Foo Fighters: Auckland band Dick Move on what it's like to open for Dave Grohl

To score the dream gig of a lifetime is one thing. 

But to then have it snatched away by tragedy is another.  

That feeling is something Auckland socialist party-punk band Dick Move knows all too well. 

Two years ago, the group - which lead vocalist Lucy Suttor says "was formed at Whammy! bar in the depths of Karangahape road back in 2019" - was hand-picked to open for Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters when their 2022 tour of New Zealand was announced. 

"We were put forward with a selection of other bands by Frontier Touring, the promoter. The Foos then selected us from the group," Suttor told Newshub, before revealing she "wasn't aware at this time that we had even been submitted". 

"When Lulu (the band's bassist) casually asked us at Wine Cellar, 'Do we want to open for Foo Fighters?', I thought it was a joke. Once the disbelief had subsided, it was a big 'yes' from us." 

"Our audiences usually sit within the 100-250 mark, so we were pretty pumped to have the chance to push ourselves way outside our comfort level," she laughed. 

For Suttor the most surreal part of the experience came when they were asked to send some of their back catalogue to Grohl. 

"Grohl is an avid record collector apparently, and once we had accepted the opening slot we were asked if we could send him some of our vinyl; certainly a testament to him being a pretty cool guy I reckon. Packing up some records to send to Dave Grohl was a pretty buzzy feeling I must say." 

But fate had other plans on the eve of the news they'd be joining the rock icons on the road.  

Dick Move will be touring with the Foos, two years after they scored their dream gig.
Dick Move will be touring with the Foos, two years after they scored their dream gig. Photo credit: Instagram - Dick Move

In March 2023, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins was found dead in a hotel room in Bogota, Colombia, where the Foo Fighters were due to play at the Festival Estéreo Picnic. 

For Suttor and the band, the news cut deep. 

"It was only a matter of a few weeks between announcing that we would be joining them on tour and then finding out that Taylor Hawkins had tragically died in Colombia. Taylor was an essential and long-time player in Foo Fighters, so of course we felt devastated for them," she said. 

"We also believed there was a high chance they wouldn't reform with a new drummer, so we just accepted that. It was pretty gutting, but we completely understood the gravity of it." 

Then in January last year, there was a glimmer of hope as it was announced the 'Monkey Wrench' hitmakers would continue to play after months of soul-searching about their future. 

"To find out a year later that they would be returning with Josh Freese on drums and that we were back on the bill was a huge and very welcome surprise, and re-ignited the excitement - and the nerves!" Suttor told Newshub on the eve of the gigs which kick off this weekend. 

In the intervening years since securing the opening slot, losing it and then regaining it, Dick Move has been busy.

"We have also been lucky enough to join a few other international bands on their tours of Aotearoa and Australia, so it has been a busy time for us. All of this has definitely helped us grow as a band and writing new music/putting out an album in election year has definitely given us a lot of fire to work with," she revealed. 

"We write about important political and social issues and deliver them in a fun, loud and very fast package. Most of our songs only reach the one-minute-30 mark, so our live performances are a pretty high energy affair." 

As for the shows in Aotearoa, which kick off on Saturday at Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium before hitting Wellington and Christchurch, Suttor said the band has a mission. 

"Of course, the idea of potential new doors opening after playing a stadium tour is exciting, but in addition to that, we are really hoping to get a whole new audience pumped up and invested in New Zealand music.  

"It's massively important that international acts include local talent on the bill when they tour NZ, there is so much incredible talent here it would be a waste not to. The industry as a whole is still getting back on its feet after years of lost momentum, so the opportunity to have exposure at that scale and the chance to play to potentially tens of thousands of people is epic, we feel very lucky." 

The desire to make New Zealand great on the global gig stage is something Suttor holds deep as a personal crusade. 

"In the past I've felt very proud and inspired by watching friends open for big acts, so I hope there's a bit of that too. To put it very simply, I hope people have fun watching us, it's a bonus if they connect to the subject matter of our songs, and double bonus if we see some women up the front having a sick time." 

Dick Move supports Breeders and Foo Fighters on their tour of Aotearoa - they play Auckland's Mt Smart Stadium on Saturday, January 20, Christchurch on Wednesday, January 24 before finishing up at Wellington's Sky Stadium on Saturday, January 27.