Dave Grohl Delivers Emotional Speech To Kick Off Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert
The music community is coming together today to celebrate the life and work of late drummer Taylor Hawkins, kicking off the first of two tribute shows planned for this month at Wembley Stadium in London and L.A.'s Kia Forum. The Foo Fighters took the stage at Wembley Stadium today around 11:30AM ET, appearing visibly emotional as Dave Grohl delivered a passionate speech to get the festivities started as the crowd chanted "Taylor" in the background.
"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 knew hm personally, you know that no one else could 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," said Grohl.
"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. Cuz you know what, it's going to be a long fucking night, right? Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you fucking ready?"
The Foos are notorious for delivering marathon hours-long sets and today's tribute appears to offer the same.
The first performance came from Oasis' Liam Gallagher who joined the Foos on stage (with Grohl in the drummer seat) to deliver meaningful renditions of "Rock N Roll Star" and "Live Forever." Gallagher previously tweeted a heartfelt message the day Hawkins died and also delivered the same "Live Forever" tribute to Hawkins during a concert in London around the same time, saying, “I dedicate this last song to the one and only Taylor fucking Hawkins. This is for you, brother.”
Other guests so far in the broadcast have included comedian Dave Chapelle who delivered an anecdote about hosting Saturday Night Live when the Foos were the music guest in 2020, and commented on watching Hawkins be a doted dad to his kids backstage. Cameras then panned to Hawkins' children in the audience.
All eyes have of course been on the musicians in the drummer seat for each set. David Bowie's drummer Omar Hakim was one of them, joined by Nile Rodgers of CHIC and Josh Homme on vocals for a cover of one of "Let's Dance," with Bowie being one of Hawkins' favorites. Gaz Coombes of Supergrass also appeared. Rodgers remembered how he was in Bogota the night Hawkins died and the two acts were set to jam together before Hawkins' unfortunate passing.
Saturday Night Live alum Jason Sudekis (who appeared in a Foos music video) introduced a set from Hawkins' side project Chevy Metal. There was also a set from the Coattail Riders, both with a rotating cast of guest vocalists including Kesha on "Children of the Revolution" by Marc Bolan and T-Rex as well as The Darkness' Justin Hawkins on Coattail Riders' "Louise," "C U In Hell" and "It's Over," among other tracks. Drummers included Josh Freese on a kit decorated with an image of another late star, Olivia Newton-John.
The concert continues today with additional guest stars planned, including Chris Chaney, Stewart Copeland, Chrissie Hynde, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Mark Ronson, Roger Taylor, Rufus Taylor, Wolfgang Van Halen, Krist Novoselic, Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones, P!nk, Nandi Bushell, Greg Kurstin, LeAnn Rimes, Travis Barker, Violet Grohl, Brian Johnson, Luke Spiller of The Struts and Lars Ulrich. Watch the livestream below and find official merch.