The Foo Fighters gathered for the first time since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins to pay tribute to him, along with a slew of famous friends at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
As Variety reported, Liam Gallagher swaggered out, backed by the Foos, with Dave Grohl pounding the drums for a hard rock version of Oasis’s “Rock ‘N’ Roll Star” and “Live Forever.”
To salute Hawkins’ beloved David Bowie, Nile Rodgers teamed up with Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age (on “Let’s Dance”) and Gaz Coombes from Supergrass (on “Modern Love”).
Grohl himself played bass as Justin Hawkins and Wolfgang Van Halen ripped through Van Halen’s “Hot for Teacher.” He drummed as his daughter Violet sang a couple of numbers by Taylor’s favorite singer, Jeff Buckley. And he was also behind Homme and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones as Them Crooked Vultures stomped through Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” Variety reported.
Metallica’s Lars Ulrich joined the Foo Fighters in backing Brian Johnson on a romp through AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and “Let There Be Rock.” And The Police’s Stewart Copeland performed on a Foos-assisted “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.”
Queen survivors Brian May and Roger Taylor performed some hits with vocals by Luke Spiller from the Struts, Justin Hawkins and Eurovision star Sam Ryder.
When the Foo Fighters took the stage...
When Foo Fighters finally took the stage, it began with “Times Like These.” Grohl’s voice cracked on the elegiac, almost a cappella intro. But the crowd stepped in to help him out and, from there on in, Grohl and everyone else celebrated catharsis in their most vibrant songs, according to Variety.
Various drummers filled Hawkins’ big shoes – Travis Barker (“Monkey Wrench”), Roger Taylor’s son Rufus (“These Days”) and Nandi Bushell, the 12-year-old girl who famously challenged Grohl to a drum-off (“Learn to Fly”). Taylor’s 16-year-old son, Shane Hawkins, gave an emotional performance on “My Hero.”
Then Chrissie Hynde and unannounced guest Paul McCartney joined the band for a live rendition of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling,” followed by a tumultuous “Helter Skelter.”
“We felt all the love from you for Taylor tonight,” said Grohl, as he thanked the Hawkins family at the end of the night. “I don’t really know what else to say.”