Madison Square Garden in New York City hosted mega-rock band the Foo Fighters on Sunday, packing in 20,000 people as others protested outside the venue over a rule that only those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 could attend.
Proof of vaccination was required to enter, but masks were not mandated.
The show was the venue’s first in more than 460 days, shut down in the early days of the pandemic. Band leader Dave Grohl was stoked at the opening.
“We’ve been waiting for this! We’ve been waiting for the rock and roll… Do you want rock and roll?” Grohl asked the sellout crowd. “After asking the latter question three times, the collective ‘yes’ only got bigger and bigger — in just one of the times that the Foos and their delirious fans threatened to rip the roof off of the Garden,” the New York Post reported.
Later, Grohl asked guitarist Pat Smear “did you miss it?” then asked the crowd, which cheered. “Me too. I don’t think that we’d be here tonight if it weren’t for a lot of people that helped us get this far.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that “several dozen protesters carried signs reading ‘Foo Fighters fight to bring segregation back’ and ‘event for vaccinated only, unvaccinated not allowed,’ according to several Twitter posts.”
Before the show, former child actor and known anti-vaxxer Ricky Schroder ripped Grohl on Facebook, writing: “Dave Grohl is an ignorant punk who needs slapped for supporting Discrimination. Ignorance comes in all shapes & sizes. Kurt Cobain is laughing at you Dave along with Millions of Patriots… Fool.”
The Post reported that the audience and staff mostly went without masks, also noting that there were hand-sanitizer stations throughout the arena.
At one point in the show, Grohl brought out comedian Dave Chappelle to sing a cover of Radiohead’s “Creep.”
The Foo Fighters also drew protests when they performed a show last week in California.
“Anti-vaxxers showed up Tuesday night to the Canyon Club in the San Fernando Valley where they protested the Foo Fighters requiring vaccine proof in order to attend their show,” TMZ reported. “Several dozen protesters showed up, carrying signs that read ‘Foo Fighters fight to bring segregation back” as well as ‘event for vaccinated only, unvaccinated not allowed.’ Ricky Schroder — who helped the Kenosha shooter post bail — was also there, he’s been very public in his stance against vaccines.”
One protester reportedly said, “And what they’re doing is saying only vax people, separating humans is not OK. Those of us who have healthy immune systems should be able to enjoy these freedoms just like everybody else.”
Concertgoers were not thrilled to see the protesters. One person took to Twitter and said, “Some real low-quality humans at the @foofighters show in agoura hills CA tonight.” Someone else wrote, “This is what happens when you just want to attend a @foofighters concert at a small local concert hall and the next thing out know you’re a ‘Vaccine Segregationist.'”