The music community comes together today to celebrate the life and work of the late drummer Taylor Hawkins, launching the first of two tribute shows scheduled for this month at Wembley Stadium in London and the Kia Forum in Los Angeles. The Foo Fighters took to the stage at Wembley Stadium around 11.30am ET today, appearing visibly moved as Dave Grohl delivered an impassioned speech to kick off the festivities as the crowd chanted ‘Taylor’ in the background.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have gathered here to celebrate the life, music and love of our dear friend, bandmate, brother Taylor Hawkins. For those of you who knew him personally, you know no one else could make you smile or laugh or dance or sing like they could. And for those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you all felt the same way.” Grohl said.
“So tonight we’ve come together with family and his closest friends, his musical heroes and his biggest inspirations to give you a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person. So sing and dance and laugh and cry and fuckin’ scream and make some fuckin’ noise so he can hear us right now ‘Cause you know what, it’s gonna be a fuckin’ long night, right Are you ready Are you ready Are you fuckin’ loan?
The Foos are known for delivering marathon, hour-long sets and today’s tribute seems to deliver the same.
The first performance came from Liam Gallagher of Oasis who joined the Foos on stage (with Grohl at the drummer’s seat) to deliver meaningful renditions of “Rock N Roll Star” and “Live Forever”. Gallagher previously tweeted a heartfelt message on the day Hawkins died and also paid the same “Live Forever” tribute to Hawkins at a concert in London around the same time, saying, “I dedicate this last song to the one and only Taylor fucking Hawkins. This is for you, my brother.
Other guests so far on the show have included comedian Dave Chapelle who delivered an anecdote about hosting Saturday Night Live when the Foos were the musical guest in 2020, and commented on watching Hawkins be a doting dad to his kids behind the scenes. The cameras then turned to Hawkins’ children in the audience.
All eyes were of course on the musicians instead of the drummer for each set. David Bowie’s drummer Omar Hakim was one of them, joined by CHIC’s Nile Rodgers and Josh Homme on vocals for a cover of “Let’s Dance”, Bowie being a Hawkins favorite. Gaz Coombes of Supergrass also appeared. Rodgers recalled how he was in Bogota the night Hawkins died and the two acts were to hang together before Hawkins’ unfortunate passing.
Saturday Night Live Jason Sudekis (who appeared in a Foos clip) performed a set from Hawkins side project Chevy Metal. There was also a set by the Coattail Riders, both featuring a rotating cast of guest vocalists, including Kesha on Marc Bolan’s “Children of the Revolution” and T-Rex as well as Justin Hawkins of The Darkness on Coattail Riders’ “Louise.” . “CU In Hell” and “It’s Over”, among other tracks. The drummers included Josh Freese on a kit decorated with an image of another late star, Olivia Newton-John.
The concert continues today with other scheduled guest stars including Chris Chaney, Stewart Copeland, Chrissie Hynde, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Mark Ronson, Roger Taylor, Rufus Taylor, Wolfgang Van Halen, Krist Novoselic, John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin. , P!nk, Nandi Bushell, Greg Kurstin, LeAnn Rimes, Travis Barker, Violet Grohl, Brian Johnson, Luke Spiller of The Struts and Lars Ulrich. Watch the livestream below and find official merchandise.
Watch the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert
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