Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and AC/DC’s Brian Johnson joined forces at the Taylor Hawkins tribute concert at Wembley Stadium tonight (September 3).
The special gig honoured the late Foo Fighters drummer with performances from Liam Gallagher, Mark Ronson, Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme, Supergrass, Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor, The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde, Blink-182’s Travis Barker, Kesha, and more.
The surviving members of Foo Fighters introduced Ulrich and Johnson on stage midway through the night. “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage our good buddy Lars and Brian Johnson from AC fucking DC,” Grohl said. The pair hugged the band as they appeared from the wings and joined the group for two songs.
“This is fantastic,” Johnson said as the musicians launched into a cover of AC/DC’s ‘Back In Black’. The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins also joined the proceedings halfway through, taking the microphone from Johnson, before swapping lines with the singer.
“Woo, that was fun!” Johnson exclaimed afterwards. “I enjoyed that, thank you.” The group then tore through a version of AC/DC’s ‘Let There Be Rock’.
“Taylor, I know you’re watching,” Ulrich said as he prepared to leave the stage. “I know you’re hearing this, I know you’re feeling this. We fucking love you. On behalf of everybody in Metallica, nothing but love. Thank you Wembley, we’ll see you soon.” Watch the moment above, from around the -2.46.30 mark.
Grohl and Hawkins’ Foo Fighter bandmates opened the concert with an emotional speech that paid tribute to their late drummer. “For those of you who knew him personally, you know that no one else could make you smile, or laugh, or dance, or sing like he could,” the frontman said.
Comedian Dave Chappelle also recalled spending time with the rock star and his son in New York. “I’ve seen Taylor be a rock star many nights but it was my first time seeing him be a dad, and what a cool fucking dad,” he said. “Taylor Hawkins is a legend of a man, he’s a legend of a musician and he’s a legend of a father.”
Liam Gallagher kicked off the live music today, performing two Oasis songs with the help of the surviving members of Foo Fighters, while Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Chad Smith shared a heartwarming story about Hawkins in a special video message.
Grohl’s 16-year-old daughter Violet also took to the stage to cover two Jeff Buckley songs at the show, and supergroup Them Crooked Vultures reunited for the first time in 12 years. Supergrass also performed, with the trio recalling touring with Foo Fighters and Hawkins in the ’90s.
Foo Fighters closed out the night with a star-studded set featuring a revolving cast of drummers, including Travis Barker, Nandi Bushell, and Hawkins’ 16-year-old son, Shane. Paul McCartney also joined the group on stage, delivering a performance of two Beatles songs.
Hawkins, who drummed with Foo Fighters from 1997 alongside performing in bands like Chevy Metal and Taylor Hawkins And The Coattail Riders, died in March 2022. He was 50 years old.