Watch Justin Hawkins perform The Darkness, Van Halen hits at Taylor Hawkins tribute concert

The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins took to the stage at tonight’s (September 27) Taylor Hawkins tribute concert in Los Angeles, joining the members of the late Foo Fighters drummer’s side project, The Coattail Riders, to perform a four-song set.

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The band, formed by Hawkins in 2004, released three studio albums – 2006’s self-titled effort, 2010’s ‘Red Light Fever’ and 2019’s ‘Get The Money’.

At the London tribute concert for the late Foo Fighters icon earlier this month, Justin – who bears no relation to Taylor – joined The Coattail Riders to perform ‘Louise’ (from the 2006 album) and ‘It’s Over’ (from ‘Red Light Fever’), as well as ‘Range Rover Bitch’ from Hawkins’ 2016 solo EP, ‘Kota’.


They played the latter two songs again tonight, but swapped ‘Louise’ out for two covers: ‘Something About You’ by Level 42 – performed with the English jazz-funk outfit’s frontman, Mark King – and The Darkness’ own 2003 hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love’. While the London show saw them joined by John Lousteau on drums, tonight’s saw them link up with another longtime Foos collaborator, Josh Freese.

Have a look at crowd-shot footage of the performance below:

Later in the show – following performances from James Gang, Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt, and Them Crooked Vultures – Justin Hawkins and Freese returned to stage, alongside Wolfgang Van Halen and Foos leader Dave Grohl, to perform a pair of Van Halen songs.

Together, they delivered renditions of ‘Panama’ and ‘Hot For Teacher’ (both from their 1984 album ‘1984’). See footage of the supergroup playing the former cut below:


The performance echoed another moment from the London show, when the same quartet followed The Coattail Riders to perform ‘Hot For Teacher’ alongside an earlier Van Halen favourite, 1978’s ‘On Fire’. Also at that show, Justin Hawkins cameoed during Queen’s set to deliver guest vocals on ‘Under Pressure’, and during the Foos’ set with Lars Ulrich and Brian Johnson to guest on the AC/DC hit ‘Back In Black’.

Justin stirred minor controversy with that latter cameo, as it appeared that he snatched the microphone away from Johnson. He denied claims of that being the case, however, noting on social media that Johnson had personally asked him to come out for the song.

Tonight’s tribute gig began at 7pm at LA’s Kia Forum, starting with an acoustic performance of ‘Hallelujah’ by Grohl’s daughter, Violet, featuring Alain Johannes. That was followed by a short set from the surviving Foos, Blink-182’s Travis Barker and Joan Jett, who performed two of the latter’s biggest hits from the ‘80s.

Thus far, other acts to perform have included Chevy Metal, Kesha, Def Leppard (who were joined by Miley Cyrus), Mötley Crüe (joined by Derek Day) and Josh Homme of Queens Of The Stone Age.

Hawkins drummed with Foo Fighters from 1997 up until his death in March of this year, aged 50.