The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert Was 2022’s Most Important Show

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There’s no replacing someone like Taylor Hawkins in the world of rock.

Ever since he first played drums with Alanis Morissette in the ‘90s, the guy was known as a monster behind the kit and Dave Grohl’s partner in crime whenever the Foo Fighters played a gig. His sudden death earlier this year took everybody by surprise and has left an enormous hole in everyone’s heart. 

The Foos’ future might be a little darker without Taylor, but the band gave him the rock and roll tribute that he deserved, this past September. 

Much like Taylor’s rock idol Freddie Mercury, Taylor got the send-off worthy of a rock giant, with the Foos holding two massive shows both in England and LA. Since Taylor was an eclectic fan of music, people from all corners of the rock scene came by to pay their respects.

While it makes sense to see people like The Pretty Reckless and Def Leppard up on stage to pay their respects, the real wild cards were people like Dave Chappelle, Kesha, and P!nk, who turned up to do Taylor proud. This wasn’t a PR exercise for them either, as P!nk held her own on her version of Heart’s ‘Barracuda’ and Kesha gave a touching rendition of David Bowie’s ‘Heroes.’

Aside from being a hard rock fan though, Taylor was also a self-proclaimed Liam Gallagher fan in the last years of his life, and the British audience at Wembley Stadium was given a surprise by having the former Oasis frontman come out for a few tunes, dedicating songs like ‘Rock n Roll Star’ and ‘Live Forever’ to Taylor’s memory, saying after the fact, “I was never his bandmate or anything, but we would always chat. I’m one of those people that’s like ‘you’ve got to celebrate.’ I’d be emotional for his family and all that, but it’s times like that where you’ve just gotten fuckin go big.” (12:30)


Outside of the tributes to Taylor, there were a few appearances that most of us thought we would never see, like Wolfgang Van Halen bringing his old man’s licks out of the closet to play songs like ‘Hot For Teacher’ and ‘Panama’ with the band,  absolutely annihilating it just like Eddie had done years before. 

There may have been some audio whiplash hearing these different acts one after another, but these gigs were about the overarching appeal of all of these fans coming together for a good cause. Since Taylor isn’t here to see it, it’s only fitting that they deliver the kind of show that would have made him proud.

At the end of each show, the Foo Fighters took to the stage, each time brandishing a different drummer to perform Taylor’s parts. At one moment, it would be one of his peers like Travis Barker, and the next it would be someone who inspired Taylor to pick up the drums in the first place like Stewart Copeland from the Police. 

The most cathartic moment each night came when Taylor’s son Shane went behind the kit, looking to make his father proud by tearing through some of his classic drum tracks like ‘Everlong’ and ‘My Hero.’ When you go back and look at the clip of them performing ‘Hero,’ you can see that twinkle in Dave’s eyes, almost like a proud uncle looking over at his nephew stepping into his father’s shoes.

More than anything, both of these shows felt like an opportunity for the Foos to heal. Taking the stage for an organ version of ‘Times Like These,’ you can see Dave practically choking up as he sings about staying strong after losing one of his best friends. Taylor’s death came out of nowhere back in March and hearing everyone in those stadiums cheering the band on is what Dave needed to hear.


A world without Taylor Hawkins is going to look a lot darker, but this show wasn’t meant to close the book on the Foo Fighters. These tributes were about celebrating all the great music that Taylor left behind, and as the classic Foos song would imply, it is times like these that we learn to live again.  

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