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Watch Wolfgang Van Halen crush two Van Halen classics at Taylor Hawkins tribute

Wolfgang Van Halen and Justin Hawkins onstage
(Image credit: Viacom)

As much as Saturday's Taylor Hawkins tribute show at Wembley was a perfect celebration of the late Foo Fighters drummer, he wasn't alone in being remembered from the stage. 

Dave Grohl and Omar Hakim played Neil Peart's parts as Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson played a trio of Rush classics. Violet Grohl sang a pair of Jeff Buckley songs. Later she returned to sing Valerie, a Zutons number made famous by Amy Winehouse. Brian May, Roger Taylor, Rufus Taylor and Foo Fighters performed some of the songs Freddie Mercury once sang. Nile Rodgers, Chris Chaney and Hakim covered two David Bowie classics. You could add Marc Bolan, Bon Scott and Bernard Edwards to the list. 

The show was an often poignant reminder of rock's past, but it also featured musicians with an eye on the future, like junior drumming sensation Nandi Bushell – who joined Foo Fighters for a rousing Learn To Fly – and Wolfgang Van Halen, who  performed a pair of songs made famous by his father.

"It should come as no surprise that Taylor was a huge Van Halen fan," said Dave Grohl in his introduction to the set. "Remember those tights? We are lucky enough tonight to have with us a real Van Halen."

Grohl played bass during the short set, joined onstage by Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins and session sticksman Josh Freese – performing with a photo of the late Olivia Newton John on his bass drum – as Wolfgang led the band through On Fire from Van Halen's debut album and Hot For Teacher from sixth album 1984. And he crushed it.

One person watching with interest was Wolfgang's mother Valerie Bertinelli, who tweeted  three words in caps: "WOLFIE KILLED IT", before adding "So proud of you".

Highlights from the two covers are embedded below. 

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Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. 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.