1,000 rockers just sent the Foo Fighters a message they can't refuse
July 30, 2015 11:48 AM   Subscribe

Cesena is a small town up in northern Italy, that until yesterday was pretty-well unknown to the world. That changed this morning when a guy called Fabio Zaffagini presented to the Internet his year long-project of getting one thousand musicians to gather in a field and play Foo Fighter's Learn To Fly, with the sole objective of convincing the band to go and do a show in their town. You have to watch it.
posted by Cobalt (137 comments total) 95 users marked this as a favorite
 
That was great but I kept wishing the conductor had a flame-throwing baton.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:57 AM on July 30, 2015 [23 favorites]


Can we get them to do some Fugazi next?
posted by Maaik at 11:58 AM on July 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


That was lovely.
posted by pipoquinha at 11:59 AM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Now THAT'S how you summon Dave of House Grohl.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:01 PM on July 30, 2015 [31 favorites]


Did any of them break a leg and keep playing?
posted by eriko at 12:12 PM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Damn, I want Cesena to develop a set, and go on tour. It doesn't have to be original materials. When you pay for a ticket to see the village of Cesena perform on tour, you go up on the stage, and then you get to watch as the entire floor of the Arena/festival grounds erupts in music. It would be like the Polyphonic Spree times a million.


Rock on Cesena!
posted by LeRoienJaune at 12:16 PM on July 30, 2015 [33 favorites]


Their performance made me unreasonable happy somehow.
posted by Old'n'Busted at 12:16 PM on July 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


i loved all the shots of the drummers and how they all played in unison
posted by bitteroldman at 12:19 PM on July 30, 2015 [27 favorites]


I couldn't stop grinning. My coworkers are worried about me.
posted by djeo at 12:19 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Beautiful! It's weird that such a happy video makes me cry. Maybe it's seeing a lot of bedroom musicians go out in public and be a part of that wonderful sound.
posted by w0mbat at 12:20 PM on July 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


That was fucking awesome.
posted by gwint at 12:21 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


(also: Glenn Branca wept)
posted by gwint at 12:22 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Damn, I want Cesena to develop a set, and go on tour.

So you can just waltz in and take over the town, right?
posted by eriko at 12:24 PM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


That was pretty great but I kept expecting it to turn into a viral ad for Guitar Center or something. Glad it didn't.

If there is one band that will accept this invitation, it's the Foo Fighters. Do they win the award for coolest/nicest rock band ever?
posted by bondcliff at 12:28 PM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


whoever mixed and mastered this must be.... uh.... pretty good.
posted by entropone at 12:28 PM on July 30, 2015 [20 favorites]


also, this reminds me of when the Boredoms did "77 Boardrums," recruiting and playing with 77 drummers in the Brooklyn Bridge Park.
posted by entropone at 12:30 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Damn, I want Cesena to develop a set, and go on tour.

So you can just waltz in and take over the town, right?


I think this is actually a DLC for Assassin's Creed Brotherhood.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:32 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would love to know what it sounded and felt like in the middle. You probably could have felt the bass drum beats in your chest.
posted by cmfletcher at 12:33 PM on July 30, 2015


Well its reached the Foo Fighters. Lets see what happens next.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:36 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


my eyes are leaking...WOW
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:40 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I love this.

But I have conflicted feelings.

I love the Foo Fighters. I love their albums and songs. I love Dave Grohl.

But, like, there's too much Foo Fighters in the media. They're getting to be the U2 of our day. And it's not just that - they're like the only rock and roll band that's really succeeding. I don't think they're trying to, but they're sucking the air out of rock and roll. I was too young in the 70s to understand it, but it's almost like the way people describe the oversaturation of Led Zeppelin back then.

I'm not tired of Foo Fighters songs or of Dave Grohl or of any of it. I just feel like it's become too big - like all rock and roll is a subsidiary of Foo Fighters and it can't blossom because it's all in their shade. But dammit, they're pretty close to my favorite band in the universe, and I hate feeling this way about them, because it's not them it's us.

But then seriously this video is amazing and yeah, my eyes are leaking, too. And There is Nothing Left to Lose is such a perfect album, you guys, no kidding.
posted by The World Famous at 12:48 PM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


I got an even better idea - instead of a concert, what if the Foo Fighters jammed with everyone in the video?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:50 PM on July 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


I want to read an article about how he actually managed to put this together. How did he convince a thousand people from all over the country to haul their gear to this small town to play one song? How did he organize it? The mind boggles.
posted by KGMoney at 12:51 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I tried something like this by having a thousand people give their dying gasp in the deepest recess of the black caverns of unspoken earth in order to get Lustmord to play a show. Did it work? Come to my subterranean complex to find out!
posted by FatherDagon at 12:54 PM on July 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


Looks like a fun day. The logistics behind this are a bit mind boggling: That's a lot of amps to juice and a lot of headphones to set up.

I went looking for field recordings 'cause dog that's some cleeeaaaan sounding audio for that thing. Surprisingly sounded better on the grass than I'd have thought. (#yesallmarchingbands)

I got an even better idea - instead of a concert, what if the Foo Fighters jammed with everyone in the video?

I don't see how you could not, with lots of HD cameras.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:54 PM on July 30, 2015 [19 favorites]


i loved all the shots of the drummers and how they all played in unison

Yeah. I'm sort of neutral on Foo Fighters, and the choice of song felt vaguely arbitrary, but man, I feel like I could watch hours of footage of hundreds of drummers with full (or mostly full) kits playing fills in unison.
posted by dersins at 12:55 PM on July 30, 2015 [14 favorites]


I wonder how long it took to organise this - oh.
One fucking year.

That's dedication!
posted by Omnomnom at 1:00 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm impressed he could get a 1000 musicians to A) show up at the right place B) show up on time C)Get along with each other for the 5 min recording. If my experience is any indication he invited 50,000 and adjusted his plan accordingly. That being said, I will admit that I shed a tear while watching it, very cool and very moving.
posted by HappyHippo at 1:09 PM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


they all fought over who would get to play the guitar solo

even the drummers
posted by entropone at 1:10 PM on July 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


The World Famous, the Foos are one of the only successful, long running rock & roll bands not composed of asshats that's currently playing today. I'm ok with them getting media coverage— their fans love them for being good dudes, not because they're egomaniacal trainwrecks like Kanye.
posted by a halcyon day at 1:18 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


The three guys on a riser in the middle (drum+guitar+bass) probably made up most of the direct sound, right?
Also, the tears in the middle of the office, not good.
They should have payed Everlong, though. Would have been awesome to have 300ish guitars playing the solo.
posted by signal at 1:20 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Man, getting ONE bass player to show up on time for a gig is something. 150 is mind boggling.
posted by _dario at 1:21 PM on July 30, 2015 [29 favorites]


Things like this make me love the world.
posted by Jalliah at 1:25 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


@signal: from what I got from a friend that was there, the guys on the riser are pros who had to guide bassists/guitarists/drummers (were you rushing or were you dragging?) with separate rehearsals and tips; then there was the conductor (aided by the led lights on the tower) and a midi track on headphone monitors.
posted by _dario at 1:25 PM on July 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Glenn Branca eat your heart out.

I want to know how this was technically accomplished. How did they get everyone to play in time, how did they output the same click track or whatever to 1000 musicians and how did they manage the latencies. How did they capture the recordings and sync them together? This is way more impressive than I expected it to be.
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:31 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


bonobothegreat: " I kept wishing the conductor had a flame-throwing baton."

Nah, they needed the The Doof Warrior with a flame throwing guitar.
Or 300 flame throwing guitars.
Maybe next year.
posted by signal at 1:34 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I don't think he does Foo Fighters songs though, only Yakety Sax as far as I can tell...
posted by TwoWordReview at 1:39 PM on July 30, 2015


Christ I loved that way more than I thought I would. I've always loved the song.
posted by Thistledown at 1:39 PM on July 30, 2015


The kids are alright.

I'm surprised that people in their early 20s are into a band their parents were likely into way back when.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:41 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Honest to God, music is awesome.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:42 PM on July 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


Or, to be more precise, enough into a band to take part in this sort of undertaking.
posted by persona au gratin at 1:42 PM on July 30, 2015


bitteroldman: “i loved all the shots of the drummers and how they all played in unison”

God dammit, yes. So that's where all the drummers that can play together with other people are. They've all been in Cesena, Italy this WHOLE TIME.
posted by koeselitz at 1:44 PM on July 30, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm surprised that people in their early 20s are into a band their parents were likely into way back when.

There's no statute of limitations on quality, man.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:44 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


you think with a thousand people it would be real easy to find this guy to save them
posted by robocop is bleeding at 1:47 PM on July 30, 2015 [12 favorites]


I can just imagine how hard each bass player had to work at it to look like the one that least gave a fuck.
posted by signal at 1:52 PM on July 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


I, too, learned to fly in a Cessna.
posted by exogenous at 1:56 PM on July 30, 2015 [21 favorites]


Also, American popular culture-- I'm always amazed by its reach. Nirvana, Ramones, Lolla T-shirts. All playing Foo Fighters.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:01 PM on July 30, 2015


this is the best thing that has ever happened
posted by billiebee at 2:13 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I hadn't posted in quite some time. Barely even visited. It feels really good to be back here.
posted by Cobalt at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


Goosebumps! F yeah! This is so cool, thanks Cobalt, and thanks Cesena!
posted by riverlife at 2:19 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is a really fantastic production! From an organizational and logistical standpoint, it's stupefying, and musically it's phenomenal!

Conflicted feelings again, though.

With this kind of prowess, the organizers could have created something musically and culturally new and fantastic, instead of making a plea that a 1990s American rock sensation come play a gig in their small town.

I only want to laud and support these folks -- but I also wonder if they could have successfully aimed higher.
posted by phenylphenol at 2:31 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


So, this is a call to the Foo Fighters? Visiting Cesena would be pretty, it would be good.
posted by benbenson at 2:45 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Goosebumps. I got goosebumps in the first 30 seconds of the video.
posted by fings at 2:48 PM on July 30, 2015


phenylphenol: I only want to laud and support these folks -- but I also wonder if they could have successfully aimed higher.

But this wasn't a theoretical/aspirational thing - they didn't say "let's get 1000 musicians together to do a thing!" "Yeah! ... what thing?" "I dunno - Foo Fighters?" "... sure, why not. *shrug*"

They said "Let's see if we can get the Foo Fighters to come to our village!" "Yeah! ... how?" "ooooo LET'S GET 1000 MUSICIANS TO PLAY THEIR MUSIC TOGETHER!" "YES! *HIGH-FIVE*"

They were aiming hugely high in their own context; it just isn't your context.
posted by current resident at 2:48 PM on July 30, 2015 [53 favorites]


a 1990s American rock sensation

Oh come on. That's like calling the Stones a 60s rock sensation. They're the biggest current rock band in the world in 2015 and only the first three of their nine albums came out in the 90s. They're more of a sensation now than they ever were in the 90s.
posted by The World Famous at 2:49 PM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


With this kind of prowess, the organizers could have created something musically and culturally new and fantastic, instead of making a plea that a 1990s American rock sensation come play a gig in their small town.

If 1,000 Italians showed up in Cessna to play something musically and culturally new and fantastic, wayyyyy less people would care about the end product - any song with that many musicians playing the same thing is going to sound kind of wall of noisey and muffly, so people aren't really responding to this from a recording point of view, but rather from an emotional one. Plus, in order to get 1,000 people to play a song together, it pretty much has to be a simple, existing song that most of the 1,000 people already knew how to play.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:51 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


TOTAL goosebumps. I saw my very first Foo Fighters show THIS year, at RFK on July 4th. 20th anniversary of the release of the first album. Dave's all "if you've seen us before, SCREAM!", then "if this is your first Foo Fighters show, SCREAM!" - then he said "what the fuck took you so long?" Good question, sir. Good question.

Dave will bring it to Italy - I gotta believe it...
posted by ersatzkat at 2:53 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like I could watch hours of footage of hundreds of drummers with full (or mostly full) kits playing fills in unison.

1000 drummers + Golden Earring
posted by philip-random at 2:55 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I only want to laud and support these folks -- but I also wonder if they could have successfully aimed higher.

WHAAAAAT. I am not even a huge Foo Fighers fan (more into Grohl in his Nirvana days, just to complete the 90s stereotype alluded to upthread), but this is the best ambition - to make some music with your community and hopefully get a message through to one of your rock idols. That is a fine reason for a year of prep and a sunny day of drumming/guitaring/singing; no other excuse is needed.

Rock on Cesena.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 3:59 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


Awww, that was awesome! I loved the overhead visuals on the drummers--each little patch of carpet like a quilt. And I also loved seeing some kids in there rocking out--I'm hoping it turned into, like, a family vacation for some of them.
posted by TwoStride at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


@twowordreview: I read up a bit on that: musicians (selected after a first audition which implied subscribing to the project site, posting a video) had to do their homework; so-called "gurus" posted tutorials for them to learn a (slightly) simplified arrangement, and then on the big day various audio takes were made for guitars, basses, drums and vocals separately (you can see condenser mics on top of poles) with the "gurus" playing on the riser and a director, assisted by LED lights working as a metronome; plus, headphone monitors had a midi track; finally, six or seven video takes - 12 hours straight.

The whole thing was then mixed and the video edited (in three days).

As far as latency goes, I read they had some problems at the beginning with the singers, so they grouped them all together and added a few monitors (the original idea was to have two separate groups, men and women, mostly for eq reasons I think also them singers are some promiscuous bastards) - but latency is only a problem up to the mic.
posted by _dario at 4:25 PM on July 30, 2015 [13 favorites]


In the spirit of John Sinclair's Guitar Army. Kick out the jams!
posted by cleroy at 4:47 PM on July 30, 2015


Wow. Something about that made me burst into happy tears by the 30-second mark. Sure didn't see THAT coming.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:15 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


There was an effort in Richmond VA, close to where Dave grew up, where people paid for a Foo Fighters concert that hadn't actually been scheduled. They hadn't played there since 98, but they eventually agreed to in response, so it's possible they'll play in Cesena, if logistics aren't an issue.

Some years back there was also the story of a trapped coal miner in Australia requesting Foo Fighters music to help them pass the time. Dave heard about it, offered them tickets good for any future concert, and later named an instrumental song after them.

And I have to add the time they played incognito to protest some Westboro Church protesters.

As for media coverage, they seem to get a lot more than other rock bands, but even they can't make a dent in the dance-/rap-centric mainstream. And Dave has even joked that they get asked to play on award shows only as a token rock band.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 6:20 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'd be stunned if the Foo Fighters don't go to Cesena now. I'm kind of surprised they haven't announced they're going ALREADY.

I just feel like it's become too big - like all rock and roll is a subsidiary of Foo Fighters and it can't blossom because it's all in their shade.

I think it's more that the rest of rock is in such a bad way. In a better era, the Foo Fighters would have been one very good, big rock band among many. There would have been even better rock bands on the radio. But in 2015 the Foo Fighters kind of seem like the last of a dying breed.

With this kind of prowess, the organizers could have created something musically and culturally new and fantastic

I get that feeling with people who make really good fan films and write fan fiction better than the show it's based on. But there's putting all your energy into a movie based on somebody else's characters, and then there's a cover song. This is a really EPIC cover song.

They should have payed Everlong, though.

God, don't even say that. That song has always wrecked me.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:37 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


If anyone is a straight-up bloke/genuine ascended fan it's Dave Grohl. Can guarantee he'll want to do this, if possible.

My favourite, though doubtless not the best Grohl-as-everyfan moment is when the Foos were playing the Isle Of Wight festival here in the UK and the whole band took the ferry over from the mainland along with the other fans. Pure class!
posted by comealongpole at 6:41 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nice, also, to see a decent representation of women musicians there too (not just singers).
posted by vunder at 6:44 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


@vunder
Welllllll not so much, more like manmanmanmanmanmanmanma"look! here's a woman!"manmanmanmanmanman... But yeah, wymmin drummers! bass players! guitarists!

Also, kids!

This made me cry because the peak experience these guys and gals are having leaps through the screen and lays siege to my feels.

Also also, ten zillion drummers!
posted by tspae at 6:59 PM on July 30, 2015 [8 favorites]


Yeah, so many drummers!
posted by comealongpole at 7:02 PM on July 30, 2015


They have almost as many drummers as Swans.
posted by turbid dahlia at 7:12 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


The pan over the drums all lined up in that tidy grid and then noticing all the different details in each kit made me SO. HAPPY.

Agreed on the unexplained happy tears at the 30 second mark though.
posted by FritoKAL at 7:17 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Except for the articles I saw about Grohl breaking his leg I didn't even realize the Foo Fighters were still a thing, and the particular song doesn't resonate with me even though it was on the radio a lot back in college, but dang I want to know more about the logistics of making something like this happen, so the follow up comments in the thread have been the best.
posted by MsMolly at 7:21 PM on July 30, 2015


Good thing it's not Palestrina, lest Mr. Grohl follow in the footsteps of Mark Sandman of Morphine.

More here.
posted by intermod at 7:46 PM on July 30, 2015


I love this, too. People (well, some people) talk a lot about how rock and roll is a dying form these days, but, you know, rock and roll will never die.

I feel like an old fart just saying it, but, you know, whatever. I'm an old fart who still rocks the fuck out, and I'm proud of it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:52 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's fascinating how many people in this thread say they teared up watching this - I did too, and I can't really explain it. I'm not a massive foo fighters fan (though I do know this track) and I'm not someone that is particularly emotional or reacts strongly to things on the internet. Bewildering!
posted by modernnomad at 8:23 PM on July 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


I can't explain it either, but my gut says it has to do with seeing a large group of people actually *asking* for something and putting in an insane amount of work to show their sincerity about it.

That, plus they all seem to be playing their hearts out 110%. You don't see much of that anymore.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:27 PM on July 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


The enthusiasm was totally infectious.
posted by Standard Orange at 8:42 PM on July 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


This may be my favorite song out of All The Songs.

Thank you for posting this. It's beautiful.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:48 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


With this kind of prowess, the organizers could have created something musically and culturally new and fantastic, instead of making a plea that a 1990s American rock sensation come play a gig in their small town.

I only want to laud and support these folks -- but I also wonder if they could have successfully aimed higher.


The video, as of this writing, has over 2.3 million views. If the Foos do come to town -- and I bet they do -- there will be a huge amount of publicity. Certainly follow-up videos. Maybe even a movie.

"You know," the organizer/dreamer says in the video, "Italy is a country where dreams cannot easily come true. But it is a land of passion and creativity."

Imagine what could happen if an Italian dream does come true.

Fly along with me
I can't quite make it alone
Try to make this life my own
Fly along with me
I can't quite make it alone
Try to make this life my own

posted by Celsius1414 at 8:52 PM on July 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Looks like they get their wish

https://twitter.com/foofighters/status/626946526846193664
posted by Gorgik at 9:30 PM on July 30, 2015 [24 favorites]


I teared up when I saw the kids playing guitar and drums. Kids that weren't born when this song came out.

I was finishing up grad school when it came out. It was part of the soundtrack for writing up my PhD dissertation.
posted by gaspode at 10:00 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's fascinating how many people in this thread say they teared up watching this - I did too, and I can't really explain it.

For me, a number of things come to mind. It's a truly huge sound, like nothing I've ever heard. Just the sheer power of a 1000-member band, that's overwhelming. A festival of garage musicians, an entire society of these longhair goofs, working toward a goal and nailing it. The fannish enthusiasm is adorable. Everybody in the clip is just glowing, they seem so delighted at this beautiful rumble they're making. It's a song that genuinely rocks, and one that's old enough that hearing it sets off some bittersweet memories.

Maybe this will sound lame, but this clip gives a much-needed shot of juice to my belief in collective action. Huge groups of people can actually work together and do good, amazing things. We're seeing it.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 10:26 PM on July 30, 2015 [17 favorites]


I posted this a little less than 12 hours ago. It had around 75,000 views then. It has over 3 million now.
posted by Cobalt at 11:03 PM on July 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


What made it a sniffler for me is that I'm too guarded, maybe a bit to cynical or whatever, to just fucking do something like this and get into it and have fun and fuck it, rock out. Too self-conscious, which is ridiculous, because who the fuck else is paying attention to me, right?

So to see people just having a blast doing this thing is both uncomfortable and awesome and admirable and tinged with a little regret that something seems off internally.
posted by maxwelton at 11:50 PM on July 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have nothing new to add; that just made me insanely happy.
posted by prettypretty at 12:49 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Same here, I love this (minus the choppy video direction and editing) and it makes me happy beyond reason. I want to learn how to play music like this, too! Can I can I can I???
posted by zardoz at 2:10 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can I can I can I???

Yeah, you can.

Go out and spend about $100 on second-hand drums and about $350 on some nice second-hand bronze Paiste cymbals. Set them up in the shed on the back paddock.

Every day, spend fifteen minutes listening to something you find inspiring, then head down to the shed and beat the crap out of your kit for an hour.

Every day, walk into that shed expecting and accepting that you are about to make a hideous, horrific, chaotic and profoundly antisocial racket, just like everybody who ever started to play anything in the entire history of ever. Walk out rejoicing in the fact that some tiny aspect of what you just heard was a little bit less like a traffic accident and a little bit more like music than what you heard yesterday.

You can. There are no shortcuts, but of course you can.
posted by flabdablet at 4:09 AM on July 31, 2015 [24 favorites]


Surprisingly sounded better on the grass than I'd have thought. (#yesallmarchingbands)

Here's another view, and yeah, it sounds shockingly good. I don't know how you find that many rock musicians who can actually play in time, play a whole song as-written, and take direction, and get them all in one place at the same time.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:58 AM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Man, the 'Ci vediamo a presto, Cesena' made me tear up even more. We live in a cynical world. A cynical world.
They took just 8 hours to make the decision, apparently. That's fucking listening to your fans.
posted by signal at 5:12 AM on July 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


flabdablet: "Go out and spend about $100 on second-hand drums and about $350 on some nice second-hand bronze Paiste cymbals. "

Or, $100 bucks on a second hand off-brand stratocaster knockoff and $100 bucks on second hand practice amp, learn to play the A, C, D, E and G chords, and rock out!
posted by signal at 5:56 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


signal: "Man, the 'Ci vediamo a presto, Cesena' made me tear up even more. We live in a cynical world. A cynical world.
They took just 8 hours to make the decision, apparently. That's fucking listening to your fans.
"

When they make the movie they should call it Foold of Dreams: "If you play it, they will come."
posted by chavenet at 6:16 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I shall require copious Youtube videos of the moment in that concert when they get to Learn To Fly and the entire audience erupts in a collective HEY YEAH LOOK WE DID IT
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:39 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


By the way, current resident's observation that "They were aiming hugely high in their own context; it just isn't your context" is, like, the perfect phrasing for how to respond to "why did [a group] exert all this energy to do [this particular thing]".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on July 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


Loved this.
Kept thinking about all those carpets for the drum sets. Did the organisers friends and neighbours bring them? Do drummers travel with their own carpets? And who convinced everyone to have them placed so perfectly in a grid on the grass? This guy wrangled an awesome crew!
posted by chapps at 7:27 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


My brother is a drummer and he brings his own rug with him when he plays. I thought that was normal but maybe I'm wrong? Speaking of the drummers it made me laugh at the end when the organiser said "make some noise!" Among the cheering and whooping (and under shots of people holding their guitars in the air which I found oddly moving) you could hear the ones who thought "Alriiiiiiight!! Drum solo!!!"
posted by billiebee at 7:52 AM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Here's another view yt , and yeah, it sounds shockingly good.

Wow, that video sounds really good. Also, all the people in STAFF t-shirts dancing! Aw!
posted by deludingmyself at 9:22 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's Friday evening, I'm home from work and have some time now, so I plugged in my headphones and hit play on the video forgetting that the sound is cranked right up to full. Holy shit.

That's some big noise and surprisingly powerful to listen to. I hope it made Dave Grohl cry because it made the organiser tear up at the end and it certainly made me cry. The good cry though, the players looked so ecstatic while they played and man, that big big sound.

Posts like this are why I love Metafilter. I didn't see this anywhere else and wouldn't have known to click play even if I had. So thanks!
posted by shelleycat at 9:26 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


The problem is I don't know how the actual Foo Fighters show could possibly be more awesome than this performance was.
posted by BlueJae at 9:50 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hundreds of drummers you say? Better not try ordering any pizza, it's going to be a long wait.
posted by Rhomboid at 10:09 AM on July 31, 2015


This is the human equivalent of running around with a bucket on your head.

someone needs to re-dub this video!
posted by Room 641-A at 10:27 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is reaffirming my faith in humanity. It was fading recently.

This is an Excellent post, and video is. Beautiful thing.
posted by Faintdreams at 10:30 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Better not try ordering any pizza, it's going to be a long wait.

I read that other thread about New York pizza earlier and now find myself making pizza for dinner, so no problem over here at least.
posted by shelleycat at 10:31 AM on July 31, 2015


It hit me as I was talking about this on Facebook: This story is going to become the next Roberto Begnini movie, isn't it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:52 AM on July 31, 2015


BlueJae: The problem is I don't know how the actual Foo Fighters show could possibly be more awesome than this performance was.

I'd say #Rockin1005 ought to do it.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:02 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is absolutely the best thing the internet could have spent it's collective free time on - I genuinely wish I was there.

The drummer carpet thing isn't uncommon - When you're dragging your kit around playing gigs, you're never sure what the stage surface will be like. There's nothing worse than your bass drum sliding across a particularly slick floor away from you with every beat, and it's annoying/undignified to keep having to drag it back towards you in free moments - A carpet that you're sat on too prevents it running away. I guess in this case it'll prevent the various legs sinking into the field too.
posted by PeteTheHair at 11:47 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow, that video sounds really good. Also, all the people in STAFF t-shirts dancing! Aw!

At 0:42 the STAFF guy skipping across the field is the organizer. He looks so fucking happy.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:56 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


He's in the original video too, at about 2:58 in the middle of a couple of other singers.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:02 PM on July 31, 2015




Goddamn, I thought I'd gotten over the whole rock-god-worship thing by the age of 44, but Dave's throwing me way off.
posted by signal at 2:18 PM on July 31, 2015


I also love that he answered in Italian, nobody would have faulted him for speaking English, but it makes it much more specific and personal and for the actual fans involved instead of just general worldwide PR (which it is too, only classier).
posted by signal at 2:20 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Pure joy. I loved it. Reminded me of this.
posted by shockingbluamp at 3:02 PM on July 31, 2015


....You know, now I'm torn between letting the folks in Cesena having their concert because they earned it....

...and wanting to buy a ticket and see that concert myself because holy shit that is bound to be AN ABSOLUTELY EPIC PERFORMANCE
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:22 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's fascinating how many people in this thread say they teared up watching this - I did too, and I can't really explain it.

In addition to the stuff I said upthread, there's this other weird thing with certain Foo Fighters songs. I've always thought it was just for me but I'm starting to think it's not.

I only know their hits, but a number of those hits have given me this weird happy/sad feeling that seems more powerful than the song should be. Learn to Fly was a good rock song and it seems like it should just be a fun little thing, but when I hear it on the radio I find myself strangely moved, every time. Everlong is one of my favorite songs, but it seems like it should just be a hard rocker, nothing more. Yet every time I hear it it's like my heart is in my throat, and I don't know why. (When Letterman chose it as his exit song because it had meant so much to him during his heart surgery recovery, I totally got it. I don't know what that song is saying, but it's sure saying something.) My Hero is another puzzler. I would say I just like the song fine, but every time I hear it, I get goosebumps by the end. WHY?

There's something bittersweet and contradictory about these songs. They sound celebratory at the same time that they sound a little sad, like they're saying goodbye to something. Maybe they sound like tributes to things that are going away. Learn to Fly in particular sounds like graduating; not the feel-good stuff people play at graduations, but the emotions you actually feel on your last day someplace. They have a big rock sound, but in the middle of it there's just Dave Grohl. He seems like such an unlikely rock star, just this shaggy, kind of homely, unpretentious guy who looks like he should be installing drywall. I can never see him rocking out without thinking about how his last band ended. He doesn't seem like he should be the one fronting a band, but there he is and he's doing a great job.

Damn. I liked the Foo Fighters, but I think I've always liked them more than I thought I did.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 6:02 PM on July 31, 2015 [10 favorites]


Oh my god I've found some of their promo videos that they made while they were still trying to organize this event and they're ADORABLE -

The creators' "origin story"
An odd animated pitch

And from their web site, the time line of how this got made.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Translation of Grohl's response video, according to a Youtube commenter:

Ciao Cesena, sono Davide (Hello Cesena, I'm David) Mi dispiace, non parlo Italiano, solo un po (I'm sorry, I don't speak Italian, just a little) Questo video! ma che bello, che bellissimo! (that video, how beautiful, how much beautiful!) Grazie mille (thank you very much) Stiamo arrivando, prometto (we're coming to you, I promise) Ci vediamo presto (we'll meet soon) Grazie mille, ti amo, ciao (thank you very much, I love you, bye)


It's the ti amo that gets me. And really, how could he NOT?
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:13 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Dave's response couldn't have BEEN more perfect. I love everything about this.
posted by msali at 7:17 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay, this is also cute - the video diary from one of the singers, who drove four hours the morning of the shoot to get there. It starts with him leaving Turin at 5:30 am, grumbling about needing coffee, and you hear him bust on a couple of songs on the car radio and then marvel at the scope of things when he gets there and kick himself a couple times for forgetting to turn the phone so it's in landscape mode...
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:52 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ok, the "origin story" video is adorable:
"It's like asking Batman to come to your nephew's birthday party."
"...Are you doing this for a girl?"
posted by TwoStride at 10:59 PM on July 31, 2015


Also, Andrew Thick clearly has another career ready as an Italian teacher: "now, put your mouth like the asshole of a duck!"
posted by TwoStride at 11:20 PM on July 31, 2015


At least for me, I think the reason I teared up watching this is because you've got this video of a crowd of people jumping around, having fun, singing along to a song they love at a concert. That by itself is a pretty happy thing. But then it sinks in that these people aren't just listening to the music, they're making the music.

It's all this joy and energy that people usually get from just listening to someone else make music, but this time the joy and energy is channeled into actively working together and creating something. They look at each other and their faces don't just say, "We like this!" their faces say, "We're doin' it!" It's beautiful.
posted by straight at 11:21 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I wonder if it's the fact they're all contributing a different part, either instrumentally or vocally, and complementing and relying on each other to make it work. It probably generates a vicarious emotion you wouldn't quite get if it were all just people singing... Something you accomplish as part of a band, but a few hundred times over.

Popular music post-90s seems to really emphasize singing and dancing (or, it's what sells) over playing an instrument. And maybe this won't lead to some kind of industry shift, but if a few more kids are inspired to pick up a guitar when they wouldn't have otherwise, I guess that's cool.

As of this moment, the video is approaching 10.5M views.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:29 AM on August 1, 2015


I think I teared up at Dave Grohl's response. Not because "OMG DAVE GROHL HAS CONDESCENDED TO OUR LEVEL!" but it's just so lifting to see the musicians efforts bearing fruit - and it's just amazing how all these people - strangers! - came together for this thing... And Dave Grohl from a million miles away sees it and can't help but be touched (I swear I think he gets choked up at the end of his video too).

I often get very cynical about the Internet. But things like this, well, we live in some pretty cool times, my friends.
posted by like_neon at 12:57 AM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


I've watched this easily 20 times in the last couple days. I love the group passion, the creator's dedication, those beautiful rows of drummers and their carpets, that one drummer's triumphant mohawk, that first woman vocalist with the shaved side head who sings, "this will take all night'" and Dave Grohl's loving response in halting Italian. Passion is what gives us faith is what I believe.
posted by bendy at 2:21 AM on August 1, 2015


At 0:42 the STAFF guy skipping across the field is the organizer. He looks so fucking happy.
The boss dancing at the back checking on those around him instead of front and centre surrounded by an entourage.
I think it's easy to see how this got done and why everyone is so happy.

One more for team cryafter30seonds.
Although I cry after 30 seconds of most things tbh.
posted by fullerine at 2:54 AM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Awwww he said "ti amo", I love you singular. He should have said "vi amo (tutti)", I love you (all). But "ti amo" is cuter!

"It's like asking Batman to come to your nephew's birthday party."

Heh, it is... On the idea that they could have "aimed higher": that’s not taking into account what Cesena is, what kind of Italy it represents, this is not a big city, it’s not one of the usual locations for concerts in Italy that a band like Foo Fighters would normally play, like big sports venues in Milan or Rome, it’s less than 100,000 inhabitants, in a region of small towns, and it’s not a seaside resort or a typical tourist destination or anything. It’s totally Italian "provincia".

Of course, they could have aimed higher in a bigger sense, something less frivolous, something that has nothing to do with a rock band, something with a major political/social/cultural impact... but would it have been this fun and this lovely and gotten all this attention?

This was done in a spirit of pure fun, and with a good mixture of lightheartedness and dedication, judging from those fun clips about the preparation. I think that, combined with the organisational effort and the huge sound of the song and the evident enjoyment of the people in the video, are what makes it so lovely and affecting.

"Italy is a country where dreams cannot easily come true. But it is a land of passion and creativity."
agh I was doing my best not to get emotional I swear but my poor Italian expat heart broke right there

posted by bitteschoen at 1:03 PM on August 1, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that line stuck out me to and was kind of heartbreaking. I wonder if that's a common sentiment in Italy.

It looks like the band is already playing two shows in Italy in November. They have a travel day before (from Austria) and after (to France). I wonder if it'll be easier to just do a smaller show for the participants, or if they'll do what they can to throw together a bigger show.

For anyone who knows the band just for their quiet-loud hard rock singles, their best song might be "Aurora", off the same album as Learn to Fly. (I kinda get the feeling the band is sheepish about LtF being a big hit that was more poppy than usual, but it was totally the perfect song for Rockin1000 to have played.)
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 1:33 PM on August 1, 2015


I burst into tears watching this. It was just so human. I want to beam this into space for the aliens to see. This. This is joyous humanity. Grab some sticks. Pick up a guitar. Or just stand and dance and sing.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:47 PM on August 1, 2015 [8 favorites]


Just found an interview with Fabio Z the creatorwhere he says that he was inspired in part by the movie "School of Rock". This just keeps getting progressively more awesome.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:01 PM on August 1, 2015


There’s an interview from yesterday on the Guardian with the guy who started the project, Fabio Zaffagnini, where he goes into more detail about the whole thing. Including expanding on that common heartbreaking sentiment about Italy:
Throughout the process, Zaffagnini says he ran into countless roadblocks.

“We had to overcome many problems through the year,” he notes of the issues certainly not helped by Italy’s weak economy. “Making something like this in Italy is very hard. We’re not used to thinking big and we’re facing a huge crisis – not just economical, but something that involves our view of the world and the future.”

We think these kind of things can happen in other countries, but not Italy. The US is a place where dreams come true and Italy’s not, so every time we’d tell sponsors or musicians about the idea, they’d say it was cool but it’d never happen.”

However, Zaffagnini and his team stayed true to their vision, which meant turning an otherwise empty local park into a performance space prepped for a thousand people for the day. “There was absolutely nothing there,” he notes of the magnitude of hosting so many. “All of the toilets, structures, instruments, microphones, cables, and electricity had to be brought in.”
posted by bitteschoen at 12:38 AM on August 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


I actually looked into that "Trail Me Up" thing they mention in the article - it's like a human-powered Google Street View, but for hiking trails. There's a call for volunteers to borrow the rig and walk a trail to collect the footage, and I've applied for that (they've mapped trails in the western part of the US, but not the east, and I wanna help balance that out).

Fabio seems like an all-around cool dude.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:35 AM on August 6, 2015 [2 favorites]


A little late perhaps, but Mumford & Sons have offered free entry into the Foo Fighters / Mumford & Sons Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Walla Walla, to any Cesena residents who make it here next Friday.

Video invites Italian town that made viral Foo Fighters pitch to WW
posted by wallabear at 9:28 AM on August 6, 2015


Fabio & co. have also posted a response to Dave Grohl's message.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:04 AM on August 6, 2015


Yeah, the Walla Walla thing is a fairly transparent attempt to 'go viral' on Cesena's coattails.
posted by signal at 10:26 AM on August 6, 2015


E vabbé! Fabio, Dave, vi amiamo tutti! love all round!

I love hearing guys saying "ti amo" to each other like that. I want to go to the Cesena show and see Dave Grohl hug and kiss this man on stage, at a MINIMUM. And then shake hands with every single one of the 1,000. And make a video of it. MINIMUM!

On the Walla Walla thing: oh, well, totally makes sense doesn’t it?! from Cesena to Walla Walla, just round the corner for a free concert, an offer you can’t refuse...

EmpressCallipygos: seriously? here’s a "ti amo" for you too! that is so cool of you. I browsed the "Trail me up" website it’s such a cool project isn’t it? They patented their own technology and won some awards for technological innovation in Italy too. Cool guy indeed.
posted by bitteschoen at 10:43 AM on August 6, 2015


Hm, I hadn't looked at it that way but you're probably right.
posted by wallabear at 10:44 AM on August 6, 2015


More evidence that Dave Grohl is a sellout: never mind that he doesn't stand up like a True Rocker™ during his shows, he doesn't even sing every song. Loser.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:29 PM on August 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


All the happiness in that video is just amazing. I'm in awe.
posted by gt2 at 7:33 AM on August 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


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