5 Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert Moments That Left Us In Tears
via Loudwire / Youtube
The first part of the tribute show for the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins has kicked off. Due to the number of biggest musicians who performed, the event was much more of a celebration of life than a mournful affair. The tribute concert featured many moments of humor, happiness, poignancy and sorrow. Below, you’ll find five tear-jerking moments from the incredible show.
When Dave Grohl opened the show with a speech
The Foo Fighters were welcomed warmly by the fans as they walked in and before Dave Grohl could even get a word out, thousands of fans chanted “Taylor! Taylor!” prompting the frontman to take a moment to let the sound wash over everyone. Grohl said:
“Ladies and gentlemen, 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 who know him personally, you know that no one else can make you smile, or laugh or dance or sing, like he could. And for those of you that 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. So, sing, and dance, and laugh and cry and fucking scream, and make some fucking noise so he can hear us right now.”
When the song “Times Like These” was performed
Foo Fighters had not taken the stage together since Hawkins’ death, so the anticipation was high for their return. The band opted to begin their set with “Times Like These.” The song started heartbreakingly as Grohl, Hawkins bandmate and closest friend, struggled through the emotion of the moment.
Through tears, the frontman sang the tune’s first two verses, the audience seeming to lift him up with every word. After the second chorus, Grohl and the rest of the Foo Fighters let loose, delivering a loud, cathartic second half of the song.
When Rush revered two departed drummers
When Hawkins was still alive, he always looks up to Neil Peart, and was probably heartbroken when the Rush drummer died in 2020. As Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson joined Grohl and Greg Kurstin during the tribute concert, they made note of both departed drummers. Lee explained:
“So, for Alex and I, it’s a privilege to be up here to play with Super Dave, and Greg.
“In 2008, as Dave told you, we got a call from Foos’ management, asking if we’d come to the Toronto show and show up so that Taylor could play one of his favorite Rush songs with us. We obliged and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. So tonight, in honor of that — and in honor of our own lost brother.”
Lee added, in a nod to Peart, “we’d like to play that song.” The group then rocked through a powerful rendition of “YYZ.”
Brian May remembered the late Freddie Mercury
Queen was one of Hawkins’ biggest influences, and even though he eventually became close friends with Roger Taylor and Brian May, the drummer never seemed to lose his sense of fandom for the band. May expressed his gratitude by saying:
“What an amazing evening of love and music – thank you for being here and for sharing all this stuff.”
Then he took a seat with his acoustic guitar. He continued and recalled that in 1986 they were on the exact spot, singing together. He said:
“30 years ago, we said goodbye to Freddie in a style similar to this. So I know Freddie would be happy to share this song in the memory of Taylor Hawkins.”
Thousands in attendance joined May as he performed the classic Queen ballad, with the guitarist encouraging them to hold up their cell phone which resulted in a display that is both stunning and heart wrenching.
The closing solo performance of Grohl
Just like how he had started the Foo Fighters set, Grohl opted to end the show performing solo. The crowd sang along as Grohl crooned the classic tune, and as the final notes of “Everlong” were played, the frontman delivered a simple touching message. Grohl proclaimed:
“I love you Taylor.
“Let’s hear it big and loud for Taylor fucking Hawkins!”