A Bright Green Fireball Outshone the Foo Fighters at Their Own Concert

Even better than a Virginia Moon.


After 24 years of nonstop recording and touring, the Foo Fighters can’t be blamed for losing a little of their spark. Fortunately for the aging band, the universe turned up the excitement at their June 16 concert in the Netherlands by providing a surprise light show. As Twitter footage revealed, a bright green meteor crashed through the sky just as drummer Taylor Hawkins was finishing a solo.

The timing of the meteor and the drum solo is uncanny. In the video below, the green flash of light appears in time with the final beats, silencing the crowd for a split second, then the meteor’s tail disappears just as the cymbals crash and the guitars kick in.

You might even think that Dave Grohl and co., who were performing at the Pinkpop Festival in Landgraaf, had even timed it just so, but as it turns out there were no periodic meteor showers predicted for the area at the time. The bright green beauty, as captured by Twitter users, was just a freak fireball — a term for a meteor that’s brighter than Venus in the morning or evening sky.

In addition to Dutch Foo Fighters fans, people in Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Switzerland, the UK, and France saw the fireball as well, according to the International Meteor Organization, which compiled 197 sightings of the fireball.

Its vivid green hue is the result of its chemical composition. As anyone who’s watched fireworks before, different elements display different colors when they vaporize. Strontium, for example, makes red, while copper compounds produce blue. According to the America Meteor Society, green meteors get their hue from a high nickel content, though here on Earth we make green fireworks using barium chloride. In the photo captured by German photographer Uwe Reichert, this fireball appeared to be nickel-rich indeed.

The show-ending green flash might have been exactly the statement the band needed — especially amid recent concerns that Dave Grohl might have permanently damaged his voice.

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