Krewe du Foo, we hardly knew you.
The Fillmore New Orleans had booked itself a splashy grand opening weekend with the Foo Fighters, one of the most popular rock bands in the world.
The Foos were to open the Fillmore, the multi-million-dollar, 2,200-capacity venue on the second level of Harrah's New Orleans casino, across two nights on Feb. 15-16. On Feb. 14, Dave Grohl, who discovered the joys of marching in the streets of New Orleans while filming the HBO series "Sonic Highways" in town in 2014, and his bandmates were to lead a mini-Carnival/Valentine's Day parade dubbed the Krewe du Foo Broken Hearts Social Club parade downtown.
Tickets for the Fillmore concerts sold out quickly, despite prices that started at $270 for standing-room general admission and ranged up to $399 for reserved stadium seating. Local favorites Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band were to be the opening acts
It was going to be a high-profile grand opening, the result of much planning and checkbook diplomacy. And then it fell apart.
On Monday, the band announced via social medial that the Fillmore concerts would be postponed to May 15-16 due to a "band member injury." Neither the band member nor the nature of the injury were disclosed.
Tickets for the original shows will be honored on the new dates. Refunds are also available at the point of purchase, but refund requests must be made by Feb. 18.
Now the first act to perform at the new Fillmore will be hard rock band Coheed & Cambria on Feb. 18. Duran Duran then arrives for two shows on Feb. 19-20, the first of which is sold out.
The Fillmore New Orleans was developed by Live Nation Entertainment and is named for the famed San Francisco venue of the 1960s. Live Nation had the clout and resources to book the Foo Fighters, a band that normally headlines much larger arenas, for the Fillmore's grand opening. Besides being a marquee name, the Foo Fighters were an appropriate choice because of their history with the city.
The band spent a week in New Orleans in May 2014 to film "Sonic Highways," which followed the Foo Fighters as they recorded an album of the same name in various cities with rich musical histories. The week culminated with a surprise Foo Fighters concert at Preservation Hall. The ancient venue's French doors were opened to St. Peter Street; the resulting crush of fans shut down traffic.
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews sat in with the Foo Fighters that night, as he has on other occasions. When Shorty's Voodoo Threauxdown tour passed through Los Angeles in September, Grohl played drums with Orleans Avenue for an instrumental version of Nirvana's "In Bloom." Grohl has also thumped a bass drum at the Grammy Awards while marching with Preservation Hall.
The Foo Fighters staged a surprise show at the House of Blues – like the Fillmore, it is owned by Live Nation – in 2014 to herald the premiere of the New Orleans "Sonic Highways" episode. Grohl and company have also headlined the Voodoo Experience in City Park twice, most recently on an especially cold night in 2017.
“We couldn’t be more excited to have Foo Fighters come to town to highlight our opening nights,” Ben Weeden, COO of Live Nation's club and theaters division, said in a statement when the Fillmore's grand opening was announced. “With Trombone Shorty and the Preservation Hall guys opening up, we feel so honored to be able to combine New Orleans' rich musical heritage with one of the world’s most popular artists – it’s the perfect way to get things started.”
Until it wasn't. Whatever debilitating injury occurred, it must have been serious. Grohl broke his leg during a stadium show in Sweden in 2015, but famously returned to the stage on a stretcher – with a paramedic stabilizing the injury – to play a few more songs.
The Foo Fighters performed as scheduled in Atlanta on Saturday night for a DIRECTV pre-Super Bowl concert streamed live on Twitter. Barely 24 hours later, they announced the New Orleans dates were delayed. Their statement read in part, "The band apologizes for any inconvenience caused by the rescheduling. They regret that they will no longer be able to christen The Fillmore New Orleans, but promise to bring it in May."
One thing they won't be bringing in May: the Krewe du Foo parade. It is cancelled altogether.