When their drummer Taylor Hawkins died last year at age 50, Foo Fighters took a while to regroup. They played some tribute shows but mostly mourned the loss off-stage and in the studio. Late last month, the band embarked on their first tour without Hawkins and their first with new drummer Josh Freese. Everything on stage might feel different, but the energy from the people showing up to see the show is the same — if not even more charged. Frontman Dave Grohl felt this most palpably and penned an emotional handwritten letter to their fans about it.
“Now that we’ve returned from our first run of shows, I felt compelled to reach out and thank you all for being there for us,” Grohl wrote. “Every night, when I see you singing, it makes me sing harder. When I see you screaming, it makes me scream louder. When I see your tears, it brings me to tears.”
He added: “And when I see your joy, it brings me joy. But, I see you… and it feels good to see you, churning up these emotions together. Because we’ve always done this together. Time and time again. See you soon.”
The absence of Hawkins has been felt in essentially every room Foo Fighters have played without him. During the band’s first outing with Freese, Grohl paid tribute to the late drummer with a solo rendition of “Cold Day in the Sun,” telling the audience: “Taylor wrote this song, we used to sing it together. I’m gonna do it for him tonight.”
During Foo Fighters’ appearance at Boston Calling late last month, Grohl didn’t shy away from how weird it felt to be there, reverting to business as usual when their normal has now been permanently altered by death. “It’s funny feeling being up here with you guys tonight, but I feel like let’s do it together, we can make this thing feel alright,” he said. “It’s different now. To see you and sing these songs to you, a lot of them mean something new now.”
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