Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl Performs On Stage with Prodigy 'Arch-Nemesis' 11-Year-Old Nandi Bushell

"We've had the honor to jam with some pretty amazing people over the years. Some Beatles, some [Rolling] Stones, some Pink Floyds. But this one right here takes the cake," Grohl said on stage

"Tonight was the first night I came face to face with my arch-nemesis!" proclaimed Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl.

All simmering "feuds" were joyously resolved as he welcomed 11-year-old drumming phenom Nandi Bushell – with whom he engaged a playful online drum battle amid the pandemic — to the stage for an epic performance of "Everlong" at The Forum in Los Angeles on Thursday.

Calling Bushell "the most badass drummer in the world," Grohl sang the praises of the British pre-teen whom he says bested him in their viral drum duels.

"We've had the honor to jam with some pretty amazing people over the years. Some Beatles, some [Rolling] Stones, some Pink Floyds. But this one right here takes the cake," he said on stage.

Bushell became a YouTube sensation in 2019 with her performance of "In Bloom," a song by Grohl's previous band Nirvana, and in the midst of the pandemic, she posted a video of her tale on "Everlong" along with a "drum-off" challenge aimed directly at her percussionist hero.

"One day I picked up my phone, and my friends were all texting me asking if I had seen this s--t? And I clicked on the link and I see someone is challenging me to a drum-off," Grohl told the crowd at The Forum. "So I'm like, 'Isn't that nice?' I kind of brush it off. But all my friends tell me, 'No dude, you have to step up. This is the real deal. This is a drum-off!'"

"So I respond. I said alright, I'll play nice. But then she comes back, and she whoops my f---ing ass in front of the entire planet," explained Grohl. "Round three! I do something else, and she comes back and kicks my f---ing ass again."

Dave Grohl, Nandi Bushell
Donato Sardella/Getty; Nandi Bushell/Instagram

Not only was Grohl blown away by Bushell's talent and passion for her instrument, but he was also struck by the sheer delight their online showdown brought to so many people during an especially trying time.

"This person inspired me last year so much, and I'll tell you why," Grohl said. "Because in a time when you would pick up your phone or turn on your computer and all we had was bad news, for that one day, you'd pick up your phone and see that connection between two people who never making music together and spreading joy and love all across the world."

Indeed, the hundreds of Foo Fighters fans filling The Forum gave Bushell – appropriately clad in red plaid flannel – an enthusiastic welcome as she jubilantly took the stage and took her place on a drum kit, spinning her drumstick confidently in the air before launching into a thunderous rendition of "Everlong" with the band to close the show.

As she finished, Grohl led her to center of the stage where, arms triumphantly aloft, she soaked up a loud round of cheers and applause.

"It Happened!!! It was #EPIC!!!" Bushell later posted on YouTube alongside a video of her performance. "Tonight I jammed with the @foofighters live @theforum!!! Wow!!! What an INCREDIBLE night! THANK YOU @foofighters @davestruestories! Thank you @taylorhawkinsofficial thank you everyone who made this possible!!! #foofighters #davegrohl #theforum #everlong – It's my Daddy screaming a lot and filmed this video. MORE TO COME!!!"

The climax capped an especially playful and electric two-hour performance by Foo Fighters, who along with roaring through their many concert staples and deep cuts indulged in some eclectic cover songs, including the Bee Gees' "You Should Be Dancing" (the band, as the "Dee Gees," recently released Hail Satin, an entire album of Bee Gees covers, recorded during the pandemic), Queen's "Somebody to Love" with drummer Taylor Hawkins singing lead vocals while Grohl took on drum duties, and the Rolling Stones' "Miss You," in tribute to that group's drummer Charlie Watts, who died of cancer earlier in the week.

The tour has also become a family affair for Grohl: his 15-year-old daughter Violet appeared as one of the group's backup vocalists throughout the concert.

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