We’ve been at a collective loss since the passing of beloved and ultra-talented drummer Taylor Hawkins. The Foo Fighters staple had a place in the hearts of many inside the music world and outside of it — a piece to the grand puzzle that leaves it incomplete now that it’s gone.
As if the initial tribute show in London’s Wembley Stadium earlier this month wasn’t proof enough, another horde of Hawkins fans sold out The Kia Forum in Inglewood on Tuesday night (September 27th) with hearts swelling and energy flowing, not knowing exactly what laid ahead of them. For another six hours, as with Wembley, David Grohl and his rotating cast of guests rolled their way through some of Hawkins’ favorite tracks, as well as Foo Fighters classics. And while family was again an overarching theme of the night, so was connection, and the importance of maintaining it with the ones you loved.
Grohl made sure that in some form, connection was at the forefront of the accolades and memories he shared of Hawkins. “Everyone, in this room together, sharing all this love for Taylor,” he ruminated before Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith sat behind the drum set one last time for show-closer “Everlong,” his face filled with a sadness shared across the artists and the musicians. You could hear it in the grievances and salutations each artist shared as well, reinforcing the size of Hawkins’ heart and everyone in it.
Even though the Foo Fighters themselves (with different drummers for each song) didn’t hit their discography until the last two hours, the show started at 7:00 p.m. promptly, with a beautiful rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from Grohl’s daughter Violet. Her voice was rich though her demeanor was low, likely a mixture of mourning and nerves.
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Her dad followed after, taking the stage alone before the rest of the Foos slowly joined him. His emotion was apparent, his longing for his friend visible from even the highest seats. “What we really wanted to do was pay tribute to Taylor in a way that you could sort of spend some time in his musical mind, which could be a pretty terrifying place,” he chuckled after noting how the hometown show was certainly going to be loud. “But just as the show in London, we’ve all gathered here to celebrate this person that has touched our lives, whether from afar or for all of his friends and family and loved ones and musician buddies and heroes that are here tonight.”