“Dave Grohl is the heart of Foo Fighters, but Taylor Hawkins was its rock star,” read the headline in The Times following Hawkins’ death on March 25 at age 50. Six months later, those sentiments ring more true than ever as the Taylor Hawkins Memorial show has taken the music world by storm.
On Sept. 3rd at London’s Wembley Stadium, rockers including Liam Gallagher, Josh Homme, Wolfgang Van Halen, Travis Barker and Paul McCartney all paid their musical respects; Hawkins’ son Shane, a powerhouse drummer like his dad, joined the Foos on “My Hero” and brought the crowd, live and watching via stream around the world, to tears.
With the show closing in California, even more celebrity guest showed up. On the list were: Stewart Copeland, Miley Cyrus, Joan Jett, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Brian May, Alanis Morissette, Mark Ronson, Gene Simmons, Nikki Sixx, Chad Smith and Roger Taylor.
Outside of those who were already on the list, there were many more in attendance as well. According to those on Reddit that were there, Kourtney Kardashian, Tom DeLonge, Josh Gilbert, and Sabastian Bach were also in attendance that night along with the crowd. This means DeLonge would have been there with Blink-182 bandmate Travis Barker and seen him, ahead of their rumored reunion.
The show opened with Grohl’s 16-year-old daughter, Violet, taking the stage for a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” (by way of Jeff Buckley), accompanied only by an electric guitarist. A lovely welcome to an evening of mourning and gratitude.
Dave Grohl would then come on stage stating: “Welcome to the Los Angeles Taylor Hawkins tribute concert. This is the hometown s—, so you gotta make it loud.” Grohl says the idea of tonight’s show is to “spend some time in [Hawkins’] musical mind, which could be a pretty terrifying place,” and to “celebrate this person that has touched our lives.”
As time went on, as he did in London, Hawkins’ teen son Shane has joined Foo Fighters to perform “My Hero” as well as “I’ll Stick Around.” Technically, the kid is a beast — he deserves the huge applause he’s getting on musical grounds alone. But his beaming expression lets you know he understands what he’s carrying on.
Nearly six hours after it began, the Hawkins tribute is ending with “Everlong,” featuring Chad Smith on drums. Grohl thanks the crowd for coming and marvels at the fact that “this many people connected through one person.”
“We love you, Taylor,” he says, guitar amps still ringing.
Special thanks to Reddit and LA Times.