Foo tour: 2 stages, big band, but no pyro


The Foo Fighters are "stepping it up" for their upcoming U.S. arena tour, says the band's bassist Nate Mendel, noting that fans should expect two stages, mechanical gags and a huge production.

"We're also bringing out a bigger show than we've ever done before," Mendel tells "We did this acoustic tour last year with an eight-piece band, and we're bringing that band along for our regular rock show this time."

The upcoming jaunt begins Jan. 16 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Fla., and is scheduled to run through early March. The tour is in support of the band's sixth studio album "Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace" (Roswell/RCA Records), which has sold 427,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

At deadline, the Foo Fighters did not have plans to perform on any Stateside music festivals, according to Mendel. "We've been concentrating on (playing) overseas for the last couple of records, and in a lot of people's mind's have kind of neglected the U.S., especially some of the smaller cities," he says. "So this time we're going to be touring a lot more intensely in the U.S."

As for the different stage setups on its upcoming jaunt, "there's a main stage and we also have an acoustic stage. We're splitting the setup in dynamics and also in physical location," Mendel says.

Various musicians will also be used for a "handful" of songs during the band's live set. "Sometimes it will be the eight-piece band for louder songs," he explains, citing the act's recent single "The Pretender." "Then we'll be doing a quieter, laid-back acoustic section that uses the larger band."

Mendel declined to provide additional details about the tour's "mechanical gags," but laughed, saying there will be "no pyro."

Along with five recent Grammy nominations stemming from "Echoes," including album of the year, the Foos just broke the record for most consecutive weeks at No. 1 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart, where "The Pretender" has reigned for 17 frames.

"We were trying for the first time to stretch out and do something new, because we kind of need to -- we've been around for a long time," Mendel says of the latest album. "We purposely kept things pretty simple and direct for a while, and maybe took that as far as we could."

Meanwhile, although nothing is yet finalized, Mendel is in discussions with Jeremy Enigk and William Goldsmith, his bandmates in the Fire Theft, about regrouping. "Jeremy, William and I are talking about what to do next," he says. "We're not really quite sure. But we're making some plans to play together in one way or another -- hopefully next year."