Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert Was a Cathartic Six-Hour Celebration of a Rock Legend

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The post Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert Was a Cathartic Six-Hour Celebration of a Rock Legend appeared first on Consequence.

“Family” was the central theme of Foo Fighters’ tribute concert honoring their late drummer, Taylor Hawkins, at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday night. The massive stadium show may have featured a capacity crowd of 75,000 diehard fans who witnessed some of the biggest names in all of music, from Paul McCartney to Queen to Liam Gallagher, celebrate the life and legacy of Hawkins. And yet, not once during the six-hour, 50-song runtime did the concert ever lose its sense of intimacy. Not once did it deviate from its purpose of honoring a rock titan whose life was cut well too short.

For six hours, Foo Fighters and their fans were able to grieve together as one collective family, honoring Taylor Hawkins in the only appropriate way: by rocking the fuck out.

There were smiles and tears, often at the same time. Dave Grohl frequently had to compose himself, especially during a gripping performance of “Times Like These.” But there were also moments of unabashed joy, such as when Hawkins’ 16-year-old son, Shane, joined Foo Fighters on stage to drum during “My Hero.” He beat the kit with the forcefulness of two drummers, his father no doubt playing along in spirit.

And through it all, Dave Grohl served as the master of ceremony. He spent most of the evening on stage, switching back and forth between guitar, bass, and drums.

Beyond that, it was evident that Grohl had spared no expense to ensure that the evening was a celebration worthy of rock legend. The six hours were scripted down to the second, each performer and song choice bearing some sort of special connection to Hawkins.

But for the evening’s final song, Grohl opted to perform alone and sing to an audience of one: his brother and bandmate of 25 years. “If everything could ever feel this real forever / If anything could ever be this good again,” Grohl crooned.

The future of Foo Fighters remains uncertain, but the legacy of their drummer may not be soon forgotten.

Below, you can find our live blog of the concert, including various clips, photos, and the full setlist.

11:30 a.m. – The concert begins with a touching photo tribute soundtracked by a recording of Foo Fighters’ “Aurora.”

Afterward, the surviving members of Foo Fighters take the stage to formally kick off the concert. Speaking on behalf of the band, Dave Grohl says: “Tonight, we’ve gathered here to celebrate the life, the music, and the love of our dear friend, our bandmate, our brother, Taylor Hawkins. For those of you knew him personally, you know no one else could make you smile, or laugh, or dance, or sing like he could. And for those of you who admired him from afar, I’m sure you 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. So, sing and dance and laugh and cry and fucking scream and make some fucking noise so he can hear us right now. Cause you know what, it’s going to be a long fucking night!”

Foo Fighters kick off Taylor Hawkins tribute concert
Foo Fighters kick off Taylor Hawkins tribute concert

11:35 a.m. – Foo Fighters join Liam Gallagher to perform “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” and “Live Forever.” Dave Grohl is behind the drums and is already drenched.

11:45 a.m. – Dave Chappelle is on stage, discussing the night he hosted Saturday Night Live in November 2020 during which Foo Fighters served as musical guest. He recounts being invited to join Foo Fighters to sing “Creep” at Madison Square Garden and meeting Taylor Hawkins’ son, Shane, backstage. “I met a kid, who must have been 12 or 13 years old, and I asked him, cause he had skate shoes on, if he skated. And he said, ‘I don’t skate because I don’t want to hurt my arm.’ And I said what kind of answer is that? A simple yes or no would have sufficed. The kid said, ‘I want to be a drummer, like my father.’ In that room, in Madison Square Garden, even though I met Foo Fighters many nights, I felt like I met [Taylor] for the first time… It was my first time seeing [Taylor] being a dad. And what a cool fucking dad.”

“At the end of the night, we went downtown to the Blue Note, a jazz club in New York City. We watched Robert Glasper, and I listened to Taylor and his son the whole night talking about the drummer. And I remember Shane said to his father, ‘Dad, you can’t do that shit.’ I had never heard someone talk to a rock star that way. And Taylor Hawkins, as humble as he was, said, ‘Son, those are real musicians.’ Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, a legend of a musician, and a legend of a father.”

Shane Hawkins at Foo Fighters tribute concert
Shane Hawkins at Foo Fighters tribute concert

11:50 a.m. – Josh Homme, Chris Chaney, Omar Hakim, and Nile Rodgers team up to cover David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance.” Supergrass’ Gaz Combs then replaces Homme to sing Bowie’s “Modern Love.”

12:05 p.m. – Taylor Hawkins’ side-projects, Chevy Metal and The Coattail Riders, hit the stage to cover Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer.” Kesha sits in for T-Rex’s “Children of the Revolution” “It’s Over.” Next, The Coattail Riders with The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins play a selection of songs from Hawkins’ solo catalog.

12:30 p.m. – Dave Grohl, Wolfgang Van Halen, The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins, and Josh Freese team up to cover Van Halen’s “On Fire” and “Hot for Teacher.” (Van Halen was one of Hawkins’ all-time favorite bands.)

12:45 p.m. – Violet Grohl, Greg Kurstin, Alain Johannes, Chris Chaney, Jason Falkner, and Dave Grohl perform Jeff Buckley’s “Last Goodbye” and “Grace.”

1:00 p.m. – Supergrass deliver a rousing three-song set of “Going Out,” “Alright,” and “Caught by the Fuzz.”

1:20 p.m. – Holy shit! Them Crooked Vultures take the stage for their first live performance in 12 years. Josh Homme, John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl, and Alain Johannes kick off their surprise reunion by covering Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” before tearing into their own song “Gunman” and Queens of the Stone Age’s “Long Slow Goodbye.”

1:40 p.m. – Pretenders with Dave Grohl on bass perform a three-song set of “Precious,” “Tattoo Love Boys,” and “Brass in Pocket.” As she introduced Grohl on bass, singer Chrissie Hynde remarked, “Is there anything Dave Grohl can’t do?” The answer is of course no.

2:00 p.m. – Joe Walsh and James Gang reunite for their first live performance in 16 years. They play “Walk Away,” the medley “The Bomber: Closet Queen” / “Boléro”/ “Cast Your Fate to the Wind,” and “Funk #49” with Dave Grohl on drums.

2:20 p.m. – Dave Grohl is back on stage to briefly address the crowd in between set changes. “When we first started talking about putting something together for Taylor, we sat down and we said, ‘Even if it’s his closest friends, that’s like 100 fucking musicians. Because Taylor loved to jam and record with everybody and anybody. And there aren’t too many people he’s never jammed with. This collection of friends, family, and musicians, this is all brought together by him. And we’re all connected here today by that one guy, bringing musicians that have never met, musicians that have never played together, all in one place at one time, with all of you beauty people.”

2:25 p.m. – Violet Grohl is back on stage for another incredible performance. This time, she teams up with Mark Ronson, Chris Chaney, and Jason Falkner to cover Amy Winehouse’s “Valerie.”

2:35 p.m. – A recording of an epic Taylor Hawkins drum solo is being shown on the video screen, eliciting a huge response from the crowd. There’s also a video tribute from Billie Eilish and Finneas.

2:40 p.m. – AC/DC’s Brian Johnson and Metallica’s Lars Ulrich join forces with Dave Grohl and the rest of Foo Fighters to perform AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and “Let There Be Rock.”

2:50 p.m. – The stars continue to turn out in honor of Taylor Hawkins. The Police’s Stewart Copeland joins Foo Fighters to play “Next to You.” Supergrass’ Gaz Combs then joins in on the fun to sing lead on “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic.”

3:05 p.m. – Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush — one of Taylor Hawkins’ all-time favorite bands — play “2112” and “Working Man” with Dave Grohl on drums. Lee and Lifeson then close their appearance by dedicating a performance of “YYZ” to both Hawkins and their own late drummer, Neil Peart. (Hawkins once joined RUSH on stage to perform “YYZ” during a concert in 2008.)

3:30 p.m. – We’re at the four hour mark of the concert, and there’s no signs of the music slowing down. Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, along with Foo Fighters, The Darkness’ Rufus Taylor and The Struts’ Luke Spiller, unite to perform “We Will Rock You” and “I’m in Love With My Car.” Later, The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins sings lead on “Under Pressure” and Sam Ryder gets the chance to front “Somebody to Love.”

3:50 p.m. – Brian May asks the crowd to hold up their lights as he delivers an emotional solo acoustic performance of Queen’s “Love of My Life.”

Brian May of Queen performs at Taylor Hawkins tribute concert
Brian May of Queen performs at Taylor Hawkins tribute concert

4:00 p.m. – Following an incredible video montage, Foo Fighters are back on stage. Through tears, Dave Grohl opens the band’s headlining set with “Times Like These.” He repeatedly wipes tears from his eyes and is eventually forced to pause the performance to compose himself. It’s definitely the heaviest moment of the night so for.

4:05 p.m. – Josh Freese is the first drummer up to perform with Foo Fighters, sitting in for both “Times Like These” and “All My Life.”

4:15 p.m. – It’s not Travis Barker’s time to play drums with Foo Fighters. “He forgot his shirt,” jokes Dave Grohl before they kick into “The Pretender.” Barker also joins Foo Fighters for “Monkey Wrench.”

4:25 p.m. – “The world’s coolest drummer,” Nandi Bushell, is now behind the kit as Foo Fighters perform “Learn to Fly.”

4:30 p.m. – The Darkness’ Rufus Taylor, who is the spitting image of Taylor Hawkins, is up next. He’s backing Foo Fighters on “These Days” and a particularly powerful rendition of “Best of You.”

4:45 p.m. – Paul McCartney is in the building! The former Beatle makes a surprise appearance alongside Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde to perform a duet version of “Oh, Darling!” Omar Hakim is on drums.

Paul McCartney at Foo Fighters concert
Paul McCartney at Foo Fighters concert

4:50 p.m. – Paul McCartney plays another Beatles favorite, “Helter Skelter,” with Foo Fighters. This is the 47th song of the evening, by the way, and Dave Grohl has been on stage for most of them.

5:00 p.m. – Foo Fighters play “one of Taylor Hawkins favorite Foo Fighters songs,” “Auoroa.”

5:10 p.m. – Taylor Hawkins’ son, Shane, is the final drummer of the evening. He joins Foo Fighters to play “My Hero.”

5:15 p.m. – After nearly six hours and 50 songs, Dave Grohl closes the evening with a gripping solo performance of “Everlong.”

Tickets and merchandise sales from the show benefited charities chosen by the Hawkins family: Music Support and MusiCares.

Setlist:
Liam Gallagher with Foo Fighters – Rock ‘N’ Roll Star
Liam Gallagher with Foo Fighters – Live Forever
Josh Homme, Chris Chaney, Omar Hakim, and Nile Rodgers – Let’s Dance (David Bowie)
Gaz Coombes, Chris Chaney, Omar Hakim, and Nile Rodgers – Modern Love (David Bowie)
Chevy Metal and The Coattail Riders – Psycho Killer (Talking Heads)
Kesha, Chevy Metal, and The Coattail Riders – Children of the Revolution” (T-Rex)
The Coattail Riders with Justin Hawkins – Louise
The Coattail Riders with Justin Hawkins – Range Rover Bitch
The Coattail Riders with Justin Hawkins – It’s Over
Dave Grohl, Wolfgang Van Halen, Justin Hawkins, and Josh Freese – On Fire (Van Halen)
Dave Grohl, Wolfgang Van Halen, Justin Hawkins, and Josh Freese – Hot for Teacher (Van Halen)
Violet Grohl, Greg Kurstin, Alain Johannes, Chris Chaney, Jason Falkner, and Dave Grohl – Last Goodbye (Jeff Buckley)
Violet Grohl, Greg Kurstin, Alain Johannes, Chris Chaney, Jason Falkner, and Dave Grohl – Grace (Jeff Buckley)
Supergrass – Going Out
Supergrass – Alright
Supergrass – Caught by the Fuzz
Them Crooked Vultures – Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John)
Them Crooked Vultures – Gunman
Them Crooked Vultures – Long Slow Goodbye (Queens of the Stone Age)
Pretenders with Dave Grohl – Precious
Pretenders with Dave Grohl – Tattooed Love Boys
Pretenders with Dave Grohl – Brass in Pocket
James Gang – Walk Away
James Gang – The Bomber: Closet Queen / Bolero / Cast Your Fate to the Wind
James Gang with Dave Grohl – Funk #49
Violet Grohl, Mark Ronson, Chris Chaney, and Jason Falkner – Valerie (Amy Winehouse)
Brian Johnson, Lars Ulrich, and Foo Fighters – Back in Black (AC/DC)
Brian Johnson, Lars Ulrich, and Foo Fighters – Let There Be Rock (AC/DC)
Stewart Copeland with Foo Fighters – Next to You (The Police)
Stewart Copeland, Gaz Coombes, and Foo Fighters – Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (The Police)
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Dave Grohl – 2112 Part I: Overture (RUSH)
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Dave Grohl – Working Man (RUSH)
Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Omar Hakim – YYZ (RUSH)
Brian May, Roger Taylor, Foo Fighters, Rufus Taylor, and Luke Spiller – We Will Rock You (Queen)
Brian May, Roger Taylor, Foo Fighters, and Rufus Taylor – I’m in Love With My Car (Queen)
Brian May, Roger Taylor, Foo Fighters, Justin Hawkins, and Rufus Taylor – I’m in Love With My Car (Queen)
Brian May, Roger Taylor, Foo Fighters, Sam Ryder, and Rufus Taylor – Somebody to Love (Queen)
Brian May – Love of My Life (Queen)
Foo Fighters with Josh Freese – Times Like These
Foo Fighters with Josh Freese – All My Life
Foo Fighters with Travis Barker – The Pretender
Foo Fighters with Travis Barker – Monkey Wrench
Foo Fighters with Nandi Bushell – Learn to Fly
Foo Fighters with Rufus Taylor – These Days
Foo Fighters with Rufus Taylor – Best of You
Paul McCartney, Chrissie Hynde, Foo Fighters, and Omar Hakim – Oh! Darling (The Beatles)
Paul McCartney, Foo Fighters, and Omar Hakim – Helter Skelter (The Beatles)
Foo Fighters with Omar Hakim – Aurora
Foo Fighters with Shane Hawkins – My Hero
Dave Grohl – Everlong

Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert Was a Cathartic Six-Hour Celebration of a Rock Legend
Consequence Staff

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