The super group – with Foos leader Dave Grohl along side queen of the stone age‘s Josh Homme, Led Zeppelin‘s John Paul Jones and multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes – delivered a three-song set at Wembley Stadium, marking their first appearance since 2010.
Before they began, a video tribute from Elton John was screened. “The Foo Fighters are one of those bands that always give 150 per cent. They never gave less than that and neither did Taylor,” said John. “He played on my last album which I was so excited and honored about. Never forget him.”
It was part of the Vultures’ opening song, a cover of John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, which QOTSA recorded for the 2018 John tribute album Renew. The gentle start made time for plenty of smiles across the stage between Grohl and Jones, who seemed to be enjoying the moment very much.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’re Them Crooked Vultures and right now I’m just gonna leave it at that,” Homme said before the band broke into their track “Gunman.” The singer then introduced his colleagues, including “the one, the only, Admiral John Paul fucking Jones,” who smiled humbly and bowed.
“Everybody look left, look right,” Homme continued. “The world is ending soon. There’s no time left but for love and I love you and I love Taylor… and I hope you have the best time, the time of your life.” He repeated, “I love you, Taylor,” before the band played the track “Long Slow Goodbye.”
The Vultures’ set followed an energetic set by British band Supergrass, who were one of Hawkins’ favorite groups and had toured with the Foos. Before that, Grohl, his daughter Violet and guests performed a short set Jeff Buckley covers, with the Foos leader telling the audience that no one could sing Buckley’s songs like Violet.
Hawkins and Grohl lived out a childhood rock fantasy in June 2008, staging a semi-Zeppelin reunion by recruiting Jones and guitarist Jimmy Page for renditions of “Rock and Roll” and “Ramble On” at Wembley Stadium. (The first tune featured Grohl on drums and Hawkins channeling Robert Plant on vocals; the duo swapped places with the other.)
“I remember Taylor as a brilliant drummer and a really good guy, but the look on his face when he knew he’d done lead vocals for ‘Rock and Roll’ live on stage at Wembley, with myself, Jimmy Page and Dave on drums, it will stay with me forever,” Jones admitted prior to the tribute concert.
“Wembley was without a doubt the highlight of our 14 years as a band,” Grohl previously shared Classic rock of the concert. “We might as well have landed on Mars. It’s kind of like reaching the top of Mount Everest, except instead of climbing there, you just kind of hiked up it and said, ‘Fuck! We’re really high up here!'”
The second Hawkins tribute show is planned for September. 27 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.
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Counting down every canonical Led Zeppelin album, from worst (relatively, of course) to best.