Over the weekend, the first of two tribute concerts honouring late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins took place at London’s Wembley Stadium, with a star-studded lineup that included a Them Crooked Vultures reunion, Brian May and Roger Taylor coming together to play a set of Queen hits, a surprise appearance from Paul McCartney and much more.
Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl opened the proceedings, alongside his bandmates, with an emotional tribute to Hawkins, who died in March of this year. “For those of you who knew him personally, you know that no one else could make you smile, or laugh, or dance, or sing like he could,” Grohl said. “For those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you’ve all felt the same thing. So tonight, we’ve gathered with family and his closest friends, his musical heroes and greatest inspirations to bring you a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person.”Download Our App
Watch Dave Grohl Open the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London
Following that, the Foo Fighters were joined by Liam Gallagher for a performance of Oasis‘ ‘Rock N Roll Star’. Nile Rodgers, Chris Chaney and Omar Hakim covered David Bowie‘s ‘Let’s Dance’ and ‘Modern Love’, joined by Josh Homme for the former and Gaz Coombes for the latter.
Other notable moments from the evening included, as mentioned above, Them Crooked Vultures – the trio of Grohl, Homme and Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones – reuniting onstage for the first time in 12 years to perform.
They opened their set with a cover of Elton John‘s ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’, after a pre-recorded message from Sir Elton himself, who said, “I want to pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins because he was a great musician. He loved music. He loved playing. He loved the Foo Fighters. Tonight we are honouring his memory. So make a noise because he would love that.’
AC/DC‘s Brian Johnson was joined by Foo Fighters and Metallica‘s Lars Ulrich for renditions of ‘Back in Black’ and ‘Let There Be Rock’, while Mark Ronson and Grohl’s daughter Violet performed Amy Winehouse‘s ‘Valerie’ together. Rush‘s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson came together to perform ‘2112 Part I: Overture’ and ‘Working Man’ with Dave Grohl, plus ‘YYZ’ with Hakim.
Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor played five Queen songs alongside Grohl and co. Those were ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘I’m in Love With My Car’, ‘Under Pressure’ with the Darkness‘ Justin Hawkins, ‘Somebody to Love’ with Sam Ryder and ‘Love of My Life’.
The night concluded with Foo Fighters performing a set of their own songs with a revolving cast of drummers. That began with an emotional performance of ‘Times Like These’ in which Grohl teared up. The band went on to play songs like ‘All My Life’ with Josh Freese, ‘The Pretender’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’ with Travis Barker and ‘Learn to Fly’ with Nandi Bushell. Paul McCartney then made a surprise appearance alongside the Pretenders‘ Chrissie Hynde, performing The Beatles ‘Oh! Darling’ and ‘Helter Skelter’.
Foo Fighters closed out the evening with a rendition of ‘Aurora’ with Hakim, ‘My Hero’ – joined by Hawkins’ son, Shane Hawkins – and Grohl performing ‘Everlong’ solo. See some of those moments below. Proceeds from the event, which was broadcast live on TV and YouTube, will be split between Music Support and MusiCares. Later this month, on 27th September, a second tribute concert for Hawkins will take place at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.
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