The Foo Fighters pay tribute to drummer Taylor Hawkins in emotional concert in London


London
CNN

A star-studded line-up including Paul McCartney and Liam Gallagher joined the Foo Fighters for a moving tribute to the band’s drummer Taylor Hawkins at a concert in London on Saturday night.

Hawkins, 50, died in March in Bogotá, Colombia, hours before the Foo Fighters took the stage at the Estereo Picnic Festival. The band immediately canceled their remaining tour dates.

Saturday’s concert was the first time the band had performed together since Hawkins’ death.

According to British news agency PA Media, tearful Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl told the crowd at Wembley Stadium in London: “Taylor loved to jam and record with anyone and everyone. He liked to play music every day. And there aren’t too many people he’s never jammed with. So this collection of friends and family and musicians, it’s all brought together by him and we’re all connected here today by this one guy.

The family theme ran throughout the show. Oliver Shane Hawkins, 16, joined his dad’s band for a powerful rendition of the Foo Fighters song “My Hero.”

“Ladies and gentlemen, we have another drummer coming to play with us,” Grohl said as he welcomed Hawkins’ son to the stage. “And let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone hit the drums as hard as this person, but beyond that, he’s a member of our family. And he has to be here tonight with all of us, and I think it makes sense for him to come and play with us tonight.

Some of the biggest names in music have turned out to grace Hawkins, including Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May, Rush, AC/DC vocalist Brian Johnson and Nile Rodgers. The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, pop star Kesha, Eurovision sensation Sam Ryder and The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins also joined in the celebration.

In a pre-recorded message, Elton John called Hawkins an “incredible drummer” and recalled him “playing on my last album, which I was so thrilled and honored with.”

“Tonight is about remembering him, honoring him and never forgetting him,” John added, according to PA.

Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jason Sudeikis also took to the stage to share anecdotes about their relationship with Hawkins’ music.

Saturday’s concert was the first of two celebratory events honoring Hawkins. A second tribute concert will take place on September 27 in Los Angeles. Funds from the events will go to the charities Music Support and MusiCares, both chosen by the Hawkins family.

Hawkins joined Foo Fighters in 1997, first appearing with the band on the tour supporting their second album, “The Color and the Shape”.

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