On September 3, thousands of Taylor Hawkins supporters flocked to London’s Wembley Stadium for the first of two memorial concerts. In March of 2022, Hawkins, the Foo Fighters drummer, was discovered dead at 50 in Bogotá.
While many famous people, such as Liam Gallagher, Brian May, Roger Taylor of Queen, Mark Ronson, and Dave Chappelle, ascended the stage, the Foo Fighters were joined by an exceptional guest: Hawkins’ son, 16-year-old Shane.
On one of their biggest hits, “My Hero,” the teen replaced his dad on drums to play alongside the band. Shane gave an emotional performance alongside his father’s longtime bandmates, and a video from the webcast showed him completing the song with his drum solo as leader Dave Grohl gazed on proudly.
The performance was widely praised by viewers online, with one Twitter user highlighting the “pure joy and ecstasy” on Grohl’s face during the set.
One of Shane Hawkins’s fans wrote, “Shane Hawkins is 16 years old and did the most unbelievable performance on drums of ‘My Hero’ at his own Dad’s memorial event at Wembley Stadium.” How on Earth could he keep his composure? Unquestionably one of the most heartbreaking moments in rock music.
A second admirer wrote the teenager a heartfelt letter in which they said, “Some very amazing kids, but I think Shane Hawkins just shone brightest. The ability to perform at that caliber in front of 90,000 people at a tribute event for your father is extraordinary. Incredible.”
Grohl’s daughter Violet, then 16 years old, also performed at the tribute performance, covering songs by Jeff Buckley and The Zutons, including “Valerie” and “Last Goodbye.”
A little later in the night, while performing the Foo Fighters’ signature hit “Times Like These,” Grohl, who had accompanied many artists throughout the night, was overcome with emotion.
The musician’s face was visibly moved to tears on multiple occasions throughout the performance. Even before the most heartfelt lyrics, he paused to collect himself. The Foo Fighters postponed their upcoming tour dates after Hawkins’ death at a festival in Colombia.
The band expressed their regret and displeasure over not being able to play another show as scheduled in an Instagram post. Instead, let’s use this period to honor the deceased, comfort one another, draw closer to our loved ones, and reflect on the joy we’ve shared in life’s many musical and memorable moments.
Alison Hawkins, who was married to Hawkins, took to social media a few months after his death to express gratitude for the outpouring of love the couple received.
Alison, who had three children with the late drummer, including their son Shane, stated, “In celebration of his life, it is now up to those of us who loved him best to celebrate Taylor’s legacy and the music he gave us.” Once again, I appreciate everyone’s kindness and support. Taylor cherished her friends and family, and we feel the same way.
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Both memorial events were announced by the Foo Fighters in June, with the band calling their late member “our dear friend, our bad— bandmate, our cherished brother.”
Bandmates and inspirations playing the songs that he fell in love with and the ones he brought to life, the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts will unite several of those artists, the Hawkins family, and of course, his Foo Fighters brothers in celebration of Taylor’s memory and legacy as a global rock icon. These concerts are being held to raise money for Music Support and MusiCares.
On September 27th, Travis Barker, Alanis Morissette, Gene Simmons, and Wolfgang Van Halen will play at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles for a second tribute show.
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