The two active founding members of Queen – lead guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor – joined the Foo Fighters to perform a five-song set of their own hits at the first Taylor Hawkins tribute concert.
- READ PLUS: Taylor Hawkins, 1972 – 2022: The Foo Fighters drummer who always stole the show
The special concert, which took place at Wembley Stadium last night (September 3) and was broadcast on the Internet, TV and streaming platforms, paid tribute to the late Foos drummer with performances by Liam Gallagher, Mark Ronson, Josh Homme from Queens Of The Stone Age, Supergrass, Lars Ulrich from Metallica and Brian Johnson from AC/DC, Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders, Travis Barker from Blink-182 and Kesha, among others.
The Queen/Foos supergroup performed with archive footage of Hawkins himself, hosting Roger Taylor at one of the Foos’ own concerts before he died. Hawkins was a big fan of the British rock icons, and at Foos concerts the drummer would often stand in for Dave Grohl to play lead vocals on a version of “Somebody To Love”.
“When I was 10 years old, my older sister took me to see Queen in concert – the first concert I’d ever seen – and I saw the fucking drummer, and I was like, ‘I want to be on it, I want to do that,’ ” Hawkins says in the clip. file being screened at last night’s concert, after enlivening the audience with his rendition of the famous song “oh-oh Game Freddie Mercury.
The performance opened with a cover of Queen’s 1977 hit “We Will Rock You,” on which Taylor joined his son Rufus on drums, and Luke Spiller of The Struts sang lead. With Taylor on vocals, they moved on to 1975’s “I’m In Love With My Car,” before welcoming The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins to sing the 1981 classic “Under Pressure.”
The next song on the list was “Somebody To Love”, which Sam Ryder took the microphone. In his introduction, Grohl explained that since Hawkins always covered the song on vocals during the Foos’ own sets, it was extremely difficult to find the right singer for last night’s tribute.
“Maybe it was Roger’s idea,” he said. “Roger showed us a clip of someone singing this song, and we made a phone call, and within 20 minutes, this person told us they were coming here tonight to sing it with us.”
To finish, May performed an acoustic rendition of 1975’s “Love Of My Life”. Before May performed the song, May told the audience: “I didn’t write this song, it was written by a young man named Freddie Mercury. And in 1986, we were in this place, singing this song together.
“And in 1992, exactly 30 years ago, we said goodbye to Freddie in a style similar to this – so I know that Freddie would be very happy to use this song to pay tribute to Taylor Hawkins. But here’s the deal: I can’t sing this let’s all sing it together.”
Watch the full Foos/Queen performance below:
Queen and Foo Fighters were playing:
1. 1. ‘We Will Rock You’ (with Luke Spiller from The Struts)
2. ‘I’m In Love With My Car’
3. ‘Under Pressure’ (by Justin Hawkins from The Darkness)
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4. ‘Somebody To Love’ (with Sam Ryder)
Love Of My Life’ (Brian May solo)
Grohl and Hawkins’ Foo Fighter bandmates opened the concert with an emotional speech paying tribute to their late drummer. “For those who knew him personally, they know that no one else could make them smile, or laugh, or dance, or sing like he did,” the frontman said.
Comedian Dave Chappelle also recalled spending time with the rock star and his son in New York. “I have seen Taylor be a rock star many nights, but it was the first time I saw him be a father, and his father is cool,” he said. “Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, he is a legend of a musician and he is a legend of a father.”
Liam Gallagher made his live debut today, performing two Oasis songs with the help of the surviving members of the Foo Fighters, while Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith shared a heartwarming story about Hawkins in a special video message.
Grohl’s daughter Violet, 16, also took to the stage to cover two Jeff Buckley songs, before Grohl’s supergroup Them Crooked Vultures reunited for the first time in 12 years. Supergrass also performed, as the trio reminisced about touring with the Foos and Hawkins in the ’90s.
On the other hand, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson teamed up to play a couple of the band’s last hits – “Back In Black” and “Let There Be Rock” – after Violet returned to The Zutons’ ” Valerie” with Ronson, Chris Cheney from The Living End and Jason Falkner.
Foo Fighters finished the night with a star-studded set featuring a rotating cast of drummers including Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell and Hawkins’ 16-year-old son Shane. Paul McCartney also joined the group on stage, performing two Beatles songs.
Hawkins, who was the drummer for the Foo Fighters since 1997, as well as taking part in groups such as Chevy Metal and Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders, died in March 2022. He was 50 years old .