RICHMOND, Va. -- In the end, the “rock and roll miracle” wasn’t absolutely and completely sold out, but Richmond’s social media experiment to lure to world-famous Foo Fighters to a smallish but stylish concert venue here worked like a champ Wednesday night.
“You know, I’ve been a musician a long time,” Dave Grohl, the leader of the Grammy winning (10 times, in fact) Seattle band told the cheering crowd at The National. “I’ve played a lot of shows. But I’ve never played a show like this before.”
“Let’s relax and play as long as we can and have a good time,” Grohl added.
It’s been 16 years and a ton of hits since the ground-breaking and globe-trotting alternative band stopped in little ol’ Richmond.
But four local friends who love the band figured a successful social media campaign could lure them back.
“They sold out Wembley (Stadium in London) two nights in a row,” said one of the crowdfunding campaigners, Andrew Goldin.
“That’s 90,000 people,” added Brig White, another of the team to fetch the Foo Fighters.
“This holds 1,500 people,” added Goldin as the crowd outside of The National on East Broad Street began to thicken. “It’s says so much about them (the band).”
Four friends – Goldin, White, John McAdorey and videographer Lucas Krost built on a unique idea - using social media to bypass promoters and allow fans to pre-sell-out a concert and show big hunger to see a favorite band.
It didn’t hurt that Grohl has big Virginia roots and connections to Richmond’s music scene and its legends. (Last night, he have a shout out to Dave Brockie, the leader of Richmond’s GWAR who died earlier this year.)
There was some corporate sponsorship and even city government caught Foo fever. Mayor Dwight Jones got a headline on Rolling Stone’s web site by declaring Wednesday “Foo Fighters Day.”
Debbie Flood, a Richmond area drummer and one of those lined up for the show, said the Foo Fighters are just the kind of band to buy into a campaign like this.
“This band loves what they do,” she said. “They love their fans. And that’s the best thing they can do, to love the people who love to come see them.”
Most paid $50 for a ticket. But some who ordered them didn’t pay, so there were a few to be had just moments before show time.
Brig White called it a “rock and roll miracle.”
“The power of social media,” Goldin said.
“It’s all about the people at the top who control things like this,” added White. “And the idea is, like, hey, if you’ve got 50 bucks, you got an internet connection, then you can control what band will come to The National.”