Them Crooked Vultures Reunite at Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert
Them Crooked Vultures staged a reunion to honor late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins at his tribute concert in London.
The supergroup – featuring Foos leader Dave Grohl alongside Queens 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 performance since 2010.
Before they began, a video tribute from Elton John was screened. “The Foo Fighters are one of the bands that always give 150 percent. They never give less than that, nor did Taylor,” John said. “He played on my last album, which I was so thrilled about, and honored. Don’t ever forget him.”
That segued into the Vultures’ opening song, a cover of John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” which QOTSA recorded for the 2018 John tribute album Revamp. The gentle start allowed time for plenty of smiles across the stage between Grohl and Jones, who appeared to be greatly enjoying the moment.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we are Them Crooked Vultures, and for right now I’ll just leave it at that," Homme said before the band broke into its track "Gunman." The singer then introduced his colleagues, including “the one, the only, Admiral John Paul fucking Jones,” who smiled humbly and took a bow.
“Everybody look to the left, look to the right,” Homme continued. “The world’s gonna end soon. There’s no time left except for love, and I fucking 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 its 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 delivered a short set of Jeff Buckley covers, with the Foos leader telling the crowd that no one could sing Buckley’s songs like Violet.
Hawkins and Grohl lived out a childhood rock fantasy in June 2008, staging a half-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 traded places for the second.)
"I remember Taylor as a brilliant drummer and a really great guy, but the look on his face when he knew he had nailed the lead vocal for 'Rock and Roll' live onstage at Wembley, with myself, Jimmy Page and Dave on drums, that 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 told Classic Rock of the gig. “We may as well have landed on fucking Mars. It’s kind of like reaching the top of Mount Everest, except instead of climbing there you just kinda wandered onto it and said, ‘Fuck! We’re really high up here!’"
In September 2015, Jones and Roger Taylor joined Foo Fighters live to play Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure," with Jones playing keys and Hawkins trading off lead vocals with Grohl.
Following Taylor's death at age 50, Jones posted a tribute on his Facebook page, writing, "A lovely man and a great drummer, we will miss you."
The second Hawkins tribute show is scheduled for Sept. 27 at the Kia Forum in Los Angeles.