Liam Gallagher opens Taylor Hawkins tribute concert


Liam Gallagher was the first musical artist to perform at the Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert in London.

The former Oasis frontman opened the show at Wembley in convincing fashion with a two-song set, accompanied by surviving members of the Foo Fighters.

Gallagher took the stage after Dave Grohl and his bandmates marched silently to a long standing ovation that brought the bandleader to tears – especially when the crowd started chanting “Taylor, Taylor”.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said finally, “Tonight we gather here to celebrate the life, music and love of our deaf friend, bandmate, brother, Taylor Hawkins. have known, you know no one else could make you smile, laugh, dance or sing like him. For those who admired him from afar, I’m sure you all felt the same.

“So tonight we got together with his closest family and friends, his musical heroes and his biggest inspirations to give you a gigantic fucking night for a gigantic fucking person. So sing and dance and laugh and cry and fucking scream and make fucking noise, so he can hear us now. ‘Cause you know what, it’s gonna be a fucking long night, right? Are you ready… Are you fucking ready?

With a simple name check, Gallagher took to the stage, by which time the YouTube live stream had already taken over $10,000 in contributions to the MusiCares Trust. “Taylor fucking Hawkins!” Gallagher said as the Foo Fighters broke into the Oasis classic “Rock ‘n’ Roll Star.” His signature swagger seemed oddly at odds with the Foos’ no-frills stage presentation, but it was an assertive and powerful start to the show.

They followed with “Live Forever” by Oasis, by which time Grohl already seemed like the emotional tension of the last few months was leaking out via his drums. Guitarist Chris Shifflett’s playing in the style of Noel Gallagher provided another contrast to the Foos’ performance. “To hit !” Gallagher shouted towards the end and threw his maracas into the crowd. “Have a great night,” he said before hugging the band and leaving the stage, the stage definitely set for a powerful and emotional night.

Before the performance, Gallagher spoke enthusiastically about the late drummer. “He was a top boy and an incredible musician and it’s an absolute honor and privilege to open the show at Wembley,” the Oasis rocker said. “I still can’t believe this is really happening, he and his music will live forever.”

The singer’s relationship with Hawkins and the other members of the Foo Fighters goes back decades. Hawkins, who was the drummer for Alanis Morissette from 1995 to 1997, occasionally rubbed shoulders with the Gallagher brothers of Oasis on the road.

“It was such a fun time, 1995-96, it was amazing,” Hawkins recalled to NME in 2016. “I remember their bus pulling up, outside of Ohio or New Jersey or something, and watching these two guys hit each other, not even getting off the bus. We say, “Oh my God, there they are, the real deal. They look amazing and they’re fighting each other, and I can’t even understand a word they’re saying.”

In the same interview, Hawkins complimented Gallagher’s voice. “This guy is a fucking good rock singer,” he said. “When people talk about Freddie Mercury, they’re like, ‘Oh my God, he’s so outrageous’ – a lot of people don’t know what made them great. I watched that Oasis documentary. [Supersonic] the other day, and there’s this part where he sings “Champagne Supernova” in one take in its entirety, and you just say, “Oh, fuck,” you know, the reason we all loved him in the first place place is because he’s a fucking good singer. He can sing a fuckin’ rock ‘n’ roll song, man.”

In 2018, Gallagher revealed to NME that the Foo Fighters were interested in working with him. “They keep texting me, man,” he said. “They wanted to do a track, but I don’t know – I will someday, but I’m too busy doing that right now. But I like them – I think the Foo Fighters have some good tracks. I think that Dave Grohl is very talented, and so is the band.”

Following Hawkins’ death, Gallagher dedicated his performance of “Live Forever” at a Teenage Cancer Trust concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall to the late drummer. Hawkins’ name was also displayed on the drum kit. “This is for you bro,” Gallagher said.

“Every time I see him I get a big hug. I love him,” Hawkins said in 2016. “I think he’s been one of the great leaders of the last 20 years, no doubt.”

A second Hawkins tribute concert is scheduled for Los Angeles on September 27.

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