One of the most secretive and stellar concerts to ever hit Santa Barbara’s State Street strip landed at the Velvet Jones club last Friday night, January 28, when the Grammy winning rock band known as the Foo Fighters played their entire new album straight through and then their greatest hits for more than two hours in a totally unannounced show.
For the fans who were lucky enough to catch the last minute word-of-mouth buzz, they’ve got one big organization to thank: the New Noise Music Foundation, the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that hosts the annual New Noise Santa Barbara music conference and festival while working all year long to bring live music to town. The event raised $2,000 for New Noise.
“We were honored to host the Foo Fighters at such a small venue,” said New Noise executive director Jeff Theimer, whose friendship with Foo Fighters guitarist and Santa Barbara native Chris Shiflett led to the show. “I know for both him, the band, the fans, and the New Noise Music Foundation, it was a special night that will not soon be forgotten.”
Video: Ben Wagner
Theimer also gave a shout out to the legions of New Noise volunteers, Velvet Jones, Mariachi El Bronx (who opened the night with an amazing set), and the New Noise donors for their help in making this secret show a reality. “Without all of them, this night could not have happened,” said Theimer. “The vibe at Velvet Jones has never been so energizing and positive. It reminded me of why I started playing music and why it’s important that New Noise continues to support all the great local artists and music venues in Santa Barbara. Without them, our local scene is not possible.”
A bonus on the night happened at the end, when the Foos donated two of their Mesa Boogie amps — which were used in recording their new record — to Notes for Notes (www.notesfornotes.org), a Santa Barbara-based nonprofit that builds professional recording environments for kids to learn how to rock properly. Said Theimer, “Not only did they play an amazing show, they left behind something for the local music community, which is a testament to their rawness.”
For more information on the New Noise Music Foundation, see www.newnoisesb.com.
Here are some reviews of the performance:
* The Santa Barbara Independent: http://www.independent.com/news/2011/jan/29/foo-fighters-rock-secret-show/
* Antiquiet.com: http://www.antiquiet.com/features/shows/2011/01/foo-fighters-santa-barbara-review/
* YouTube.com videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOsFM5jKt2g