The surviving members of the Foo Fighters—joined by a huge number of other big-name musicians—assembled at Wembley Stadium in London earlier today for a concert. Said show was the first of two planned tribute concerts in honor of Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins, who died back in March. It was, to put not-too-fine a point on it, a massive and star-studded affair: In addition to Dave Grohl and the other members of the Foo Fighters—playing together publicly for the first time since Hawkins’ death—the setlist also included appearances from Dave Chappelle, Josh Homme, John Paul Jones, Liam Gallagher, Kesha, Nile Rodgers, The Pretenders, Krist Novoselic, Lars Ulrich, Roger Taylor, Brian May, Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, Brian Johnson, Stewart Copeland, Nandi Bushell, Paul McCartney, and more.
Although the whole event ran for six hours today—encompassing something like 50 songs in its setlist—we’ve picked out a few highlights from the day, which blended together heartfelt feeling with powerful musicianship, as many of Hawkins’ favorite performers came together with his bandmates to pay tribute.
For instance: Liam Gallagher, helping to open the show with a version of Oasis’ “Life Forever”.
Later on, Homme, Jones, and Grohl reunited their supergroup Them Crooked Vultures for their first time in 12 years:
Members of two of Hawkins’ biggest influences, Queen and Rush, also took the stage to pay tribute:
And here’s McCartney and Chrissie Hynde performing together for The Beatles’ “Oh Darling!”
The most emotional moments of the night, not surprisingly, came from the set by the Foo Fighters themselves, who brought in a rotating set of drummers to pay tribute to Hawkins. That included Josh Freese, Travis Barker, Rufus Taylor, and, yes, Bushell, who powered mightily through a version of the band’s “Learn To Fly.”
The final drummer of the evening was Hawkins’ 16-year-old son, Shane Hawkins, playing on the bands’ “My Hero.” Which, yeah: Hard to stay dry-eyed for that one.
Grohl finished the show with one final solo offering—for a definition of “solo” that includes an entire arena of people singing along—to the man he frequently referred to as his brother: An acoustic version of “Everlong”:
The second Taylor Hawkins tribute concert is scheduled for September 27 in California.