Watch Rick Astley Cover Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” in England

Have you ever seen Rick Astley play guitar? I mean, really, have you ever watched the man behind “Never Gonna Give You Up” pick up a fuzzed-out Fender Telecaster and start furiously strumming in drop D? You have now.

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On September 17 at a Radio 2 in the Park performance in Leicester, England, Astley played “one of the best songs ever,” and one that you might not typically associate with him. He covered Foo Fighters‘ immortal 1997 alt-rock anthem “Everlong.”

[RELATED: 35 Years Later Rick Astleys’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” is Stronger Than Ever]

“I like playing other people’s songs,” Astley said at the mic before ripping into the tune. “Are you in the mood for us to murder one of the best songs ever?”

Astley and Dave Grohl, for what it’s worth, seem to be pals. Back in 2017, they performed together in Japan, playing “Never Gonna Give You Up” with a full rock-band arrangement. It was a cool moment, and Astley sort of reciprocated in 2020, covering “Everlong” in an acoustic arrangement during COVID lockdowns.

And here in Leicester, Astley and his band absolutely smash it. There’s a bit of a disconnect hearing that voice — burly and British — finding Grohl’s well-known melody. But once that settles, it becomes one of the most unexpected and fun live music moments that’s happened recently.

Astley is gearing up for his new album, Are We There Yet?, set to drop on October 6. It’s inspired by soul greats like Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and Bill Withers.

“Everlong” has a strange power. It was famously David Letterman’s favorite song, and he got the Foos to perform it during his last-ever Late Show in 2015. After Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins died in 2022, it was used as the final song during the tribute show in Hawkins’ memory, with Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith sitting behind the kit.

Hearing it in this context, with Astley and his band — complete with backup singers — grinding it out in 2023, is a unique pleasure. Like the first time someone ever put chocolate and peanut butter together. Check out the fun below.

Photo by Cameron Smith/Getty Images

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