Foo Fighters delivered a powerful set of songs to close out the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London on Saturday night (Sept. 3).
The group had served as house band for much of the event, playing alongside such legendary guests as AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, the Police’s Stewart Copeland and Queen‘s Roger Taylor and Brian May. Still, this was the Foo Fighters’ party, and they somehow saved enough energy to close the show with a set of their best-known hits.
The performance started on an understandably emotional note, as the group performed “Times Like These.” Frontman Dave Grohl was visibly fighting back tears as he began the tune solo. Then, after the song’s second chorus, the stage erupted with music as the rest of the band joined in. It was a cathartic moment, as all of Wembley Stadium seemed to join in with every lyric.
From there, the band blazed through a powerful rendition of “All My Life,” the Foo Fighters 2002 hit single.
Josh Freese played Hawkins’ parts on the first two songs of the set, but prior to the third, Grohl welcomed Travis Barker to the stage. The Blink 182 drummer delivered his customary onslaught of percussion, as he and the Foos powered through “The Pretender” and “Monkey Wrench.”
Next on the rotating list of drummers was Nandi Bushell. In 2021, the young viral star famously challenged Grohl to a drum off, eventually becoming close friends with the band. Smiling brightly and with a special sequined Taylor Hawkins jacket for the occasion, Bushnell rocked through “Learn to Fly” with the Foos.
Next, Grohl welcomed a “real member of the Foo Fighters” who the band has known “since he was a little kid.” Rufus Taylor then came on stage, drummer for the Darkness and Roger Taylor’s son, joining Foo Fighters for “These Days” and a dynamic rendition of “Best of You.”
One of the night’s biggest moments came next, as Grohl brought out Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde (who had performed earlier in the evening with the Pretenders). Macca and Hynde proceeded to join forces on “Oh! Darling,” the former Beatle noting he’d never sung the song as a duet prior to tonight. McCartney and the Foo Fighters then blazed through the Beatles‘ heavy-hitting classic “Helter Skelter.”
Omar Hakim handled drums during McCartney’s part of the show and stayed on for one more tune, “Aurora,” which Grohl described as Hawkins’ favorite Foo Fighters song.
The late-drummer’s son, Shane, would be the next guest. The younger Hawkins looked at home in the chair formerly occupied by his dad, playing drums on “My Hero.”
Grohl, clearly tired from a long night filled with emotion, once again thanked the crowd and those watching at home. “I hope that you guys felt the love from all of us and all the performers,” the frontman remarked. “This one’s for Taylor,” the declared before starting the Foo Fighters’ classic “Everlong.” Appropriately, the song was performed without a drummer — or any other band members, for that matter. Instead, Grohl, the head Foo Fighter and Hawkins’ closest friend, closed out the show poignantly by himself.
“I love you Taylor,” the rocker proclaimed after the song’s final notes. “Let’s hear it big and loud for Taylor fucking Hawkins!”
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