Mostly recognized for his work with mega rock band, Foo Fighters, Chris Shiflett has also been releasing side projects since as early as 2010. A radical left turn from his Grammy Award winning albums with the Foo Fighters, Chris’ solo work is more in the country rock lane. It’s twangy, jangly, and takes more of a singer-songwriter approach than most people might expect from the Foo’s lead guitarist. Originally listening to his records, it opened my eyes to a whole new genre and made me appreciate his personal approach to songwriting.
Chris played a sold out show of 300 in an intimate setting and the crowd sat engaged as he charmed the pants off of them. It gave us, the audience, a rare moment where we had the privilege of watching a man with his guitar dig deep into his soul and share stories from the last 20 plus years on the road. One of my favorite moments from that evening was when he shared where the inspiration for his song “Sticks and Stones” came from. He went on to explain how his 15-year-old son was going through his first break up, except he was the heart-breaker. We shared a laugh in the midsts of Chris’ reminiscence and he would then go on to the next song. It was like that for most of his set; sharing stories and laughing. For me, being a super Foo Fighters fan, it was this weird and surreal experience to be watching this person whose music I’ve idolized for the last two decades stand three feet in front of me. If you get a chance to see him play, please do. It’s one thing to go see a Foo Fighters’ show with 30,000 other people, but a totally different thing to see him in a small club where you’ll eventually run into him out in the looby like I did.
Austin Newkirk is a San Francisco Bay Area photographer. You’ll likely find him in one of three places - out at the beach with his dog, Ky, at a brewery sipping on a stout, or out shooting your next favorite band.