What happened when Foo Fighters made a surprise appearance as The Churnups at Glastonbury 2023

Chunup for the books: it was Foos all along. And it was fucking brilliant…

What happened when Foo Fighters made a surprise appearance as The Churnups at Glastonbury 2023
Rachel Roberts
Jenn Five

Dave Grohl thunders out onto the stage to the roars of a shoulder-to-shoulder jam packed crowd at the Pyramid Stage. He’s smirking and chewing gum, and the whole of the band looks nonchalant, as if they haven’t been making us wonder for weeks on end if they’d really be here.

At this point, every single show from the Foo Fighters is monumental. They never fall short of colossal and courageous shows. The crowd knows they’re in for an hour that they’ll repeat to their potential grandkids. It’s a real “I was there” kind of gig from the get-go.

Opening with All My Life, the band is dripping from sweat already, with Josh Freese showing no mercy for his drum kit. They swing into No Son Of Mine, which soon sees Dave and guitarist Chris Shiflett trading licks before they play short, bursting medley of rock greats – the intro from Metallica’s Enter Sandman, into Black Sabbath's Paranoid – but they know they’re short on time, and they’ve got a lot to pack in. The last time they saw Glastonbury was when they headlined in 2017, and there’s a lot they’ve got to fill us in on.

The set showcases all the classics, from The Pretender to My Hero, through to new track from the brand new record But Here We Are, Rescued. Dave jokes, “You guys knew it was us!”, and shots of amplifiers with 'The Churn Ups' on them flash up on the big screen throughout. The word “Churn” is even scrawled in black metal-esque lettering on Josh’s kick drum.

Towards the end of their time at the Pyramid Stage, Violet Grohl, Dave’s daughter, makes a guest appearance to duet Show Me How, providing deft harmonies as they serenade her grandmother, and Dave’s own mother.

Everlong is played last, as a way to say goodbye, but the band makes us swear to come out and see them when they come back for a summer tour. This one’s dedicated to the dearly missed Taylor Hawkins, and before he begins to play that iconic opening guitar melody, Dave pauses for a moment sentimentally, and points to the sky. The sun is beaming, and birds fly over the pointed tip of the stage. Welcome back, Foo Fighters. Welcome back.

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