Fans ‘spend time in the musical mind’ of Taylor Hawkins at LA tribute concert

The event at the Kia Forum is the second celebration of the Foo Fighters drummer, since the 50-year-old musician’s death in March.
The event at the Kia Forum is the second celebration of the Foo Fighters drummer, since the 50-year-old musician’s death in March.

Dave Grohl invited fans to “spend some time in the musical mind” of Taylor Hawkins, as he opened a special tribute concert to the late Foo Fighters drummer.

The event at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles is the second celebration of Hawkins since the 50-year-old drummer was found dead in his hotel room in Colombia in March.

It follows a previous concert on September 3 at Wembley Arena in London, which saw the band joined by Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John and Liam Gallagher, among other famous faces from the UK music world.

The LA show featured less verbal tributes to Hawkins, but was stacked with US music powerhouses throughout the night including Wolfgang Van Halen and Miley Cyrus, as well as members of UK rock bands, The Darkness and Def Leppard.

Welcoming fans gathered in the arena Grohl told them the show would let them “spend some time in [Hawkins’] musical mind” and “celebrate this person that has touched our lives,” the LA Times reported.

“This is the hometown shit so you gotta make it loud for Taylor tonight,” he said.

First to perform was Grohl’s 16-year-old daughter Violet, who gave an emotional rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah – having previously sung at the UK concert.

Second to perform was US musician Joan Jett, who took to the stage to play several songs with the Foo Fighters, accompanied by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker.

Hawkins’ 16-year-old son Oliver Shane later introduced his father’s classic-rock cover band, Chevy Metal, telling fans at the arena “I’m really nervous”.

The youngster had previously performed drums at the UK tribute concert in London.

Chevy Metal were joined by Kesha onstage and gave a rendition of David Bowie’s Heroes.

Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert
First to perform in LA was Grohl’s 16-year-old daughter Violet, who also previously sang at the UK concert earlier this month (Kevin Mazur/MBC/PA)

Other performers throughout the night included Mark Ronson, as well as Nikki Sixx and Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.

British rockers Def Leppard also joined the roster to pay musical tribute, with frontman Joe Elliott recalling a meeting with Hawkins three decades earlier in California.

“So, 30 years ago Phil (Collen) walked into a guitar store in Laguna Hills and a 20-year-old kid sold him some guitar strings,” he told crowds.

“About five years later we did Top Of The Pops in England… this kid walks into the dressing room. He was playing drums for Alanis Morrisette.

“That was Taylor Hawkins, so in memory of. Let’s do some proper songs for Taylor.”

Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert
Grohl took to the stage multiple times throughout the evening, performing with different artists (

The band played Rock Of Ages before being joined briefly by US star Miley Cyrus for a rendition of Photograph, matching her bleached blonde hair with Elliot’s.

Funds from concert tickets and merchandise sales will go to the Music Support and MusiCares charities, which were selected by the Hawkins family, who have helped organise the event.

Hawkins played in the band fronted by former Nirvana drummer Grohl for more than two decades, alongside Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.

He joined Foo Fighters in 1997 after previously touring with Morissette. Hawkins also starred with the band in their recently released film, Studio 666.

Following his death in March, the band cancelled all upcoming tour dates as well as a planned performance at the Grammys.