Many of us may have dreamed of being pulled up onstage by our favourite bands during a gig.
Unless you’re Courteney Cox in a Bruce Springsteen video, or a five-year-old at a Foo Fighters gig in Belfast, though, it doesn’t often happen.
For the latter however, it happened at his first ever gig, when Dave Grohl picked out five-year-old Foo Fighters fan Taylor Hooper from a crowd of 35,000 people and got him onstage to rock out.
Taylor and his family were at the Belfast Vital festival when the memorable moment took place. Grohl singled out the five-year-old, who was sensibly wearing a pair of hefty ear defenders, thanks to his handmade poster and got him up on the stage to rock out in front of the massive crowd.
Taylor’s parents say they’ve been fans of Grohl since his days drumming in Nirvana, and have followed his career ever since, travelling far and wide to see Dave and the gang perform. In fact, they love Foo Fighters so much Nikki and her husband even named Taylor after the Foo Fighters‘ drummer, Taylor Hawkins.
As Nikki told BBC News:
He’s been listening to them since he was born – mainly because me and his dad are massive fans.
Our Taylor's first ever gig. Thank you to @foofighters and to all the staff & crowd. You are all so amazing. Insanely proud of our wee rockstar. Life long memories made at Vital Belfast last night 😜🤘🤘😍 pic.twitter.com/AUDEPlOzVL
— Nikki Hooper (@nikhoop2403) August 20, 2019
We were going to the gig with friends from across the UK, and we thought it would be fun to bring our son with us.
We contacted the event promoters and they said it would be no problem, but that we should be aware it would be a loud music event, so we got Taylor some special headphones.
When we got there, everyone was so welcoming to him.
The amazing moment the @foofighters invite 5 year old Belfast fan Taylor up on stage, his first ever concert, and he absolutely killed it!!!! 🎶🙌🙌🙌👇 @BelfastVital #CoolSaturdayShow pic.twitter.com/qPeW2pco4s
— Stuart Robinson (@stuartrobinson1) August 19, 2019
The five-year-old had apparently made a poster for the gig, which must have caught Grohl’s eye.
People kept encouraging us to go towards the front. Dave Grohl spotted [the poster] and read out what it said – that Taylor was five and this was his first concert.
The crowd then started shouting ‘up on stage’, and Dave said ‘bring the wee dude up here’ and that’s exactly what happened.
Taylor, showing no signs of stage fright, proceeded to dance with the band as they played. Nikki said it was ‘a proud moment for us as parents, [Taylor] stole the limelight – we’re all still on cloud nine.’
People say you want to meet your rock legends, but for me personally, nothing will beat this.
It was a massive moment and I’m not at all jealous because these memories will stay with Taylor forever.
After the gig, Nikki and Taylor caught up with the band backstage, with Taylor’s namesake giving him a pair of drum sticks.
Not bad for a first gig.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.