By Alex Kluft
On March 25, 2022, the world lost one the greatest drummers and member of one of the most important and biggest rock bands of all time, Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters. To honor Hawkins, Dave Grohl put together two of the biggest tribute concerts of all time which were announced back in June. As the shows got closer the lineups got bigger and bigger. The first concert took place at Wembley Stadium in London, England on September 3rd. It was the perfect place to hold the first concert since Taylor was an international giant of drumming and the Foo Fighters played there in 2008 in a memorable reuniting of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones. The next tribute show took place on September 27 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles as Taylor’s hometown tribute.
The Foo Fighters (and many of the other bands) have played at The Forum over the years including the Foo’s Broken Leg tour, Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace tour, and Dave Grohl’s 45th birthday bash. It is a special venue. When Rush played their final show of the R40 tour there, Taylor Hawkins was there with Chad Smith, Stewart Copeland, and Danny Carey. The Red Hot Chili Peppers last hometown show with John Frusciante on the Stadium Arcadium tour happened there. The Foo’s August 21st, 2021, performance at The Forum would be their last major hometown show with Hawkins.
The hometown tribute brought together several of the world’s greatest drummers: Queen’s Roger Taylor, The Police’s Stewart Copeland, Omar Hakim, Tool’s Danny Carey, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, Motley Crue’s Tommy Lee, Rage Against the Machine’s Brad Wilk, Blink-182’s Travis Barker, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Weezer’s Patrick Wilson, and The Darkness’ Rufus Taylor. Many of the guest drummers played either Grohl or Hawkins’ final tour kits. Some (Ulrich, Copeland, Taylor, and Hakim,) had their own drums brought in just for the tribute.
The show started at 7 P.M. and ended at 1 A.M. It included 53 songs from artists which Hawkins had played, Taylor’s own bands, his favorite bands, and (of course) The Foo Fighters. The show began with no introduction or countdown.
The opening performance of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” came from Grohl’s daughter Violet and guitarist Alain Johannes. The performances continued with Joan Jett with the Foo Fighters and Hawkins’ bands Chevy Metal and The Coattail Riders. Then came James Gang, Mark Ronson, Them Crooked Vultures, Wolfgang Van Halen and the Darkness’ Justin Hawkins. Members of Def Leppard and Foo Fighters played with Weezer’s Patrick Wilson and the memorable tributes and collaborations just kept coming. Tommy Lee and Nikki Sixx; Foo Fighters with Queens of the Stone Age’s Josh Homme and The Cars’ Elliot Easton; P!nk and Nancy Wilson; Stewart Copeland and the Foo Fighters; Alanis Morissette and the Foo Fighters; Sebastian Bach, Geezer Butler, Lars Ulrich, and the Foo Fighters. Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson performed with drummers Dave Grohl, Chad Smith, and Danny Carey. Krist Novaselic, Taylor Momsen, Pat Smear, Matt Cameron, and Kim Thayil performed together, as did members of Queen and the Foo Fighters. The night concluded with an hour-long Foo Fighters set with 10 different guest drummers including Josh Freese, Jon Theodore, Travis Barker, Matt Cameron, Brad Wilk, Patrick Wilson, Omar Hakim, Rufus Taylor, and Shane Hawkins. Comedian Dave Chapelle joined in for “Creep.” The final performance of the night was the song was “Everlong” with Chad Smith playing drums.
Unfortunately, many of the performers at the concert had also lost cherished band members and friends. The result was that Taylor Hawkins’ Tribute concert paid tribute to many musical icons. Rush’s Neil Peart, Yes’s Alan White, Queen’s Freddie Mercury, Eddie Van Halen, and Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham were all Taylor Hawkins’ musical idols, and they were all remembered in this outstanding tribute concert and celebration of the brotherhood and sisterhood of rock and roll. This concert was not only a tribute to Taylor and a remembrance of several recently departed musical legends, but it was also a benefit to two charities, Music Support and Musicares.
Here is the setlist of this memorable night:
1. Violet Grohl/ Alain Johannes- “Hallelujah” (Leonard Cohen.)
2. Foo Fighters /Joan Jett/Travis Barker- “Cherry Bomb” (The Runaways.)
3. Foo Fighters /Joan Jett/Travis Barker- “Bad Reputation” (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts.)
Shane Hawkins introducing Chevy Metal
4. Chevy Metal Brent Woods Wiley- “Riff Raff” (AC/DC.)
5. Chevy Metal Jon Davison- “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (Yes.)
6. Chevy Metal/Ke$ha/Rami Jaffe- “Heroes” (David Bowie.)
7. Coattails Riders with Justin Hawkins & Josh Freese- “Range Rover Bitch”
8.Coattails Riders with Justin Hawkins & Josh Freese- “It’s Over”
9. Coattail Riders/Mark King/ Justin Hawkins & Josh Freese/ Greg Kurstin- “Something About You.”
10. Coattail Riders Justin Hawkins & Rufus Taylor- “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” (The Darkness.)
11. James Gang- “Walk Away.”
12. James Gang- “The Bomber: Closet Queen, Bolero, Cast Your Fate to the Wind.”
13. James Gang and Dave Grohl on drums- “Funk #49.”
14. Mark Ronson/Chris Chaney/Andrew Wyatt/ Dave Grohl.
15. Them Crooked Vultures- “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” (Elton John.)
16. Them Crooked Vultures- “Dead End Friends.”
17. Them Crooked Vultures- “Long Slow Goodbye” (Queens of the Stone Age)
Dave Grohl talks about Taylor and his Van Halen shorts.
18. Wolfgang Van Halen/Justin Hawkins/Josh Freese/Dave Grohl- “Panama” (Van Halen.)
19. Wolfgang Van Halen/Justin Hawkins/ Josh Freese/ Dave Grohl- “Hot For Teacher” (Van Halen.)
20. Dave Grohl/ Chris Shiflett/ Rami Jaffe/ Joe Elliott/Phil Collen/ Rick Savage/ Patrick Wilson/ Pat Smear- “Rock of Ages” (Def Leppard.)
21. Dave Grohl/ Chris Shiflett/ Rami Jaffe/ Joe Elliott/Phil Collen/ Rick Savage/ Patrick Wilson/ Pat Smear/ Miley Cyrus- “Photograph” (Def Leppard.)
Dave Grohl talks.
22. Tommy Lee/ Nikki Sixx/ Derek Day/Dave Grohl/ Pat Smear/ Chris Shiflett/ Rami Jaffee- “Live Wire” (Motley Crue.)
23. Tommy Lee/ Nikki Sixx/ Derek Day/Dave Grohl/ Pat Smear/ Chris Shiflett/ Rami Jaffee- “Home Sweet Home” (Motley Crue.)
24. Foo Fighters/Josh Homme/ Elliot Easton- “Shake it Up” (The Cars.)
25. Foo Fighters/ Josh Homme/ Elliot Easton- “Just What I Needed” (The Cars.)
Dave Grohl speaks.
26. Foo Fighters/Jon Theodore/ Nancy Wilson/ P!nk- “Barracuda” (Heart.)
Dave speaks about meeting Taylor at KROQ Almost Acoustic Christmas.
27. Foo Fighters/ Stewart Copeland- “Next to You” (Stewart Copeland.)
28. Foo Fighters/Stewart Copeland/Jon Davison- “Everything She Does is Magic” (The Police.)
29. Alanis Morrisette/ Chad Smith/ Chris Chaney/ Dave Grohl/ Pat Smear/ Rami Jaffe/Chris Shiflett- “You Oughta Know” (Alanis Morrissette.)
30. Lars Ulrich/ Sebastian Bach/ Geezer Butler/ Foo Fighters- “Supernaut” (Black Sabbath.)
31. Lars Ulrich/ Sebastian Bach/ Geezer Butler/ Foo Fighters- “Paranoid/ Heaven and Hell” (Black Sabbath.)
Jack Black announces Rush.
32. Rush/Dave Grohl- “2112” ( Rush.)
33. Rush/Chad Smith- “Working Man” (Rush.)
34. Rush/Danny Carey- “YYZ” (Rush.)
35. Matt Cameron/Kim Thayll/Taylor Momsen/Krist Noveselic/Pat Smear
36. Matt Cameron/Kim Thayll/Taylor Momsen/Krist Noveselic/Pat Smear/ Dave Grohl- “Black Hole Sun” (Soundgarden.)
Dave announces Queen.
37. Queen/Foo Fighters/Justin Hawkins- “We Will Rock You” (Queen.)
38. Queen / Foo Fighters Rufus Taylor drums Roger Taylor lead vocals – “I’m in Love with My Car.”
39. Queen/Justin Hawkins/ Foo Fighters/ “Under Pressure” (Queen & David Bowie.)
40. Queen/P!nk/ Foo Fighters- “Somebody to Love” (Queen.)
41. Brian May- “Love of My Life” (Queen.)
Allison Hawkins comes out.
42. Foo Fighters/Josh Freese- “All My Life.”
43. Foo Fighters/ P!nk/ Jon Theodore-“The Pretender.”
44. Foo Fighters/ Travis Barker- “Walk.”
45. Foo Fighters/Matt Cameron- “Low.”
46. Foo Fighters/ Brad Wilk- “This is a Call.”
47. Foo Fighters/ Patrick Wilson- “The Sky is a Neighborhood.”
48. Foo Fighters/ Patrick Wilson/ Dave Chapelle- “Creep” (Radiohead.)
49. Foo Fighters/Omar Hakim- “Run.”
50. Foo Fighters/ Rufus Taylor- “Best of You.”
51. Foo Fighters/Shane Hawkins- “My Hero.”
52. Foo Fighters/ Shane Hawkins- “I’ll Stick Around.”
53. Foo Fighters/Chad Smith- “Everlong.”