Pearl Jam Pays Tribute to Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins at Tour Opener in San Diego

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Pearl Jam paid tribute to the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins on the opening night of their “Gigaton” tour in singer Eddie Vedder’s hometown of San Diego on Tuesday night.

Before performing “Quick Escape” at the city’s Viejas Arena Vedder paid homage to drummer Matt Cameron’s friendship with Hawkins, who died in Columbia while the Foos were on tour, and added a personal touch as well.

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“[Hawkins] emitted something very incredible and very special,” Vedder said to the audience, before turning to Cameron and saying, “We’re all missing him, and so, Matt, I’m sorry again for your loss. But it just gives us another chance to say how much we appreciate you as well.”

Cameron and Hawkins formed a side ban called the Nighttime Boogie Association in 2020 after both took part in a tribute concert for the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell in 2019.

On Sunday night, the Red Hot Chili Peppers honored Hawkins as well, at Jazz Fest in New Orleans on Sunday while frontman Dave Grohl, Hawkins’ widow Alison, and other members of the Foo Fighters looked on from the wings. The group had stepped into the Foo Fighters’ headlining slot at the festival after the Foos’ cancelled all of their tour dates in the wake of Hawkins’ death.

Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith, a close friend of Hawkins’, had “Taylor” spelled out on his bass drum, surrounded by a hawk silhouette, similar to one on Hawkins’ arm.

Grohl’s presence in town over the weekend sparked unfounded rumors that he might perform. That did not take place, but toward the end of the group’s 90-minute set, Smith walked to the front of the stage, took the microphone and said, “We love the Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. It’s meant a lot to us to be able to play for them.”

He then led the crowd in a chant of, “We love you, Taylor!”

Hawkins’ cause of death has not been officially determined, although medical officials in Colombia, where he died before the group was to perform at a festival, said there were multiple drugs in his system at the time of his death.

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