Redball’s Rock & Roll Pizza sits about half a block from the intersection of Princeton Avenue and Spring Road in Moorpark. Nestled in the center of a small lot, you wouldn’t expect much to be happening on any given night — but Redball’s isn’t just any given pizza parlor. There is a band or DJ playing every night, and the music is usually on par with the New York-style pies. Last weekend brought Taylor Hawkins (of Foo Fighters fame) along with Wiley Hodgen and Mick Murphy of Chevy Metal. Together they form The Birds of Satan, and on this particular night, in celebration of their new record, they came to rock.
The festivities began with DJs spinning everything from James Brown to J Dilla, shifting to rock-oriented fare like Queens of the Stone Age and Rage Against the Machine before Birds went up to perform. Hawkins introduced the band members before they ripped into the new material for their inaugural performance. The songs were well received, but quickly put aside as they rampaged through classic rock standards such as Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure” and Van Halen’s “Panama.” The atmosphere quickly separated the “listening” from “party” as people stood and danced atop chairs to catch a glimpse of the Birds.
And this was before Drew Hester, Pat Smear and Dave Grohl hit the stage.
Excitement hit a fever pitch as people followed behind Grohl with cameras in tow. He quickly made his way to the stage and picked up a guitar for the last two songs of the evening, most notably a powerful rendition of AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock.” While The Birds of Satan exited with the patrons, Grohl quickly departed through the rear of the building with minimal fanfare.
The environment was perfect for showcasing new material, which wasn’t exactly a secret considering the KTLA 5 news van parked in front. Despite the media coverage, the crowd was small and the musicians were loose and down to have some fun. There was a genuine impression that were he not in one of the biggest bands in the world, Taylor Hawkins would be banging his kit just as hard and be just as happy doing so.
The Birds of Satan’s self-titled debut is available at Salzer’s Records and other fine music establishments.