Four years ago, the Foo Fighters pulled off arguably the greatest “ Rickroll” in history. The band surprised the crowd at the 2017 Summer Sonic Festival by bringing out Rick Astley to perform with them. They then proceeded to deliver the heaviest, angriest (and NSFW) version of “Never Gonna Give You Up” ever performed. And it totally rocked. Not that it should have been that surprising. Astley’s 1987 song might have become an all-time internet gag, but it’s still a great track. Plus, Astley himself is a fantastic musician. And if there was any doubt about that he proved it this summer when he recorded an incredible acoustic rendition of the Foo Fighters’ “Everlong.”
I don’t care if you’re related to the English musician, there’s no way you expected that cover to be that good. And damn is it good. It’s so great that if you didn’t specifically know this was Rick Astley, and hadn’t seen a photo of him from the last 10-20 years, you might not have even realized who was singing. (Man that guy—and his hair—has aged well! Selling 40 million albums worldwide is great for your skin.)
His voice sounds amazing. He has a depth of tone that isn’t as apparent with his signature hit song-turned-surprise prank.
This video really did achieve what he hoped it would. As he said before playing, “Sometimes you just have to find a song that’s gonna lift your spirits and put you in another place.” This song and this performance certainly did that. It’s powerful and moving.
But again, it shouldn’t be that surprising. He might be best known today for “rickrolls,” but “ Never Gonna Give You Up” was a number one hit across the globe for a reason. It’s a killer song from a super-talented musician.
This version of “Everlong” just proves what some have known for a long time.
Featured Image: Rick Astley