Rock News

The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London on Saturday  served as a moving sendoff for the legendary drummer, who died in March of this year. It also marked the first Foo Fighters performance since Taylor Hawkins’ death. And while the band, their families and the fans are still getting over the shock of his loss, many might be wondering: did the show point a way forward for the band?

The loss of Hawkins is a huge one: besides being an incredible drummer (), he had a very tight bond with Dave Grohl. As Grohl wrote in his book The Storyteller: Tales of Life and Music, Hawkins was “My brother from another mother, my best friend… Upon first meeting, our bond was immediate, and we grew closer with every day, every song, every note that we ever played together. I am not afraid to say that our chance meeting was a kind of love at first sight, igniting a musical ‘twin flame’ that still burns to this day. Together, we have become an unstoppable duo, onstage and off, in pursuit of any and all adventure we can find. We are absolutely meant to be, and I am grateful that we found each other in this lifetime.”

You could see the pain on Grohl’s face multiple times during the show. You saw it when Dave and the Foo Fighters welcomed the crowd. Then, there was the moment when tears ran down his face at the beginning of the Foos’ opening number “Times Like These.” And, of course, during Grohl’s solo “Everlong,” which closed the show.

Hopefully, the concert provided some healing, for the band and for the fans. And there’s a second tribute show with a similar lineup taking place on September 27 in Los Angeles. But will that be the final Foo Fighters appearance? If not, what comes next? The show might have provided some clues about what the band might do, moving forward (even if the band wasn’t thinking about it at the time).

  • Back Up Another Artist

    The show opened with the Foo Fighters backing Liam Gallagher of Oasis. Grohl played drums. That might be an easier and more fun way to return to the road: they get to play together, but they don’t have to play “Learn To Fly” or “Times Like These” with someone else on drums.

  • Return to the “Sound City Players” format

    In 2013, Dave Grohl released the Sound City documentary, where he interviewed a number of artists who had recorded at the famed L.A. studio. It led to an album where he collaborated with a number of the artists from the film (often with the help of the other Foo Fighters). They then went on a brief tour as the “Sound City Players,” where the band backed a number of singers, including Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Rick Springfield and Corey Taylor. Grohl didn’t sing much, but switched between bass, guitar and drums throughout the night, and the Foos tapped in and out of the band as needed. They were also accompanied by Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, Krist Novoselic and Rage Against The Machine’s Brad Wilk. Like the above option, it would allow the guys to play music together, without having to be “the Foo Fighters.”

  • Work with Josh Freese

    It seems unlikely that the band would name a new drummer, at least in the near future. But they could work with different drummers, including the ones who they performed with on Saturday. Josh Freese is one of the most in-demand drummers in rock and he’s someone who would “understand the assignment.” He’s a great musician, and he also knows what it’s like to play in high-profile bands. He’s recorded and/or toured with Nine Inch Nails, Sting, Sublime with Rome, Weezer, Guns ‘N Roses and he’s a member of A Perfect Circle.

  • Work with Travis Barker

    He would be a good choice, and was a friend of Taylor’s. On the other hand, Blink-182 is still an ongoing concern. And it’s doubtful that Dave Grohl would want the Kardashians and their film crews following a Foo Fighters tour around.

  • Work with Omar Hakim

    Hakim performed during the David Bowie tribute segment on Saturday (he was the drummer on Bowie’s Let’s Dance album). He’s more of a jazz guy but has lots of experience with rock and pop music, having worked with Sting, Mick Jagger, David Lee Roth, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Daft Punk. He also sat in on Saturday with Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson when they played Rush’s “YYZ.” Hakim is a bit older than the Foo Fighters, but he could easily hold it down for them. His style is really different than Hawkins’ (or Grohl’s). It might be too different of a sound for the band.

  • Work with Nandi Bushell

    The Instagram sensation performed “Learn To Fly” with the Foos on Saturday. Having defeated Grohl in a “drum-off” during the pandemic she certainly has the chops to play for the Foo Fighters. And like Grohl, she plays guitar and bass as well. But the road is no place for a 12-year-old.

  • Work with Rufus Tiger Taylor

    A member of British glam band the Darkness, he’s also the son of Queen’s Roger Taylor (and has been a touring drummer/percussionist for Queen). He knows what it’s like to play to huge audiences, and what it’s like to play with a legacy band. His style – and his looks – are a bit too close to Taylor Hawkins, though, and that might feel weird. But he could definitely do the job.

  • Work with Shane Hawkins

    Taylor’s son provided one of the emotional highlights of Saturday night when he got behind the kit for “My Hero.” But, like, Nandi, he’s a bit too young.

  • Work with Stewart Copeland

    The Foos did two Police covers with the band’s drummer sitting in. Copeland always seems game to try things: he has been doing “Police Deranged” shows where he plays the band’s songs alongside an orchestra. He’s also composed an opera (“The Witch’s Seed”) and earlier this year he won a Grammy in the New Age category for his album with Ricky Kej, Divine Tides. He occasionally reunites with his other rock band, Oysterhead, with Les Claypool of Primus and Trey Anastasio of Phish. He might be up for a string of Foo Fighters dates.