Foo Fighters Honor Hawkins At Hometown Ohana Show

Photo credit: Roger Ho

Foo Fighters closed out the Ohana Festival on Sunday in Dana Point, California, and it was a special show, as it was in Taylor Hawkins’ home of Orange County, California. Dave Grohl said it was an emotional gig, as it was his first time back performing in the O.C. area since Hawkins tragically died last year. Grohl said he had never even heard of Laguna Beach before meeting Hawkins, but that he spent great times with Hawkins in the Orange County town. Hawkins is so beloved in Laguna Beach that he got a mural in Laguna in September 2022.

Foo Fighters played “Aurora” for Hawkins at Ohana, which Grohl said the Foos will play every show for the rest of their career, as it was his favorite song, and also the first song Hawkins ever wrote with Grohl in 1999. “Aurora” is an incredible live song, with jams that add to the power of the song rather than feeling self-indulgent.

Grohl made a point to thank Eddie Vedder for putting on the Ohana Festival at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point, CA. Interestingly enough, the late Taylor Hawkins did get to perform at Doheny, but not with Foo Fighters, as he joined Jane’s Addiction for a show there in 2012. Eddie Vedder’s Earthlings bassist Chris Chaney was playing with Jane’s at the time of the 2012 show, and now Earthlings guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is playing for Jane’s Addiction live in place of Dave Navarro. Six degrees of separation!

Dave Grohl’s voice surprisingly sounded its strongest during a shortened impromptu cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.” The Foos also did a brief cover of “Sabotage” with Grohl joking the Foos would return to Ohana for a full Beastie Boys cover set. Before Foo Fighters, The Pretenders put on a strong set with a guest spot by John McEnroe, and Thee Sacred Souls wowed the crowd with the lead singer literally running around with fans during their set.

Overall the Ohana Festival 2023 was Eddie’s best festival yet, further establishing it as the best rock festival in Southern California.