Red Hot Chili Peppers have paid tribute to the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins during their headline set at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival – watch the footage below.
The Chilis, who recently released their 12th studio album, Unlimited Love, stepped in to replace Foo Fighters at the festival following the tragic death of their drummer Hawkins on March 25th. Following Hawkins’ death, Dave Grohl and co. decided to cancel all of their scheduled shows for 2022 while they process the loss of their beloved bandmate.
During the Sunday night headline set at New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Red Hot Chili Peppers used a drum kit with “Taylor” written on it and at the end of their 17-song set, the Chilis drummer Chad Smith made a speech dedicating the performance to Hawkins.
“We just found out about this two weeks ago, because Foo Fighters were supposed to play here tonight,” Smith said. “We love Foo Fighters, and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. This means a lot to us to be able to play for them.”
“The guys in the band are here, they’re supporting. Taylor’s wife Alison and his whole family are here, we love them, we love Taylor,” continued Smith before getting the crowd to chant, “we love Taylor.”
Discussing the festival appearance beforehand, Smith said that the group had been in contact with Hawkins’ wife Alison and that “it’s going to be a celebration.”
“That’s what she wants. She doesn’t want it to be anything other than, ‘Let’s celebrate music, let’s celebrate our friends, let’s celebrate Taylor. This is what he would want and he would be very happy that you guys are playing and he would want it [to] be nothing but a positive experience’.”
Smith continued: “So we’re going to do all that, and she’s going to be part of that, and I’m very honoured that we can do that with her. We’re going to play our hearts out.”
Foo Fighters supported the Chilis on their 1999 tour in support of their Californication album. The two legendary groups have remained close friends ever since.
While receiving the Chilis’ star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame last month, Smith said: “I have to give a shout out to my brother Taylor Hawkins, who I love and we’ll all miss so much.”