Rock stars react to Taylor Hawkins tribute show

Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert poster
(Image credit: Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert)

Many of the rock and metal heavyweights who took part in the amazing Taylor Hawkins tribute show that took place at Wembley Stadium on Saturday night have posted statements on the hugely successful (and emotional) evening.

The gig, which took place over six hours and united dozens of names from across the music spectrum, honoured Foo Fighters drummer Hawkins, who passed away aged 50 earlier this year.

Oasis icon Liam Gallagher, who played the first set of the show, tweeted: "Massive Love n Respect to The Foo Fighters that was EMOTIONAL fly on TAYLOR."

Queen guitarist Brian May noted the emotional resonance of once again performing at Wembley Stadium for a tribute show; the tribute show for his bandmate Freddie Mercury took place at the same venue in 1992.

"...on the same spot from which we said goodbye to Freddie in 1992," he noted. "Too many emotions for my brain to handle."

"Miss you Taylor," said Lars Ulrich on Instagram. The Metallica drummer teamed up with Foo Fighters and Brian Johnson to nail a couple of AC/DC anthems. "Honored to be a part of this otherworldly celebration and playing your fave songs with the coolest crew imaginable," he added.

Elsewhere, Justin Hawkins was impressed by the drumming of his Darkness bandmate, Rufus Taylor. Rufus joined his legendary dad Roger Taylor to jam some Queen classics alongside Brian May, plus Hawkins, Luke Spiller, Sam Ryder and members of Foo Fighters.

"Rufus’ performance was really quite astounding, from where I stood he looked like he was conceived & born in a stadium," Tweeted the frontman. "I know how emotional this was for him; Taylor Hawkins was his hero, mentor & part of his family. He has developed into a drummer with groove, power & finesse.

"Thank you for everything, Taylor," Tweeted Wolfgang Van Halen, who nailed his dad Eddie's parts for two Van Halen songs. "That was for you, and for Pop."

Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes Tweeted: "A beautiful night of love, music & incredible musicians….all together in Wembley stadium for our friend Taylor Hawkins."

Producer Mark Ronson remarked on the emotional rollercoaster of the show:

"Performing "Valerie" at the Taylor Hawkins tribute with Violet Grohl and two of Taylor's oldest brothers in music Jason Falkner and Chris Chaney was one of the most beautiful experiences i've ever had on stage," he said on Instagram. "The whole show, i either had a lump ("everlong") in my throat or a fist in air ("back in black"). or both ("times like these") Thank you to the Foos and the Hawkins family for inviting me. Today is my birthday but no way anything will top yesterday so this is my bday post."

Young drumming prodigy Nandi Bushell was one of the most talked-about performers of the day. "Taylor Hawkins Forever - It was the greatest honour of my life to have been asked to play at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert!" she Tweeted. "I gave it everything I had. Thank you for inviting me."

Many rock and metal heavyweights who watched the show from home also offered their thoughts. Machine Head frontman Robb Flynn noted on Instagram: "This is why rock ‘n’ roll will never die. No other genre of music can touch the soul like this. Nothing comes close. When rock ‘n’ roll is done right it is the greatest artform human existence has ever produced. This performance from last nights incredible Taylor Hawkins tribute is at once heartbreaking, painful, inspiring, and life-affirming. Simply beautiful. Well done Foo Fighters."

"What a beautiful, moving, and rocking tribute to Taylor Hawkins," Tweeted Rage Against The Machine guitarist Tom Morello. "Taylor was such a huge FAN of rock n roll and the Wembley concert captured that mightily."

Anthrax's Scott Ian praised Queen's Brian May for his performance of Love Of My Life, noting: "On a night with so many beautiful moments, one man with a guitar owned Wembley. Brian May you make the world a better place. Cheers my friend." He also heaped praise on Shane Hawkins' performance behind the drum kit, adding: "Shane Hawkins played like it’s his throne. Not a dry eye over here. Cheers Shane."

Twisted Sister icon Dee Snider also praised Shane Hawkins with a simple but heartfelt: "Holy shit. Chills. Just chills. Beautiful," later adding: "I can't stop watching it."

"Watching Taylor Hawkins son play drums like that brought a tear to me eye for real," commented pop punk rapper Mod Sun. "How special of a moment in time was that."

A second tribute show for Taylor Hawkins will take place in Los Angeles on September 27.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.