The Long Road To Ruin: We're Trying To Get Into That Dave Grohl Surprise Gig Tonight

29 August 2017 | 4:19 pm | Mick Rad

Was it a Foo fight?

More Foo Fighters More Foo Fighters

This morning it was announced that the Foo Fighters' own Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins are in Sydney for a one-night only, surprise show at the Oxford Art Factory with their other band, Chevy Metal. Tickets are scarce and are only available from the venue box office at 1pm. Our intrepid reporter Mick has braved the odds, the cold and the hunger in his attempt to be amongst the special few at the gig tonight. This is his story from the frontline (well, the midline, really…)

The email from Frontier Touring came through early on this morning. “Foo Fighters to play secret gig!” In fact, it was just a way to get clicks, not that it's hard. Half of the Fooies - Dave Grohl, Taylor Hawkins and their cover band, Chevy Metal, announced to play the 500 capacity Oxford Arts Factory in Sydney. OMFG!

Wouldn't you know it, I had taken the day off (cough cough) to attend a Skype job interview… at 11:15! The tickets go on sale, one per person at the venue from 1pm. Should I delay the interview? Should I Skype from the line? Would I make it in time?

Don't miss a beat with our FREE daily newsletter

I smashed the interview (I hope) and then had a decision to make. Drive, Uber or train it? Considering it's midday in Sydney's CBD, the train was the obvious choice, but it's a choice that could cost me.

Arriving at Museum station, I hot-foot it down Liverpool Street to Oxford. The line snakes along Oxford, down the steps around the corner, onto Riley Street and then Norman Street behind. My heart was sinking with each step as I tried to calculate how many people were lined up. I finally reached the end, assuming a spot just around the corner on Norman… and waited. It was midday.

Eager punters flow in after me. The line was still growing, but surely there's too many. A security guard starts shaking his head at new arrivals. I think I'm borderline here. A more officious man arrives, number clicker in hand. "That's it." He declares. "That's all we can fit." He's standing 5 metres in front of me. I have been put on a waiting list. Twenty of us provide our name and mobile in the off chance a guest doesn't show. The count even splits a couple in two. Wow, that's a relationship quandary. Who gets the ticket?

The mood in the back of the line is tense, but positive. I mean, it's exciting to think we could see the great Dave Grohl in a small venue, but others, mainly those turned away, dismiss the disappointment. "If it were all of them, I would have dropped everything instead of waiting 'til lunch." Punters continue to linger, hoping for the best, despite the 'sold out' announcements. Apparently people arrived from 8am. I was still in bed then, but as they say, ‘You snooze, you lose’.

I'm 10th on the waitlist. As 1pm arrives, we start shuffling forward. The people around me speculate. "Those music industry big-wigs probably won't come. They get invited to everything." There's even word that there's no guest list. We shuffle forward more.

The guy in front of me feels bad. He left early ahead of his housemates, but he's here, they're not. That's the game. It's 1.20pm and we're still not up to Oxford Street. Surely a few people have bailed. Surely they've miscounted? The wait is unbearable!

More news filters through. They're going to open up the whole venue, gallery included. This could be good… but how do people in the gallery bar see anything? It's 1.36pm. I'm about to turn the corner onto Oxford. The finish line is nearly in sight!

The Oxford Art Factory manager comes to visit. He tells the twenty people that have provided names and numbers that they will be notified if tickets are available. This is excruciating. It's 1.51pm and we're about 40 metres from the entrance. Do I bother staying, just in case they have some left at the door? Do I go and satisfy my huge hunger?

2pm and almost… almost on Oxford Street. Two hours of queuing is hell on the back. I'm too old for this shit.

2.03pm - I can see the Oxford Art Factory sign! I've waited this long. May as well see it through to a conclusion. I just realised I only have 17 bucks in cash. (Tickets are $20) I sure hope they have eftpos…

Things are turning sour. My queuing buddies have spied a queue jumper… but it could be all for naught. 2.10pm and we're told they're all gone. That's it. Sold out. Not even a wait list will save us now… or will it?

I drown my sorrows with a kebab from around the corner. Not every story has a happy ending. Oh, and I better get that job…

Will the waitlist come through? Will Mick's effort pay off? Will he get the job? And most importantly, did he get lamb or chicken on that kebab? Keep an eye out here tomorrow for all the updates from the show.