In late March, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins passed away, after which Foo Fighters canceled all of their upcoming tour dates. The move was understandable, of course, but the fact remained that this left festivals that had Foo Fighters booked as a main act in a tough spot. Other artists stepped up, though: Nine Inch Nails replaced Foo Fighters at a couple of events and Red Hot Chili Peppers filled in at this past weekend’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
Ahead of the festival, RHCP drummer Chad Smith said in a Billboard interview, “We’re taking Alison, [Hawkins’] wife, with us and it’s going to be a celebration. That’s what she wants. She doesn’t want it to be anything other than, ‘Let’s celebrate music, let’s celebrate our friends, let’s celebrate Taylor. This is what he would want and he would be very happy that you guys are playing and he would want it be nothing but a positive experience.’ So we’re going to do all that and she’s going to be part of that and I’m very honored that we can do that with her. […] We’re going to play our hearts out.”
Sure enough, Hawkins definitely had a presence during the Chili Peppers’ set. Smith has an outline of a bird with “Hawkins” written on it on his drum set, and at the end of the band’s performance, Smith told the crowd, “We just found out about this two weeks ago, because Foo Fighters were supposed to play here tonight. We love Foo Fighters, and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. This means a lot to us to be able to play for them.”
Check out that moment below.
Red Hot Chili Peppers is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.