Pearl Jam pays tribute to Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins

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 tribute to drummer Matt Cameron’s friendship with Hawkins, who died in Colombia during the Foos’ tour, and also added a personal touch.

“[Hawkins] put out something very amazing and very special,” Vedder told the audience, before turning to Cameron and saying, “We all miss 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 too.

Cameron and Hawkins formed a parallel ban called the Nighttime Boogie Association in 2020 after they both performed at a tribute concert for late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell in 2019.

On Sunday night, the Red Hot Chili Peppers also paid their respects to Hawkins, at Jazz Fest in New Orleans on Sunday, as frontman Dave Grohl, Hawkins’ widow Alison, and other Foo Fighters members watched from the backstage. The band had entered the Foo Fighters headliner at the festival after the Foos canceled all of their tour dates following Hawkins’ death.

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

Grohl’s presence in town over the weekend sparked unfounded rumors that he might perform. It didn’t happen, but towards the end of the band’s 90-minute set, Smith walked upstage, picked up the mic and said, “We love the Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. It means 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 band performed at a festival, said there were several drugs in his system at the time of his death.