Festival Team-up Flashback: Foo Fighters x Hayley Williams (Bonnaroo Festival, 2023)


Who would’ve thought that Paramore‘s cover of the Foo Fighters‘ 1997 hit My Hero would gain so much traction in 2023? Released as part of the soundtrack for the disappointing Superman Returns in 2006, it remained largely unheard in the succeeding years, with no way to listen to it other than poor-quality YouTube uploads. However, this year the cover made a surprise arrival on music streaming services, with both an acoustic and more upbeat, ‘electronic’ version appearing there.

While it was certainly a pleasant surprise, I doubt many imagined that Paramore frontman Hayley Williams would later perform the cover alongside the Foo Fighters themselves at Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Festival in June of last year. Introducing her mid-song with a passionate “come on Hayley’, Williams arrived to mass-applause from the packed crowd, allowing Grohl to truly rock out as only he can while she takes on the song’s monster chorus. Although her microphone initially takes a few seconds to work properly, the outpouring love from the Bonnaroo attendees is clear.

Becoming one of the band’s most emotional songs since the unfortunate passing of  drummer Taylor Hawkins in 2022, an extra level of warmth is added through the duo’s slow harmonies as they gently lead the crowd through the repeated chorus as the performance draws to a close. Although Williams’ appearance is short, it is a sweet, nostalgic display of both her and Paramore’s vast commercial growth since they recorded their cover almost two decades ago. While Williams could once only cover the US rock titans, now she can perform with them – slightly upstaging them in the process!



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