The Foo Fighters were joined by Sir Paul McCartney for a special tribute concert to the band’s late drummer Taylor Hawkins at London’s Wembley Stadium on Saturday.
Thousands of fans gathered in honor of Hawkins, who was found dead in his Columbia hotel room in March, and there were tears, cheers and heartfelt tributes from many rock legends.
McCartney’s appearance was a surprise, and the crowd went wild when Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl introduced him alongside The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde.
They played Beatles songs. Darling and Helter Skelter.
Before playing Helter Skelter, McCartney said:
“The group had two of the best drummers in the world and they wanted me to play the drums, so I did.
“It’s quite a memory.”
Earlier, Grohl was in tears on stage in honor of Hawkins.
Before introducing his daughter Violet Grohl and British musician Mark Ronson, Grohl said: *** Musicians.
“Because Taylor loved to jam and record with anyone and everyone. He loved playing music every day. And there are too many people he never jammed with. There is none.
“So this gathering of friends, family and musicians was all put together by him, and today we are bound here by this one man.
“Musicians I’ve never met, musicians I’ve never played with, all in one place at a time to make f********noise for Taylor Hawkins. and brought all of you beautiful people.”
Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher opened the event with a rendition of his band’s hit Rock and Roll Star, with Grohl on drums.
— YouTube Music (@youtubemusic) September 3, 2022
The balloon bounced around the crowd as Gallagher soon followed with Live Forever.
Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May, Rush, AC/DC singers Brian Johnson and Nile Rodgers also performed at the concert.
Hawkins’ son Oliver Shane Hawkins, pop stars Kesha, Sam Ryder and The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins also made appearances.
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Jason Sudeikis also took the stage to share anecdotes about Hawkins and his relationship with music.
In a pre-recorded message, Sir Elton John told fans, “Never forget (Hawkins).”
“He loved music,” he said. “He loved to play. He loved the Foo Fighters. Tonight we honor his memory.
today @ Wembley Stadium we celebrate the life of #taylor hawkinsThanks to the Hawkins family @Foo Fighters Thank you for choosing us as one of these great show charities. Make a donation to support our important work 👉 https://t.co/EMFoxHyTQ9 # Foo Fighters pic.twitter.com/yUeRztdSxO
— Music Support (@Musicsupport_uk) September 3, 2022
“He’ll love it, so let’s make some noise. The Foo Fighters are one of those bands that always give 150%. He was a great drummer.”
“He played on my last album. I was so excited and honored. So tonight is about remembering him, honoring him and never forgetting him.”
The event was a celebration of the late musician and the band’s first performance since his death at the age of 50.
Funds from concert tickets and merchandise will be donated to Music Support and MusiCares charities chosen by the Hawkins family to help organize the event.
Hawkins, along with Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee, has played in a band led by former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl for more than two decades.
The London show will be followed by a second concert at Los Angeles’ Kia Forum on September 27, featuring Alanis Morissette and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith.