"When I see your tears, it brings me to tears," wrote the band's frontman
On Tuesday, frontman Dave Grohl shared a handwritten note thanking fans for supporting Foo Fighters and feeling their "emotions" at the band's first shows since drummer Hawkins died at age 50 in March 2022.
Aside from a couple of tribute shows to the late musician last year, Foo Fighters hadn't performed as a unit since the tragedy until recently. The band kicked off a string of shows in late May and currently has tour dates scheduled through January 2024.
"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," wrote Grohl, 54.
"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," continued the former Nirvana member.
"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," added Grohl. "Because we've always done this together. Time and time again. See you soon."
Foo Fighters are set to hit the stage next on June 14 in Rogers, Arkansas and will perform in North America, Japan and Brazil throughout the rest of the summer.
Last month, the band performed at the Boston Calling music festival and was joined by Hawkins' son Shane, 17, who played the drums during the group's performance of "I'll Stick Around."
"How about we do a song with one of my favorite drummers in the world?" Grohl asked the audience before performing the tune. "Ladies and gentlemen, Shane Hawkins!"
The band was originally expected to play the music festival in 2022 with Hawkins, but they dropped out when he died unexpectedly that year while on tour in Colombia.
It remains unclear if Freese, 50, is a permanent member of the group now or will be filling in for live shows. He joins members Grohl, Nate Mendel, Pat Smear, Chris Shiflett and Rami Jaffee.
During the Boston Calling set, Grohl spoke openly to the crowd about the struggles of returning to performing without their longtime drummer.
"I’m gonna do it for Taylor's family, and I’m gonna do it for Taylor, because we used to sing it together," he said. "So our band is truly like a family. Because we've been together for so long, we truly love each other. So tonight, all of our families are here because we have to do this together."
Grohl — who welcomed his 17-year-old daughter Violet on stage to perform two songs alongside him at another point during the show — also told the crowd that it's "a 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."
Still, he noted that "it's different now. To see you and sing these songs to you, a lot of them mean something new now."
At the end of the show, an emotional Grohl dedicated the band's classic hit "Monkey Wrench" to "Shane and the Hawkins family."
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