Foo Fighters named opening act at new SW DC music venue

WASHINGTON — D.C.’s newest music venue, The Anthem, opens at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront on Oct. 12, 2017, and now we know the headliner.

Concert promoter I.M.P. announced Monday the show will boast hometown heroes The Foo Fighters.

Tickets go on sale to the public this Friday, June 16 at 10 a.m. through or in person at 9:30 Club, Merriweather Post Pavilion and Lincoln Theatre during their normal box office hours.

Foo Fighters founder Dave Grohl spent his formative years at the original 9:30 Club on F Street, first as a patron then behind the drums in Scream and Nirvana. Later, Grohl would play the new 9:30 Club location with The Foo Fighters and Them Crooked Vultures. Most recently, he played Lincoln Theatre with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and The Foo Fighters’ 20th anniversary tour at RFK Stadium.

“There was never any question about who would open. There was no Plan B,” I.M.P. chairman Seth Hurwitz said. “It was always just the Foos. I texted Dave some photos of the venue after we started building it and asked him ‘Who else should open it?’ He said ‘Nobody.’ That was the end of it.”

A couple of months ago, Hurwitz actually walked Grohl through The Anthem during construction.

“When I gave him the tour … he stood where the stage is and looked all around and said, ‘It’s like an arena — but it’s like the 9:30,'” Hurwitz said. “That was exactly what I wanted to hear.”

Grohl himself sang the venue’s praises, ratcheting up the excitement.

“The new place is set to become the number one venue in America, I s**t you not,” Grohl said. “It has the illusion of a stadium, but the intimacy of a nightclub. It’s perfect. From a production standpoint, it’s got everything an arena-touring band would need, but it offers a tighter vibe with an audience than those bigger rooms. Every vantage point is the best seat in the house. I mean, they really put a lot of thought into the audience perspective. Doesn’t matter where you are: on the floor, in a balcony, at the bar, you’re going to feel close to the band.”

Later this month, I.M.P. will announce more than a dozen 2017 shows at The Anthem, which will have a flexible capacity of anywhere between 2,500 and 6,000 people. The venue will cost $60 million to build as part of The Wharf, the waterfront development by PN Hoffman and Madison Marquette.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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