Sonic Highways (DVD)

Foo Fighters

Roswell, 2015

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


With this most impressive work of filmmaking, Dave Grohl has done the most ambitious thing he could possibly do: go to eight different cities in the U.S. and chronicle the music scene in each city while simultaneously recording a new Foo Fighters record. While Grohl started off with a seemingly overly ambitious scope, ultimately, the whole series comes across as just okay.

Going to places like Seattle, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles helps shed some insight on the history of the band, while others like New Orleans and Chicago really help expose the viewer to the rich musical history in each city. One interesting question is what happened to the Los Angeles episode? It’s interesting to talk to Pat Smear about the Germs, but why spend so much time of the episode talking about Fred Drake and Kyuss? True, Kyuss are very important, but there are so many other bands that could’ve been talked about in that particular episode.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

One major flaw is the making of the record. This tactic was used at the end of Grohl’s previous project, “Sound City,” and it ruined the scope of the film. While some fans might love an inside look into what goes on behind the scenes of recording, it ultimately comes across as very boring and quite unnecessary. That leads into the DVD’s special features, which promise extended interviews and more behind the scenes footage. Though quite a promise, the interviews are just short snippets and the behind the scenes footage is just stupid.

Though Grohl succeeds in some areas of his scope, certain episodes just seem to miss the mark. New York and Nashville are the episodes that seem to be missing the most information. Both of these episodes just seem to whitewash over so much of the cities musical legacy in favor of talking about certain items. With so much to talk about, how could one possibly cram it all into an hour? Grohl tries admirably but sometimes misses the mark. However, his take on storytelling and interviews is very impressive, as he asks all the right questions to the right people.

In the end, anyone looking to gain a new knowledge of music might want to try here first to get an overview over a particular city’s music scene, but it’s probably best to go elsewhere to gain a better understanding into the music and how the cities helped inspire the music overall.

Rating: C

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