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COMMENTARY: Anti-Vaxxers Protest Sold-Out Vaccinated-Only Foo Fighters Show At MSG

Concerts are back! But only if you’re vaccinated.

Sunday night saw the legendary New York City venue Madison Square Garden hosting its first concert in 15 months, a vaccinated-only, sold-out show by veteran rock band Foo Fighters. Attendees had to show proof of vaccination when purchasing the tickets, which were digital-only and impossible to screenshot, keeping scalping at almost zero. Children under 16 were permitted if they provided proof of a negative Covid-19 test or full vaccination and were accompanied by a vaccinated adult. Merchandise for the band, as well as food and drinks, was available at cashless kiosks. Fans shared pictures and videos throughout the night on social media, showing the packed crowd singing along with hits like “My Hero” and “Everlong” at the top of their lungs, just like in the Before Times.

Foo Fighters had played a smaller warm-up show closer to their Los Angeles home last Tuesday at the Canyon in Agoura Hills on a day where temperatures soared to 110 degrees. The 600-seat venue sold out instantly, with tickets once again available only to those who could show proof of vaccination. A smaller group of anti-vaxxers, including actor Ricky Schroder, also protested the Canyon show, standing with people carrying signs comparing the band to segregationists and worse.

The band who once famously trolled the Westboro Baptist Church for picketing at one of their shows didn’t even acknowledge the minor controversy outside, because they were too busy rocking inside.

Videos from the Madison Square Garden show the band opening with a touching, almost reverent version of “Times Like These”, which was originally written in 2002 but has become an anthem for the end of the pandemic.

The simple pleasure of just being back at a live concert wasn’t lost on lead singer Dave Grohl, who spent plenty of time letting the audience know he was just as happy to be there as they were.

Grohl, who somehow managed to remain ubiquitous in quarantine, said he “missed the attention” of the crowds.

For some, it was their first Foo Fighters concert as well as their first concert back after the lockdowns. For the long-time fans (who were treated to deep cuts like “Aurora”, this writer’s personal favorite), it was the perfect way to feel like their old selves again. For people on Twitter who identify as “not really fans of the Foo Fighters”, it was a chance to see just what they’ve been missing out on.

And if all of that wasn’t cool enough for you, comedian Dave Chappelle made a surprise appearance and sang Radiohead’s “Creep”, which delighted the crowd.

Concerts are back! But only if you’re vaccinated.

 



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