'I don't think I've ever seen anyone hit the drums as hard as this person, but beyond that, he's a member of our family,' Dave Grohl told the audience.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on September 6, 2022. It has since been updated.
Fans who gathered at London's Wembley Stadium on September 3, 2022, witnessed a significant moment in music history as the late Taylor Hawkins' teenage son, Shane, filled in for his dad on the drums. The 16-year-old joined the Foo Fighters as they performed an emotional rendition of "My Hero" at the first of two tribute concerts dedicated to their departed bandmate. While the night saw a "revolving door" of all-star drummers—including Travis Barker, Josh Freese, Rufus Taylor, Nandi Bushell, Omar Hakim and more—it was Shane's passionate performance that impressed those in attendance—and those watching along at home—the most.
"Ladies and gentlemen, we have one more drummer that's going to come up and play with us, and let me tell you I don't think I've ever seen anyone hit the drums as hard as this person, but beyond that, he's a member of our family," Dave Grohl told the audience, introducing the final drummer of the evening, reports The Rolling Stone. "And he needs to be here tonight with all of us, and I think it makes sense that he's going to come up and play with us tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, would you please welcome Mr. Shane Hawkins on the drums."
Shane Hawkins, the 16 year old son of the late Taylor Hawkins playing the drums during “My Hero” with the Foo Fighters during the tribute show to his dad, has me 😭 pic.twitter.com/pBiyPurMC9— Travis Akers (@travisakers) September 4, 2022
Shane is one of three children Hawkins had with his wife Alison. His siblings are 13-year-old Annabelle and 8-year-old Everleigh. Fans wholeheartedly celebrated Shane's performance on social media, with one Twitter user calling attention to Grohl's reaction to the teen on the drums. "The pure joy and happiness on Dave's face while watching Taylor's son Shane Hawkins play drums on 'My Hero,'" tweeted @Krush59. "Shane Hawkins is 16 years old and gave the most incredible performance on drums of 'My Hero' at his own Dad's tribute concert at Wembley. How on Earth did he hold it together? Surely one of the most poignant moments in rock history," commented @sunildvr.
Some unbelievably talented kids but I think Shane Hawkins just shone brightest. To be able to play at that level in front of 90,000 people at a tribute concert for your dad is another level. Incredible. #taylorhawkinstribute— Stephanie Rutt (@stephrutt) September 3, 2022
I watched Shane Hawkins’ from the bleachers with tears in my eyes & missed out on the bow, but was a privilege to be part of this show.— Justin Hawkins (@JustinHawkins) September 4, 2022
Everybody involved would trade it in to have Taylor back, but @foofighters & The Hawkins Family created something beautiful in his honour. pic.twitter.com/qRRMGTlcaM
According to TODAY, Hawkins was found dead at age 50 in Bogotá in March 2022. Announcing the heartbreaking news in a tweet at the time, the Foo Fighters said that they were devastated by their longtime drummer's sudden demise. "His musical spirit and infectious laughter will live on with all of us forever," the band said in the statement. "Our hearts go out to his wife, children and family, and we ask that their privacy be treated with the utmost respect in this unimaginably difficult time." According to the Independent, Hawkins' cause of death was ruled as cardiovascular collapse.
The Foo Fighters announced both tribute concerts on social media in June, dedicating them to "our dear friend, our badass bandmate, our beloved brother..." The second tribute concert was held at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles on September 27, 2022, and featured appearances by Travis Barker, Alanis Morissette, Gene Simmons and Wolfgang Van Halen. "The Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concerts will unite several of those artists, the Hawkins family and of course his Foo Fighters brothers in celebration of Taylor's memory and his legacy as a global rock icon—his bandmates and his inspirations playing the songs that he fell in love with, and the ones he brought to life," a statement on the band's website read.