CHEVY METAL REVIEW @ CORBIN BOWL1-12-2018
BY WILLIAM DERHAM
The charismatic drummer for the wildly popular Foo Fighters, Taylor Hawkins, brought his side project, Chevy Metal out to play some of his favorite classic rock covers for an evening of intimate yet blistering rock & roll. Six months ago his long time friend, David Viera, got a text from Hawkins stating he would have a 10 day window before the Foos were heading down under to Australia in early January on the southern leg of their world tour. Hawkins was available for a gig to help promote the opening of a new Rock and Roll Pizza that Viera was introducing at Corbin Bowl in Tarzana. No contracts, no agents, managers, or lawyers just a verbal agreement between friends.
The 200ish tickets for the show sold out in mere minutes to the lucky few who knew these kind of top shelf, impromptu performances are a rarity. Hawkins and Co. did not disappoint as they joyously launched into Thin Lizzy’s “Jail Break” with reckless abandon. Hawkins mentioned “… the next time we play here I gotta bring a drum riser so you people in the back can see what’s going on.”
Joining Mr. Hawkins on stage were a slew of talented players including Chevy Metal members Wiley Hodgden (bass and vocals) ace guitarist Brent Woods (from Sebastian Bach & John Waite) drummer, singer, music engineer and producer extraordinaire John “LOU” Loustau, and fellow F.F. guitarist Pat Smear.
Any loyal fan of Taylor’s knows his fave band from the ‘70 is Queen and in tribute they devoted an 8 song mini set to the venerable Brit rockers introducing vocalist Luke Spiller and guitarist Adam Slack (from British band The Struts). Spiller’s flamboyant stage presence added nuance and a touch of glam to the festivities, as he suductively pranced and preened like a young Mick Jagger.
Stating he had spent enough time on the drum kit Taylor stepped up to the mic taking on the David Bowie vocals duties on Queen’s “Under Pressure” while Wiley channeled his best Freddie Mercury. None other than ex Sex Pistol, Steve Jones (Jonesy’s Jukebox) joined the mix for a high energy, punk infused take on Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust”, The Kink’s “You’ve Really Got Me”, Van Halen”s “Ain’t Talkin’ Bout Love”, and AC/DC’s “Let There Be Rock.”
Since Dave Grohl is a frequent flyer at most Chevy Metal shows his guest appearance was highly anticipated. It wasn’t till a few days later we learned Dave was celebrating his 49th birthday (January 14th) in Hawaii and was sorry he couldn’t be there to support his band mate. Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith was sighted standing in the wings but never got a chance to bang on the drums.
It’s remarkable how Taylor manages to sustain a backyard keg party vibe considering the magnitude of his success with the F.F. Tonight’s 90+ minute bash was a nonstop, sonic love letter to the bands that inspired Hawkins and Co. to become musicians in the first place and ushered in a new venue for Valley rockers to get their fix. Looking forward to early summer when the Rock & Roll Pizza Stage will come alive with a steady flow of high calibre bands.
STAY WITH ME
ALL THE YOUNG DUDES
UNDERCOVER OF THE NIGHT
WE WILL ROCK YOU
KEEP YOURSELF ALIVE
HAMMER TO FALL
SHEER HEART ATTACK
CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE
TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN
YOU REALLY GOT ME
AIN’T TALKIN’ ‘BOUT LOVE
LET THERE BE ROCK