Recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Foo Fighters accepted another career honor at the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards this Sunday (Sept. 12), receiving the show’s first-ever global icon award and performing a three-song medley at the show.
The longtime rock torchbearers’ performance were introduced by Billie Eilish, who saluted the group as one who “an entire generation of music fans grew up with.” They began their medley with 1999 hit “Learn to Fly,” with drummer Taylor Hawkins paying tribute to late Rolling Stones timekeeper Charlie Watts with a “Charlie R.I.P.” message on his bass drum.
After pivoting to recent Billboard Rock & Alternative Airplay No. 1 “Shame Shame,” the band capped their performance with a blistering run through signature 1997 single “Everlong.” While they performed the climactic hit, a split-screen montage simultaneously playing clips from dozens of Foo Fighters videos from the course of their career was displayed both behind them and underneath them, projected onto the actual stage.
Following the performance, Grohl gave Eilish a big hug and accepted the award on the band’s behalf, saying, “We’ve been a band for 26 years, so it feels pretty good.” He went on to thank a number of figures from MTV’s history, pulled half-facetiously from a “list” he said the group had prepared but were clearly just improvising — including past VJs like Kurt Loder, Tabitha Soren and J.J. Jackson, and former vp of music and talent Amy Finnerty, often credited with helping give Grohl’s old band Nirvana their break on the channel.
“We’ll see you in 26 years,” Grohl concluded his speech.
Watch the performance: