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.