Watch Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson play Rush classics at Taylor Hawkins tribute show

Geddy Lee and Dave Grohl
(Image credit: Kevin Mazur)

The first of two epic tribute shows for late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins took place at London's Wembley Stadium yesterday, and the highlights came thick and fast.

On an emotional night featuring an extraordinary lineup of musicians, the appearance of Rush duo Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson was a moment that'll live long in the memory, not least because they were a band Hawkins loved.

As Dave Grohl said in his introduction, "Now if there's one band that I always associated Taylor Hawkins with, it's these next two guys. Taylor got up and played with two guys once, in their hometown of Toronto, Canada. And I have to say, it was not only one of the greatest nights of my life watching him do that, but perhaps, one of the greatest night of his."

Grohl then takes a seat behind the kit for 2112 Part I: Overture and Working Man, filling the stool vacated by the late Neal Peart – fan-shot footage below. 

"For Alex and I it's a privilege to be up here and play with SuperDave," said Lee from the stage. "In 2008, as Dave told you, we got a call from Foos' management, asking if we'd come to the Toronto show, and show up so that Taylor could play one of his favourite Rush songs with us. We obliged, and that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship."    

Drummer Omar Hakim – a friend of Hawkins and one of several musicians mooted as a possible future Foo Fighters drummer – then joined the duo onstage for the classic instrumental YYZ.

"You can imagine how nervous I was," Hawkins told Prog magazine in 2014. "But I got through YYZ with them. Even though they told me I was playing too fast! The nerves I was going through; here I was replacing Neil Peart in Rush – well, almost!"

The US leg of the Taylor Hawkins tribute takes place at the Kia Forum in Inglewood, California, on September 27.

Watch some fan-filmed footage here.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.