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Foo Fighters Pay Tribute to Tom Petty at MusiCares Person of the Year Ceremony

Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images (2)
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images (2)

Grammy week! It brings so many acts from so many genres together in one place and typically yields great performances that go far beyond the Grammy stage. Such was the case Friday night (Feb. 10) as an eclectic group of acts gathered at the annual MusiCares Person of the Year ceremony, which this year paid tribute to Tom Petty.

Among those performing at the event were Foo Fighters, who made their highly anticipated return to the concert stage having only played one show since the end of their touring for Sonic Highways at the end of 2015.

The band has ties to Petty, as Dave Grohl came close to joining the Heartbreakers after Nirvana‘s career came to an end. Petty reached out to Grohl for an appearance on Saturday Night Live shortly after the band had parted ways with longtime drummer Stan Lynch. The timing coincided with the demise of Nirvana, as Kurt Cobain had taken his own life earlier in the year. While the pairing went swimmingly, Grohl ultimately did not continue beyond the sole TV performance, eventually choosing to pursue his own music with what would become Foo Fighters. Two decades later, Foo Fighters are one of rock’s top bands and Petty is the legend being honored.

Foo Fighters performed two songs during the ceremony, first playing solo on a cover of Petty’s “Honey Bee” from his Wildflowers album. Grohl played drums on a performance of the song during the Saturday Night Live appearance all those years ago, making the track the perfect tie-in for the night. See a portion of the performance below.

MusiCares LA. #Foofighters #needisaymore

A video posted by Sharlene Ludwig (@sharleneludwig) on

For their second song, Foo Fighters invited blues great and Sonic Highways collaborator Gary Clark Jr. to the stage as they teamed up on a cover of the Petty classic “Breakdown.” See a bit of that performance below.

Breakdown with The Foo's and Gary Clark Jr! #foofighters #garyclarkjr #tompetty #musicares

A video posted by Ken Levitan (@kvnashville) on

The night also included performances from Cage the Elephant, Don Henley, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Nicks, Randy Newman, George Strait, Elle King, Norah Jones, the Bangles, the Lumineers, the Head and the Heart, Jakob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Jackson Browne and many more, with Petty finishing out the night with a speech and a handful of collaborative performances with some of the artists.

Foo Fighters will be playing larger sets this year, having signed on for a number of European festivals as well as the Bottle Rock festival stateside. To see where they’re playing, click here.

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