Joe Walsh leads the James Gang together again at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert

Joe Walsh led the James Gang together at last night’s Taylor Hawkins tribute concert, the group’s first performance in 16 years.

The special event honoring the late Foo Fighters drummer took place on Saturday (September 3) at London’s Wembley Stadium, and was broadcast simultaneously across the web, television and streaming platforms.

With a star-studded line-up, tribute performances came from Mark Ronson, Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age, Supergrass, Queens’ Brian May and Roger Taylor, Blink-182’s Travis Barker, AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, Kesha, Lars Ulrich Metallica and others.

Introducing the James Gang, Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl said, “If you’ve ever seen a picture of Taylor Hawkins, chances are she was wearing a fucking James Gang hat.”

Led by Walsh – which was tweeted about the band’s performance at the concert the day before (September 2) – James Gang took to the stage at 7pm BST, where the trio performed “Walk Away”, from their 1971 album “Thirds”, before playing a medley of “The Bomber: Closet Queen/ Bolero/ Throw Your Destiny to the Wind’.

The group – rounded out by bassist Dale Peters and drummer Jimmy Fox – concluded their brief appearance with a performance of 1970’s “Funk #49,” with Grohl on drums at Walsh’s invitation.

Their first concert since 2006, the James Gang was praised on social media by the audience of the tribute concert.

Before the concert, Walsh revealed in a statement (per Ultimate Classic Rock) that Hawkins often asked him about his career: “Taylor was like my little brother who was always asking questions,” the veteran rocker said, ” he had an insatiable curiosity for playing hard and loud like we used to in the 70’s.

“We talked a lot about being a trio, how we recorded ‘James Gang Rides Again,’ and what life was like as a musician before you were born.

“He thought I was very good and the feeling was mutual.”

James Gang was playing:

1. ‘Walk Out’

2. ‘The Bomber: Queen of the Closet/Bolero/Throw Your Fate to the Wind’

3. ‘Funk #49’ (with Dave Grohl)

Grohl and Hawkins’ bandmates in Foo Fighters opened the event with a moving speech in which they paid tribute to their late drummer: “No one else could make you smile, or laugh, or dance, or sing like him,” said Grohl.

Liam Gallagher kicked off the live music, performing two Oasis classics, ‘Rock’n’Roll Star’ and ‘Live Forever’, backed by Grohl on drums on both. Comedian Dave Chappelle shared memories of being with Hawkins and his son, Shane, who attended the concert and watched from the sidelines: “Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, he’s a legend of a musician and he’s a legend of a father ,” Chappelle shared.

Grohl’s daughter Violet, 16, performed two Jeff Buckley songs in tribute to Hawkins, supported by her father on drums, Alain Johannes of Queens Of The Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures, guitarist Jason Falkner and Chris Chaney of Jane’s Addiction. Violet performed “Last Goodbye” and “Grace”, after an introduction by her father, who called her “the only person I know who can sing a Jeff Buckley song”.

Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson, on the other hand, 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” by Ronson, Chris Cheney and Falkner from The Living End.

Foo Fighters rounded off the night with a star-studded set featuring a rotating cast of drummers including Barker, Nandi Bushell and 16-year-old Shane Hawkins. Paul McCartney also joined the group on stage, performing two Beatles songs.

Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor also joined the Foo Fighters on stage to play five songs: ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘I’m In Love With My Car’, ‘Under Pressure’, ‘Somebody To Love’ and an acoustic performance of ‘Grá Mo Shaol’.

Hawkins, who was the drummer for the Foo Fighters since 1997, as well as playing in groups such as Chevy Metal and Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders, died in March 2022, aged 50.

The second tribute show will take place at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on September 27.

Earlier this month it was announced that Grohl would be joining Walsh and the James Gang as a “special guest” at Walsh’s ‘VetsAid’ veterans benefit show on November 13th at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The James Gang will headline the event, and their reunion will be “one last tour”. Joining them on the bill will be Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys and The Breeders.

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