Former Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher opened the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert at London’s Wembley Stadium today (Sept. 3) with a rendition of that band’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star” and “Live Forever” backed by the surviving members of Foo Fighters. The worldwide broadcast began with a photo montage of Hawkins onstage and off, soundtracked by the late ’90s Foo Fighters song “Aurora.”
From there, the Foos walked onstage and stood with their arms around one another as Dave Grohl addressed the massive crowd.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we’ve gathered here to celebrate the life, the music and the love of our dear friend, our bandmate, our brother, Taylor Hawkins,” he said. “For those of you who knew him personally, you know that no one else could make you smile, or laugh, or dance or sing like he could. And for those of you that admired him from afar, I’m sure you’ve all felt the same thing. So, tonight, we’ve gathered with family, and his closest friends, his musical heroes and greatest inspirations, to bring you a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person. So, sing. And dance. And laugh. And cry. And fucking scream. And make some fucking noise so he can hear us right now. ’cause you know what? It’s gonna be a long fucking night, right?”
This is the first time the Foo Fighters have performed onstage without Hawkins, who died suddenly at age 50 in March. Tonight’s show will boast a multitude of big names saluting Hawkins’ life and musical legacy, including Alanis Morissette, Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, Miley Cyrus, the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith, Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic, Wolfgang Van Halen, Hawkins’ son Shane.
SPIN will provide updated coverage of the concert throughout the day.