With a near three-hour set, the Foo Fighters made the over decade-long wait worth it for Charlotte fans

By Cameron Lee

May 10, 2024

Photo: Wendy Hernandez / CLTure

PNC Music Pavilion was packed to the brim on Thursday night as the venerable post-grunge rockers, Foo Fighters, returned to Charlotte for the first time since the passing of beloved drummer, Taylor Hawkins. With new band member Josh Freeze (best known for his work with The Vandals, Devo, A Perfect Circle, and Guns N’ Roses) officially joining the band in May of 2023, the Foo Fighters captivated a fervent crowd of 19,000-plus in their first visit back to the Queen City in over a decade.

Dave Grohl, bassist Nate Mendel, and new drummer Josh Freese of the Foo Fighters performing Thursday night at PNC Music Pavilion. Photo: Wendy Hernandez

Spawned in the mid-90s by former Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Pat Smear, after the death of Kurt Cobain, the Foo Fighters have maintained their acclaim for nearly three decades with 11 albums and 15 Grammys under their belt. Their latest album, But Here We Are, released in June, found the band recapturing a lot of the musical sensibilities of their self-titled debut in 1995, exploring the emotions of not only Hawkins’ death, but the passing of Grohl’s mother in the same year. 

Grohl and company performed a 24-song set that spanned over two and a half hours on Thursday night at PNC Music Pavilion. Photo: Wendy Hernandez

A mammoth production featuring a complex lighting system that illuminated the pavilion, and multiple cameras capturing the band from a variety of angles on the big screens, made for an enthralling show. The two-hour-and-45-minute performance spanned nine albums, with Grohl proclaiming Charlotte being the loudest audience he has heard on tour. 

Former Nirvana guitarist Pat Smear received a tremendous standing ovation Thursday night following a short cover of The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Photo: Wendy Hernandez

Concertgoers were treated to a 24-song set that featured a touching tribute to the late Steve Albini (who passed away this week at the age of 61) for “My Hero.” Albini was the audio engineer who recorded Nirvana’s In Utero, along with classic albums by PJ Harvey (Rid of Me), the Pixies (Surfer Rosa), among many others. The band also dedicated “Aurora,” from 1999’s There Is Nothing Else Left To Lose, to Hawkins, who co-wrote the song along with Grohl. 

In what might have been the most memorable moment of the evening, guitarist Pat Smear was showered with a near two-minute ovation following a cover of The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop.” With grand introductions of the band members by Grohl, accompanied by riveting solos, they also paid tribute to the Beastie Boys, Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath with short snippets and interludes throughout their set.

Fan favorites like “The Pretender,” “Times Like These,” “Learn to Fly,” “Monkey Wrench,” and “Best of You” were dispersed strategically throughout the night, as they closed with a two-song encore highlighted by an electrifying performance of “Everlong.”

Photo: Wendy Hernandez


“Bridge Burning”
“No Son of Mine”
“The Pretender”
“Times Like These”
“La Dee Da”
“Medicine at Midnight”
“Sabotage” / “Blitzkrieg Bop” / “March of the Pigs”
“My Hero”
“The Sky Is a Neighborhood”
“Learn to Fly”
“These Days”
“Shame Shame”
“All My Life”
“Nothing at All”
“The Glass”
“Monkey Wrench”
“Best of You”


“The Teacher”

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