Gigs like this don't come around very often. One of the world's biggest bands playing an intimate town hall show for 2000 or so adoring and die-hard fans. And last night's Foo Fighters show was even more special because it was all in the name of raising money for Christchurch - and with tickets going for $175 and $250 apiece, that's a fair amount of cash.

Earlier in the day, in an interview with TimeOut, frontman Dave Grohl said that when he heard about last month's quake, he asked the band's manager if there was any way they could fit in a "sneaky New Zealand gig" as part of its promotional tour to Australia for latest album, Wasting Light, which is out next month.

"If there's one good thing about music, it can heal you. Music can save your life," he said. "So if we can play for a good cause, raise a little money, and show some people a good time then we're doing a good thing."

And then bang, there they were playing their butts off for free "for the people of Christchurch", starting with a quick blast through the entirety of Wasting Light before launching into a set of greatest hits and fan favourites including everything from early hit Big Me to - "let me hear you sing it" - My Hero.

"It's going to be a long night," screamed Grohl.

While a new song like These Days comes across more like one the Foos have written before, there's new single Rope, the unbridled and shredded shrieks of White Limo, and the Nirvanaesque Back and Forth that make you fall for them all over again.

But it's the hits, starting with All My Life and then sing-a-long favourite Times Like These, that get the crowd out of their seats jumping and hollering.

And then there was everything from Long Road To Ruin, Learn To Fly and a long drawn-out rock star run around the circle of the Town Hall by Grohl during a heavy and bludgeoning version of Stacked Actors.

And one point, following Big Me, Grohl - with his lanky mop of hair, sideburns your dad would be proud of, and beaming smile - asks if we've had enough yet. "No," is the resounding reply. "Good. Me neither."

The guy is a star and this was one of those heart-pumping special shows that you know you're lucky to be at.

See the full Dave Grohl interview in tomorrow's TimeOut.