The Foo Fighters say an emotional goodbye to drummer Taylor Hawkins with a star-studded tribute concert | Ents & Arts News
The Foo Fighters paid a moving tribute to their late bandmate and “brother” Taylor Hawkins with a “gigantic” concert celebrating his life.
On an emotional evening at Wembley Stadium, the leader Dave Grohl fought back tears and had to steady himself as he took the mic to sing the first foo fighters concert song, Times Like These; the cheers of the audience lifting him up.
Drummers including Travis Barker, Rufus Taylor, Omar Hakim and young internet sensation Nandi Bushell were among the musicians who played behind the frontman for some of the band’s biggest hits – with Hawkins‘ teenage son, Shane, in turn taking a poignant My Hero.
And the surprise addition to an already star-studded bill was the surprise addition of Paul McCartney, who played alongside Chrissie Hynde and Grohl of The Pretenders – who alternated between drums, guitar and bass throughout. of the night.
At the start of what would be a six-hour concert, Grohl paid tribute to “our dear friend, our bandmate, our brother”.
He continued: “For those of you who knew him personally, you know that no one else can make you smile, laugh, dance or sing like him, and for those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you all felt the same.”
The leader then urged the crowd to “sing and dance and laugh and cry and f****** scream and make some fucking noise so he can hear us right now, ’cause you know it’s alright be a long fucking night, right?”
After the introduction, Liam Gallagher opened the event with performances of Oasis hits Rock ‘N’ Roll Star and Live Forever, with Grohl playing drums behind him.
Supergrass, Rush, AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson, Nile Rodgers, Josh Homme and Kesha were among the other musicians who performed at the show, with Grohl’s daughter Violet also joining to sing Jeff Buckley’s Grace, and later Valerie with Mark. Ronson.
The event was also intercut with footage of Hawkins and video tributes from stars like Elton John and Stevie Nicks.
As night fell, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor – one of Hawkins’ musical heroes – came out to perform hits such as We Will Rock You, Under Pressure and Love Of My Life, another stirring number as May remembered Freddie Mercury – and told the crowd he would have been happy to share the song in memory of the drummer.
Hawkins was known for switching places with Grohl at some of the band’s gigs, his renditions of ever-fan-favorite Queen songs; for this performance, the Queen stars were joined by various singers, including Justin Hawkins of The Darkness and Eurovision star Sam Ryder.
“When we started talking about putting together something for Taylor, we sat down and said even though they’re his closest friends, it’s like 100 f****** musicians,” Grohl told the crowd during the show.
“Because Taylor loved to jam and record with anyone and everyone. He loved playing music every day. And there aren’t too many people he’s never jammed with.
“So this collection of friends and family and musicians, it’s all brought together by him and we’re all connected here today by this one guy.
“Bringing musicians who’ve never met, musicians who’ve never played together, all in one place, at one time, with all of you beautiful people to make f****** noise for Taylor Hawkins.”
Later introducing Hawkins’ son, Grohl said, “Let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hit the drums as hard as this person, but beyond that, he’s part of our family.”
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jason Sudeikis were also among the actors who took the stage to share anecdotes about their relationship with Hawkins and his music.
And in his pre-recorded message, Sir Elton John told the audience: “He performed on my last album, which I was so delighted and honored with. So tonight is about remembering him, honoring him and never to forget it.”
After hits such as Best Of You, Monkey Wrench, All My Life and The Pretender, the evening ended with Grohl performing a moving rendition of Everlong.
Hawkins, 50, was with the rest of the band in the Colombian capital of Bogota when he died in March ahead of a scheduled concert at the festival.
Speaking ahead of the gig, the band – Nate Mendel, Chris Shiflett, Pat Smear, Rami Jaffee and Grohl – said they wanted to honor their bandmate by celebrating his talent.
The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts have been put on by the band and Hawkins’ wife, Alison, and another concert is scheduled for Los Angeles later in September.
Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, taking over the batons from former Nirvana drummer Grohl, having previously toured with Alanis Morissette. He first appeared with the band on tour in support of their second album The Color & The Shape before making his recorded debut on There Is Nothing Left To Lose in 1999.
He continued to play on all subsequent albums and occasionally took over lead vocal duties on songs such as Cold Day In The Sun and Sunday Rain.
As a member of Foo Fighters, he was a 15-time Grammy winner and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and had several solo and side projects. Shortly before his death, he had played with the band in their Studio 666 horror movie parody.
Funds from tickets and merchandise from tribute shows in his memory will go to charities Music Support and MusiCares.