Dave Grohl burst into tears while performing ‘My Hero’ in honour of late drummer Taylor Hawkins at Foo Fighters’ first concert with his replacement Josh Freese.
The Grammy-winning rockers kicked off their tour at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion on Wednesday night (24.05.23), where they welcomed their new sticksman to the band and thanked him for “saving” the group following the tragic loss of Taylor – who was found dead in his hotel room in Colombia, in March 2022, aged 50.
Speaking to the crowd, frontman Dave, 54, said: “Would you please welcome the man behind the drums Josh Freese, who has helped save the band.
“We would not be here tonight if it weren’t for Josh, so everybody give Josh a big f***ing round of applause please.”
During the emotional performance of ‘My Hero’, a hawk lit up the stage in Taylor’s memory, and Dave struggled to hold back the tears.
Later in the show, Dave’s daughter Violet, 17, joined the group to perform ‘Shame Shame’ from their 2021 LP ‘Medicine At Midnight’.
Before their first proper concert, Josh was unveiled as their new drummer at their ‘Foo Fighters: Preparing Music For Concerts’ livestream on Sunday (21.05.23).
Josh is known for playing for the likes of Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails and Paramore.
He was among several drummers to pay tribute to Taylor at a pair of tribute concerts in Los Angeles and London.
The Foos have dedicated their upcoming album to Taylor, and Dave’s late mother Virginia Hanlon Grohl.
The ‘Walk’ rockers will release ‘But Here We Are’ on June 2, and they’ve shared that the record is in honour of their beloved bandmate, and the frontman’s parent, who passed away the same year.
Sharing the minimalist white cassette and album cover for the LP, which is designed by Morning Breath INC, the Grammy winning-group tweeted the album dedication: “For Virginia and Taylor.”
The follow-up to 2021’s ‘Medicine at Midnight’ is described as: “A brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters endured over the last year.”
In a letter to fans, the ‘Best of You’ hitmakers vowed to be “a different band going forward” following the devastating loss of Taylor.
They wrote: “As we say goodbye to the most difficult and tragic year that our band has ever known, we are reminded of how thankful we are for the people that we love and cherish most, and for the loved ones who are no longer with us.
“Foo Fighters were formed 27 years ago to represent the healing power of music and a continuation of life. And for the past 27 years our fans have built a worldwide community, a devoted support system that has helped us all get through the darkest of times together. A place to share our joy and our pain, our hopes and fears, and to join in a chorus of life together through music. Without Taylor, we never would have become the band that we were — and without Taylor, we know that we’re going to be a different band going forward.
“We also know that you, the fans, meant as much to Taylor as he meant to you and we know that when we see you again — and we will soon — he’ll be there in spirit with all of us every night.”