Wolfgang Van Halen did his late father Eddie proud tonight (Sept. 3) during the Taylor Hawkins tribute at London’s Wembley Stadium, shredding on lead guitar during renditions of Van Halen’s “On Fire” and “Hot for Teacher.”
The younger Van Halen was backed by Dave Grohl on bass and Josh Freese on drums, while The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins handled lead vocals. “It should come as no surprise that Taylor Hawkins was a huge fucking Van Halen fan,” Grohl said before the mini-set. “Didn’t you see those tights he would wear every night? Well, we’re lucky enough to have with us tonight a real Van Halen.”
Foo Fighters frequently covered Van Halen in concert, including 12 times during their 2015 tour when “Ain’t Talkin’ ’bout Love” was a staple of the setlist.
Following Liam Gallagher’s opening set tonight, the tribute went on to feature a mini-David Bowie set with Chic’s Nile Rodgers, Bowie drummer Omar Hakim, former Jane’s Addiction bassist Chris Chaney and Queens Of The Stone Age’s Josh Homme on vocals. From there, Hawkins’ former bandmates in the rock cover band Chevy Metal and his side project the Coattail Riders performed originals and covers of Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer” and T. Rex’s “Children of the Revolution,” the latter sung by Kesha.
SPIN will provide updated coverage of the tribute throughout the day.