Pictures by Philippa Thomas

IT was cold, cloudy and threatened to rain throughout. Well, what else would you expect from an open air concert in Manchester?

But Foo Fighters seemed to beat the gloomy weather into submission with a performance at Old Trafford Cricket Ground which felt more like a festival performance than a city gig.

The sell-out show saw 50,000 people cramming into the stadium and soon warmed up with revellers cheering, clapping and singing along throughout.

As the evening progressed, fans were jumping around or dancing wildly in circle pits during the two and a half hour set.

The concert was a reminder how anthemic and accomplished Foo Fighters' music with Dave Grohl at the helm as a natural frontman.

Affable, cool, confident, the 46-year-old told the crowd his band had been around for 20 years.

Starting with Everlong, the Foo Fighters went on to play a cross section of hits and favourites from all eight of their albums. There was a lot to go at.

Former Nirvana drummer Grohl usually goes out on a runway during his shows to play acoustic songs and get a little closer to the crowd.

And the Old Trafford gig was no different despite the singer being warned not to because of the impending rain (which actually never fell).

The crowd sang along to Skin and Bone and My Hero and this led to one of the highlights of the night when Grohl brought a starstruck eight-year-old boy up on stage to sing Times Like These with him.

Frankie may have been the youngest but it proved to be an interesting, diverse crowd with fans in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s side-by-side.

It paid tribute to the fact that Foo Fighters have passed the test of time and have such a wide appeal. They are now arguably bigger than Nirvana.

Another highlight was when the band played some of the classic rock songs that inspired them to electrifying effect.

This included Rod Stewart's Stay With Me, AC/DC's Let There Be Rock and Queen's Under Pressure.

But it was the band's own songs like The Pretender, All My Life and Breakout which got the best reaction from the crowd while Monkey Wrench, earlier in the night, morphed into a well-polished jam session.

Grohl admitted that he lost his battle of the bands in high school but this incredible Manchester gig was proof he is here to stay as one of the biggest names in rock.