As expected, Red Hot Chili Peppers dedicated their closing set at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival on Sunday to the late Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins.
The group had been added to the lineup to replace Foo Fighters following Hawkins's death on March 25th while on tour in Colombia. An autopsy indicated that he died with multiple drugs in his system, leading people to assume an overdose caused his death.
The show was attended by Hawkins’ widow, Alison, as well as Dave Grohl and other Foo Fighters members, while Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith had his late friend's first name emblazoned on his bass drum along with a hawk silhouette that looked like a tattoo Hawkins had on his arm.
The news that Grohl was in New Orleans over the weekend got out after he was spotted around town, including at Preservation Hall on Saturday where The Who's Pete Townshend jammed with the house jazz band. It led to rumors that he might join the Chili Peppers during their set, but that didn't happen.
Instead, Smith came out from behind his drum kit and spoke to the crowd, saying, “We love the Foo Fighters and we love our brother Taylor Hawkins. It’s meant a lot to us to be able to play for them.” He then led them in chanting “We love you, Taylor!”
The Chili Peppers 17-song set included their first performance in five years of "If You Have to Ask" and was the first time in 15 years that they ended their encore with "By the Way." They performed four songs from their new album, Unlimited Love.