Last night we went to see the Foo Fighters play an acoustic show at Constitution Hall. I got home around 5:30, and we left soon after. I’d planned on parking at Constitution Hall and walking to Chef Geoff’s. I’d made reservations at for 6:30, and it was just before that when we got to the area. There were no spots on 18th Street (where the entrance to Constitution Hall is), but as we pulled on to 17th Street, there was a line of cars taking unclaimed spots, and I quickly realized these were the spots that have to be cleared during rush hour, but it’s free to park there starting at 6:30. Of course it was 6:30 on the dot, so that was sweet.
We parked and walked across the Ellipse. Chef Geoff’s is across the street from the Warner Theatre, and we were just a little late for our reservation. We were seated right away – there were no shows at the Warner or National theaters, and the restaurant was only 2/3s full. The main reason I picked Chef Geoff’s (besides being close) is that they were participating in Restaurant Week, so we knew they’d have some good food for a reasonable price. And it was delicious. We started with pints of Magic Hat #9 (check out their new site design for a new section that tells you where places are near you that serve and sell it), then I had duck spring rolls and Jill had fried shrimp and calamari. Jill had a roasted turkey club (which she described as the best ever) and I had more duck, served on a bed of roasted vegetables and surrounded by an avocado puree and roasted chipotle barbecue sauce. Both were great, but we wished we’d stopped there. Not that the mango sorbet (for Jill) or the blueberry and pear crisp (for me) weren’t good (’cause they were), but we were full already, and we walked out feeling very bloated. The walk back across the Ellipse helped, though.
We got to Constitution Hall about 8:45, having completely missed Frank Black. I know he’s the legendary leader of the Pixies, but I’ve never been able to get into the Pixies or his solo work (best thing about the Pixies is Kim Deal, and I prefer her in the Breeders anyway). I even bought his new CD to give him another chance, but it left me cold. So no big loss to miss him, so we were in our seats with plent of time to spare before the lights went out.
They went up to reveal Dave Grohl walking on stage alone with an acoustic guitar, taking a seat, and launching right into “Razor”, off their latest CD, then joined over the song by the rest of the band plus several other musicians. If you’re not aware, the new CD is a actually a double CD, with a rock CD and an acoustic CD. This first ever acoustic tour was to play the bulk of the second disc, as well as some of the older songs that had never been played live due to not fitting with the traditional rock show. “Miracle” and “Virginia Moon” were the highlights from the new CD, while their second CD, The Colour and the Shape was the source of some other standouts, including “Walking After You”, “See You”, and “My Hero”.
What I was not expecting was the influence of the evening by Nirvana. Rarely brought up, the first reminder was the presence of the first Foo Fighters second guitarist (and also Nirvana’s last), Pat Smear. The appearance of “Marigold” (the only Nirvana song written and sung by Dave, from the b-side of “Heart-Shaped Box”) was another. But the most moving was the first song of the encore, “Friend Of A Friend”. Dave came out solo, and told of how his band had broken up and he was in California, far from home, when he heard Nirvana needed a drummer. The song is his description of what it was like go to Washington and move in with Krist and Kurt, and the audience watched it in rapt silence. He finished by following with an incendiary solo version of “Best Of You” and a softer “Everlong”. Great show, and due to our great parking spot, it was a quick trip out of DC and home afterwards.