When it was announced on Wednesday that Foo Fighters would be the final musical guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, we all seemingly nodded our heads as if to say, yeah that makes sense. Because of course it does. Foo Fighters are Letterman’s favorite band. So, it was only fitting that on a night when the Ed Sullivan Theater was chock-full of his favorite people, the Foo Signal would go out, and his favorite band would answer the call. And even more fitting, his favorite band would play his favorite song, “Everlong.”
The Foo Fighters first appeared on Letterman’s show back in 1995, making their network television debut. Fresh-faced and raw, they performed a blistering version of “This Is a Call.”
We’re not totally sure if this is where the bromance started between the band and host, but in the years to come, Foo Fighters became frequent guests on the show. They seemed to cement their role as Letterman’s favorite band in February 2000, when, upon returning from emergency quintuple bypass surgery that sidelined him for several weeks, Letterman requested the Foos be the musical guests on his first show back. According to Letterman, who spoke about the appearance on Wednesday’s final show before introducing the band, Foo Fighters cancelled a tour in South America to be there “and happily every since, we (Letterman and the Foo Fighters) have been joined at the hip.”
“My favorite band playing my favorite song.”
Beyond those two moments, the first and the most sentimental, here are six of the best moments of Foo Fighters on Late Show.
“War Pigs,” featuring Zac Brown
In October 2014, the band hung out at the Ed Sullivan Theater for a week-long residency, celebrating their new album and the HBO miniseries connected to it, Sonic Highways. The miniseries was co-produced by Letterman’s production company, World Wide Pants, and Grohl says Letterman was an early backer of the project. The residency had its fair share of highlights, but easily one of the best moments was when the band was joined by Brown — who appears on the Nashville episode of Sonic Highways — to cover the Black Sabbath classic.
On tour supporting There’s Nothing Left to Lose, the band played a big-time version of their big hit.
They’ll Fight Foo for You
The band’s 2014 residency wasn’t limited to inspired musical performances. Unless, of course, this isn’t the Foo Fighters, and the whole thing is just a wild coincidence.
In 2011, the band played a two-hour show in the Ed Sullivan Theater, with parts being broadcast on The Late Show. Trading in their flannels and t-shirts, the band went with a Beatles look.
“He Let Us Use the Studio for the Night”
Dedicated to Letterman and with the polished Beatles look starting to fade, the Foos rage through what I think we can all agree is one of the band’s best songs, “My Hero.”
One More Round for Sentimentality
Come for the heart-warming introduction, stay for the song!
Letterman, worried that he and his son wouldn’t have anything to do together due to Letterman being older than most fathers of 4-year-olds, set out to learn how to ski with him. On the last day of their lessons, their instructor filmed the two of them skiing. Weeks later, Letterman received the video and was taken aback by the instructor’s choice of a soundtrack, the Foo Fighters’ song “Miracle.” It has since become Letterman’s second favorite Foo Fighters tune. They played the song special for Letterman in a web-only performance as part of that week-long residency.
Going forward, no one knows what Letterman will do next, or if he’ll do anything at all. But we can all agree that the Foo Fighters will be involved.