Foo Fighters celebrate July 4 with lots of opening acts and a mobile throne By Mark Jenkins July 5 at 1:52 PM Dave Grohl rides his motorized throne alongside bandmember Nate Mendel at the Foo Fighters 20th Anniversary Blowout at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) Foo Fighters founder-frontman Dave Grohl cultivates a reputation as a minivan-driving regular guy from Springfield, Va. But his band’s 20th anniversary celebration Saturday at RFK Stadium was a grand affair. Eight acts preceded the quintet’s arrival on stage, and the concert concluded with nothing less than a challenge to the National Park Service: the Foo Fighters’s very own 4th of July fireworks display. Also, Grohl spent most of the otherwise routine show on what he described as a “throne.” [Dave Grohl is a back-aching, coffee-guzzling, minivan-driving classic rocker] The motorized white chair wasn’t simply a regal pretension, of course. The singer-guitarist needed the mobile seat, outfitted with flashing lights and emblazoned with a large “FF” logo, because his leg is in a cast. Everyone in the teeming stadium knew that the musician had tumbled off a stage in Sweden last month, an incident he asked to have shown several times on the stage set’s video screens. The break-a-leg flashback was one of several elements that made the concert resemble an episode of “This Is Your Life” hosted by its own honoree. The two-and-half-hour show began with “Everlong,” the song that recently marked the end of “The Late Show with David Letterman.” The rest of the set was similar to the ones the Fighters played before Grohl’s Scandinavian fall, with one exception. To mark the anniversary of the band’s self-titled 1995 debut, there were more songs from that album. Such seldom-performed numbers as “For All the Cows” joined the album’s best-known tune, “This Is A Call.” Much of Grohl’s appeal stems from the fact that he remains a music fan. Friendship, admiration and hometown connections explained the concert’s eclectic lineup, which included up-and-coming Reston rap-rockers RDGLDGRN; D.C. go-go stalwart Trouble Funk; and Joan Jett, who, like Grohl, spent her formative years in the D.C. suburbs. Also on the bill were new pals from the Fighters’ “Sonic Highways” audio-video project that documented local American music scenes: Austin’s Gary Clark Jr., Chicago’s Buddy Guy and New Orleans’ Trombone Shorty. Dave Grohl performs on a mobile “throne” to a massive crowd at the anniversary concert. (Kyle Gustafson/For The Washington Post) Grohl’s fandom is usually demonstrated by an assortment of 1970s and ’80s classic-rock hits, but Saturday’s show included only a version of “Under Pressure,” with Grohl and singing drummer Taylor Hawkins in the roles of David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Grohl asked if the crowd wanted the group to play more covers or its own material, and the vote was overwhelmingly for the latter. The musician seemed a little disappointed to return to his own catalogue. Dave Grohl, preserving rock history View Photos The Foo Fighters frontman has become the face of contemporary rock. His band marks its 20th anniversary in July. Introducing an acoustic version of “My Hero,” Grohl chattily explained that he was lucky to come of age in the 1980s D.C. punk scene, where the other musicians who played such venues as the Wilson Center were his heroes. None of those former cohorts joined the musician on stage, however. The set’s only cameo was by the now-mainstream rocker’s mom, Virginia Grohl. If her appearance didn’t add anything musically, it was entirely appropriate to a show that was more amiable than exciting.