Dave Grohl Don’t Mess! Foo Fighters Front Man Kicks Out Fan For Fighting At His Gig

August 30, 2011

Dave Grohl: drummer in Nirvana; guitarist and lead singer of Foo Fighters and now hero of the gig etiquette. How so, you may ask, dear reader? Well, this is how it happened. In July, Grohl was playing at the Roundhouse in London as part of the iTunes Festival. He suddenly stopped playing and proceeded to rip into a man who he saw fighting in the audience, identifying him by his striped shirt. He then ordered him to “get the fuck out of my show!” Several times. In a smorgasbord of versions. It was a rare free gig for Foo Fighter fans and this muppet was going to spoil it. Good job, Dave.

Watching this video posted on Facebook recently (thanks, Tim) set me thinking about the way audiences are at live shows these days, because Grohl’s not the first to go in hard on audience members who step over the line. Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age is well known for pushing off stage invaders when they’ve outstayed their welcome. Here in Blighty, stage actors have had a go at people whose mobile phones go off in the middle of a performance, even though they’d been told before the show starts to turn it off, or set it to silence. However, you couldn’t get better castigation than from the great Patti Lupone. No one and I mean, no one would’ve behaved badly at one of her shows and got away with it. And they didn’t. Someone was taking photographs while she was performing. She was not happy. She gave it to them with both barrels.

Is it unprofessional to stop mid-performance to tell off an audience member? Possibly. Is it a case of the poor, precious, fragile artistes having their egos dented and they can’t handle it? Probably. But I suggest that if the artist has worked hard to be able to show their best to an audience and someone decides to try and derail it, they have every right to give them what for. Watching the main act pull up an audience member for their stupidity is effective (and usually entertaining). Once that person is cowed or removed, everyone else can continue to enjoy the show.

The artists are fighting back, ladies and gentlemen. Go and set off those mobiles! Go and start a fight! Light that touch-paper and stand well back…



  1. I think it’s great. It’s your party and you’re partly responsible for the fun had there. If some douchebag comes to your party and starts getting into fights, you kick him the fuck out!

    • That’s right! Dave’s the man – fucking A! It tickled me so much I just had to write about it, though it happened in July. I’m glad you are of the same mind, sir. Why pay good money (though that particular gig was free) if you’re going to be an arse and spoil it for everyone else. If I were Grohl, I would’ve done exactly the same thing, with plenty of industrial language thrown in to make him understand how pissed off I am. Come again, whenever you fancy. Welcome to my blog.

  2. I’m all for it if the audience member is indeed behaving badly or performing prohibited actions. LOVED the clip from La LuPone. I think I’ve seen more instances of performers abusing the audience than vice-versa, but I don’t know if my experience reflects reality.

    • Performers abusing the audience? I am intrigued. Do tell! If there are any instances on YouTube you could point me to, so much the better.

      • I haven’t seen many YouTube instances, but if you search “drunk on stage” you’ll get a lot of results. I do think knowing the words and music to the songs people pay to see you perform is a minimum courtesy, and being sober enough to get away with it should be too If you search for “Buddy Rich bus tape”, you’ll get an example of the kind of behavior I’ve heard on stage, though this was recorded on his tour bus. (Be warned – lots of F-bombs.) I saw Keith Jarrett lecture a concert audience for several minutes on their unworthiness to hear him play until people began walking out. Some stars can be a bit self-centered.

        • Oh yeah, Mikey, I know this. I find musicians can be particularly self-centred. But maybe that’s my prejudice…

  3. That was hilarious. I would hate to be the guy in the striped shirt.

    • I know. I don’t suppose that was the best night of his life, but it gave us all a laugh, didn’t it? You know the best bits about that clip? The strange juxtaposition of an accordion playing mournfully in the background as he bollocked striped shirt guy and then the way he seamlessly carried on with the song once the guy was ejected. Class.

  4. Seems that people dont respond to requests for courtesy, nor pressure from fellow audience members. If this is what it takes…!

    • You’ve gots to do what you’ve gots to do. I hail the Grohl for giving the fool a public smackdown. As you say, some people just won’t take the courteous hints, or public pressure. In cases like that, you have to go in hard.

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