first half of the film is a historical record of the decrepit studio where so many classic albums were laid down, the second is a testament to the importance of musical collaboration as Grohl reveals the sessions that led to these new tracks.

The L.A. incarnation of Sound City Players — comprising Nicks, Springfield, Fogerty, Lee Ving of Fear, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Robert Levon Been and Peter Hayes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Alain Johannes and Chris Goss, as well as Grohl’s Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic and Foo Fighters regulars Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear — reflected Grohl’s sensibility that new collaborations can keep rock ‘n’ roll alive.

FILM REVIEW: ‘Sound City’

“It’s great for anyone who loves music to see behind the curtain how these guys who’ve made it in the music industry did it,” Sound City writer Mark Monroe told The Hollywood Reporter at the premiere. “That’s what a lot of kids want to know — the secret formula. And I think the secret formula is playing with other people, with other like-minded people, and working it out yourself.”

For Grohl, those like-minded people are all musicians who recorded at Sound City. His collaboration with Nicks, “You Can’t Fix This,” which will appear on the forthcoming soundtrack Sound City: Real to Reel, was inspired by the death of Nicks’ godson last year. During her closing set with Grohl and the rest of Foo Fighters at the Palladium, Nicks told the crowd, “I asked if Dave wanted to go there with me, and he said ‘I’m going with you there, babe.’” (Editor’s note: Stevie’s godson is her former manager Glen Parrish’s son.)

Some of the iterations of Sound City worked better than others in the live setting, with Nicks and Springfield as the notable standouts. But whoever would have thought that Slipknot’s Corey Taylor could join Nielsen and Novoselic for a rousing rendition of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” and have it actually work? Or that Foo Fighters are actually an ideal backing band for Ving to revitalize some of Fear’s most notable hits? The two-and-a-half-hour performance was intercut with footage from the film, revealing each standout player’s connection with Sound City before they came onstage.

Grohl was like a gleeful child throughout, clearly living out a succession of youthful fantasies about playing “Fortunate Son” with Fogerty or dueting with Nicks on “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around.” Sound City clearly is a passion-project for Grohl, embarked upon to illuminate a lesser-known aspect of music history.

“We started this project about a year and a half ago,” Grohl told the audience during his intro to the film at the premiere. “It was a small group of people that made this film, completely independent of any big major studio. It was really about 12 or 15 friends who got together and told the story of a place that was very special to us in a way that we felt did justice to a place that changed my life. When I walked into Sound City, I was really a kid — I was 22 years old, and I had no idea that the next couple weeks would change my life forever.”

“I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Sound City,” he added.

Grohl, who performed with the Sound City Players after the documentary’s Jan. 18 premiere at Sundance Film Festival in Park City, will bring the supergroup to the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City on Feb. 13. And he’s not the only musician invigorated by this process of collaboration: Nicks, whose band Fleetwood Mac recorded its self-titled 1975 smash at Sound City and appears in the film, is fully onboard for wherever Grohl’s circus heads next.

“We love this movie, so we’re doing whatever we have to to promote it,” Nicks told reporters at the premiere. “We want people to see it, because it really is a magical fairy-tale.”

Early-on during Thursday’s performance, Grohl hopped behind the drumkit to accompany Been and Hayes on a few BRMC numbers. The trio’s final song was a gritty rendition of “Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll,” off BRMC’s 2001 self-titled debut. The song’s lyrics notably reflected the belief Grohl conveys in Sound City, that music is not about perfection (or recording on a computer) but about the feeling it brings.

The song goes, “I fell in love with the sweet sensation/I gave my heart to a simple chord/I gave my soul to a new religion/Whatever happened to you?/Whatever happened to our rock ‘n’ roll?” With this film and the supergroup it has birthed, Grohl seems to suggest rock ‘n’ roll hasn’t gone anywhere. Not if he has anything to do with, anyway.

Set List:

Alain Johannes

  • A Trick With No sleeve
  • Why
  • Hanging Tree
  • Reach Out

Chris Goss

  • She Got Me
  • Domino
  • Time Slowing Down
  • Blue Garden

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

  • Heaven and All
  • Red Eyes and Tears
  • Whatever Happened to My Rock ‘n’ Roll

Lee Ving

  • Your Wife Is Calling
  • I Love Livin’ in the City
  • Gimme Some Action
  • Beef Bologna
  • I Don’t Care About You
  • Foreign Policy

Rick Nielsen and Corey Taylor

  • Hello There
  • Stiff Competition
  • From Can to Can’t
  • Isn’t That a shame
  • Surrender

Rick Springfield

  • The Man That Never Was
  • I’ve Done Everything for You
  • Love Is Alright Tonite
  • Love Somebody
  • Jessie’s Girl

John Fogerty

  • Travelin’ Band
  • Born on the Bayou
  • Centerfield
  • Keep on Chooglin’
  • Bad Moon Rising
  • Proud Mary
  • Fortunate Son

Stevie Nicks

  • Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
  • You Can’t Fix This
  • Dreams
  • Landslide
  • Gold Dust Woman

Live review: Sound City Players at the Hollywood Palladium

By August Brown
Los Angeles Times
February 1, 2013

“Rick Springfield, you have a song that people recognize after three frigging notes. Congratulations, Rick frigging Springfield,” Dave Grohl said on Thursday to his colleague in a new band celebrating the former Van Nuys recording studio Sound City.

Springfield, for his part, looked tickled to be onstage at a sold-out Hollywood Palladium hearing praise from the Foo Fighters frontman seconds into his own 1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl.”

Grohl’s friendly jibe — a mix of jealousy and bonhomie in the dark arts of rock hitmaking — showed the point of his entire Sound City Players project. The show was tied to his new documentary film about the famed, then neglected, then re-famous, then re-neglected studio (it’s console now lives in Grohl’s home).

For the concert, he assembled major artists who recorded there, including members of Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty, Rage Against the Machine, Fear, Cheap Trick and the survivors of his own Nirvana (Paul McCartney, Tom Petty and Trent Reznor, sadly, only appeared in the film) for a collaborative, song-swapping roundtable, with a new group album recorded on the studio’s famed Neve console coinciding.

The doc and concert posed questions about rock hit-record-making that bands have debated on beer runs and smoke breaks for decades. What does a great studio add to a band? What’s the proper balance between achieving perfection and still sounding like a relatable human?  And does expensive in-studio alchemy stand a chance against an era of cutting top 10 hits on your iPad?

Grohl and cohorts made the savvy logistical decision to play the concert minutes after debuting the documentary in the ArcLight’s Cinerama Dome across the street. The film has the same effect that reading Michael Azerrad’s punk biography “Our Band Could Be Your Life” does – you want to go start a band and cut a record the very minute you’re done with it.

Grohl couldn’t have asked for an audience more primed to exalt rock and roll craftsmanship (and given that Grohl has put the Foo Fighters on hiatus, fans knew this might be a last chance to see them play for years).

But they went straight to the L.A. studio-nerd jugular at the start, turning over the first hour of the show to seasoned writers and session pros Alain Johannes (a frequent Queens of the Stone Age collaborator) and Chris Goss (of the band Masters of Reality). Grohl and his bandmates played sidemen here, and though the gesture recognized the behind-scene players of Sound City, the film’s bank of star power took a long time to materialize.

But when it did, the collaborations made for an L.A. rock-dork’s fantasia. There was Fear’s leathery Lee Ving barking the anti-hometown-anthem of “I Love Livin’ in the City,” later followed by the still-beguiling Stevie Nicks, whose decadent band Fleetwood Mac was kind of responsible for punk’s backlash in the first place.

But as Grohl said in the documentary, for all of Nirvana’s punk instincts, “we still wanted to be a good band,” and that’s what Sound City could do – take a good band and make them better, whether you were Fear or Fleetwood Mac.

Grohl and swami-bearded bassist Krist Novoselic had kid-sized grins swapping swamp-soul licks with John Fogerty on “Fortunate Son” and “Proud Mary.” Rick Springfield (the doc’s unlikely emotional centerpiece, as he was the lone hit from the studio’s management division, and had a falling-out with its owners) was perhaps a bit overwhelmed by the occasion, as he forgot whole verses of songs but compensated by delightedly tossing his guitar into the rafters. Springfield proved that Sound City’s magic could yield pop megahits as well as canonical albums – and that both have their virtues in the long arc of making memorable rock and roll.

Appropriately, Nicks closed out the night, as her early work with Fleetwood Mac and Buckingham Nicks made the studio’s reputation. In the “Sound City” film, the sheer volume of hagiography about the good-old-ways of recording could make a younger fan wonder if this project was another bunch of rich old rockers complaining that records sounded better when they were teenagers (the same attitude that first threatened to kill the studio in the digital ‘80s).

But when she and Grohl played “Landslide” as an acoustic duet, the room went church-silent and two fine artists made their case for the studio implicitly. A great room’s only job is to capture great performances, and to judge by that performance, Sound City was clearly a great room.

Foo Fighters, Stevie Nicks, Slipknot and Nirvana members play Sound City gig

Stevie Nicks with Dave Grohl's Sound City Players, 1/31/13 (Photo: PA)
Stevie Nicks with Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players at the Hollywood Palladium, 1/31/13 (Photo: PA)

The gig followed the LA premiere of Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary
Friday, February 1, 2013

Photo: Photo: PADave Grohl’s Sound City Players last night (January 31) played a three-and-a-half hour set at The Palladium in Hollywood — watch footage from the gig below.

The all-star gig, which comprised 38 songs, followed the Los Angeles premiere of Sound City, Dave Grohl’s directorial debut. The film concerns the studio of the same name in Van Nuys, California, in which a host of classic albums were made. Joan Jett, Nikki Sixx, Butch Vig and No Doubt’s Tony Kanal were all in attendance, as were all of the performers at the Sound City Players show.

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear of Nirvana and Queens of the Stone Age collaborator Alain Johannes were among the performers on the evening. Foo Fighters played for much of the set, acting as a defacto backing band.

The show was split into sections, which each guest musician playing around four songs, including classic tracks and their contributions to the Sound City soundtrack. Each mini-set was introduced with clips from the Sound City film.

The evening started with Alain Johannes, who included Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘Hanging Tree’ in his set. During the opening songs, Dave Grohl told the crowd at the sold-out gig: “Ladies and gentlemen, we’re gonna be here for a while, just so you know.”

The next guest musicians were Brad Wilk of Rage Against The Machine and Chris Goss of Masters of Reality, who played their contribution to the ‘Sound City: Real To Reel’ soundtrack, ‘Time Slowing Down’.

Black Rebel Motorcycle Club were joined by Grohl on drums for ‘Red Eyes and Tears’ and ‘Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll’, with bassist and singer Robert Levon Been saying: ‘Its a great honour to be here and share the stage with these people.”

Next up was Lee Ving of punk band Fear, who played the specially composed ‘Your Wife Is Calling’, backed by Foo Fighters, including Taylor Hawkins on drums and Pat Smear on guitar, as well as 1978’s ‘I Love Livin’ In The City’.

Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick and Krist Novoselic of Nirvana were the next batch of artists, playing a host of Cheap Trick numbers, including ‘Hello There’, ‘Surrender’ and ‘Ain’t That A Shame’, with Taylor on lead vocals.

Rick Springfield played ‘Love Somebody’ before ending with his classic 1981 hit, ‘Jessie’s Girl’, backed by Foo Fighters, much to Grohl’s obvious delight.

John Fogerty joined the Foo Fighters for a host of Creedence Clearwater Revival songs, including ‘Travelin Band’, ‘Born On The Bayou’, ‘Bad Moon Rising’, ‘Proud Mary’ and ‘Fortunate Son’, the latter of which he shared vocal duties on with Grohl.

Speaking about the musicians playing, Fogerty pointed at Dave Grohl and said that as well as having all recorded in Sound City, “What we got in common is we all love that guy right there.”

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks was the final guest musician, performing ‘Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around’, with Grohl filling in Tom Petty’s role. She sang new song ‘You Can’t Fix This’, from the soundtrack, which she told the crowd was about her late 18-year-old godson, who last year died of an overdose at a frat party. “In our day, we made a pact not to dance with the devil,” she explained before the track. (Editor’s note: Stevie’s godson is her former manager Glen Parrish’s son.)

Nicks also sang Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ and ‘Landslide’. The evening came to a close with a near-10 minute version of ‘Rumours’ track ‘Gold Dust Woman’ — watch footage of it below.

Dave Grohl, Stevie Nicks + Sound City Players – ‘Gold Dust Woman’

Concert For The Premiere Of "Sound City" At The Hollywood PalladiumBy Kiel Egging
Music Feeds
Friday, February 1, 2013

Dave Grohl and his troupe of Sound City Players did a special gig in Los Angeles last night to mark the film’s première in the famous American city.

And if we somehow get a carbon copy of the show in Australia and Grohl brings the same crew when he visits in March, a seriously ace show is in the works.

NME reports that The Sound City players played a three-and-a-half hour set at The Palladium in Hollywood, with over 38 songs pumped out.

Joining Grohl on stage throughout the night were Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac, John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, Rick Springfield, Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Krist Novoselic of Nirvana, and Queens of the Stone Age collaborator Alain Johannes.

Grohl and his Foo Fighters bandmates – Taylor Hawkins, Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear – played for much of the set, acting as an unofficial backing band.

The climax for the night was Stevie Nicks’ segment of songs, in which she performed Fleetwood Mac classics Dreams and Landslide and her track for the Sound City soundtrack, You Can’t Fix This. The final song was a 10-minute rendition of Rumours’ track Gold Dust Woman, which a fan has conveniently filmed from in the pit.