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Dave Grohl Pays Tribute to Foo Fighters’ Late Drummer With Emotional Solo Performance

"We used to sing it together, so I'm gonna do it for him tonight," Grohl said before performing Hawkins' original song "Cold Day in the Sun" at the band's first full show with new drummer Josh Freese.

READING, ENGLAND – AUGUST 25: Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters performs live on the Main Stage during day three of Reading Festival 2019 at Richfield Avenue on August 25, 2019 in Reading, England. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)Simone Joyner/Getty Images

Dave Grohl paid tribute to his late friend and bandmate Taylor Hawkins on Wednesday night during a Foo Fighters show in Gilford, N.H.

Near the end of the concert, Grohl performed a solo version of "Cold Day in the Sun," a song originally written and sung by Hawkins, that appeared on the acoustic portion of the band's 2005 double LP In Your Honor.

"Now I have to say that this is something I never thought I'd have to do," a visibly choked-up Grohl told the crowd before performing the soulful, folky tune. "I'm gonna try to do it. Taylor wrote this song. We used to sing it together, so I'm gonna do it for him tonight."

Wednesday's show, held at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion, was only the band's third onstage appearance since Hawkins' death last March.

Two tribute concerts honoring Hawkins took place last September, when the band was joined by a number of high-profile guests, but the New Hampshire show marked the Foos' reemergence as a revived touring unit. On drums was Josh Freese, the veteran session drummer who had joined the band at a livestream event on Sunday and also performed at the tribute shows. This was his first full concert as a member of the Foo Fighters.

During his 25 years with the band, Hawkins often took over vocal duties on covers. "Cold Day in the Sun" marked the first time he brought an original song into the group.

"It's hard playing a demo for Dave because he's like my older brother — I know when he thinks something sucks," the drummer said in 2005, reflecting on the song. "Anyway, it's a song Dave liked and it lightened up the acoustic record. Everyone says it sounds like the Eagles!"

The song remained a frequent feature in the band's set lists through 2018.

The Foo Fighters have a busy summer of touring ahead, with festival shows across the globe and select U.S. dates. Their next performance is Friday at the Boston Calling fest. Their new album and first recording without Hawkins, But Here We Are — which the band has described as a "brutally honest and emotionally raw response to everything Foo Fighters have endured recently" — comes out June 2. 

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