Last weekend, more than 1,000 musicians gathered at Paris, France’s Stade de France to pay tribute to the late Taylor Hawkins with a leviathan rendition of Foo Fighters’ “My Hero.” Before we go any further, check out footage of the cover below to hear what this many people playing in unison sounds like.
After shouting out Hawkins and leading into the song with a deceptively small-scale acoustic guitar and organ introduction, the sound of hundreds of drum kits playing in unison begins, followed soon afterward by what must’ve been a thunderous wave of bass guitars, rhythm guitars, and vocals. The rest of the cover that follows is fairly faithful to the original, but becomes, naturally, far more grandiose, especially when the musicians play the song’s chorus, buoyed by hundreds of voices and instruments.
The performance took place as part of Rockin’ 1000’s latest show and, according to Consequence, included musicians from 25 different countries. We last covered Rockin’ 1000 when the group performed a similarly massive cover of Rage Against The Machine’s “Killing In The Name,” but the enormous band actually got its start with a rendition of Foo Fighters’ “Learn To Fly.”
Back in 2014, per Rockin’ 1000’s website, Italian marine biologist Fabio Zaffagnini embarked on a campaign to somehow get Foo Fighters to play a show in his hometown, Cesena. In order to draw the band to a town of just over 97,000 residents, Zaffagnini recruited fellow organizers and managed to coordinate a 1,000-musician “Learn To Fly” performance in 2015. The video, which now has more than 60 million views, attracted the Foo Fighters’ attention and, as hoped, ultimately led to the band playing a show in Cesena in November 2015.
The concept continued afterwards, with Rockin’ 1000 playing full sets in Italy, then other European nations, and, finally, shows held across the world. Considering the success that Zaffagnini and his many, many, many collaborators have had with turning an enormous Foo Fighters’ cover into a long-lasting project, their tribute to Taylor Hawkins is more than fitting.
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