Ty Segall at Refuge Christian Fellowship by Estefany Gonzalez
Ty Segall (photo: Estefany Gonzalez)

Unless you were one of those kids, you probably hated going to church as much as I did. It was impossible for my over-stimulated brain to keep my sugar-saturated body still for two hours, even with my hip Methodist pastor dropping hip cultural references like “I’m the king of the world!” or “Show me the money!” (Guys, the ’90s were so long ago.)

If I was lucky, I’d get to drink some actual wine during communion. But for the most part, I just wanted to rip my tie off and play video games. Now, if our service had been anything like Ty Segall‘s performance last Sunday at the Refuge Christian Fellowship in Santa Rosa, things might have been different.

Seattle punks the Trashies and Tim Presley’s quietly abstract solo project White Fence opened the sold-out show, which was booked by  Shock City, USA as a benefit for the North Bay wildfire survivors.

But the “service” officially commenced when Hoboken garage rockers Personal and the Pizzas strutted their way on stage with their chain straps and bubble gum. Halfway through their set, the band invited their clergy members (aka two large men holding baseball bats) to hold communion with wine and pizza before throwing slices at the crowd, as any good clergy member does. This was my kind of service.

There tends to be a sunny and vaguely retro vibe to most of Ty Segall’s recordings. But with the full Freedom Band delivering a literal wall behind him, his performance on Sunday was downright heavy. The band played extended outros to songs like “Buick Mackane” and “Every 1’s A Winner 0” with both him and guitarist Emmett Kelly trading solos or soloing over each other. And with the church filled to capacity, the show managed to raise $6,000 for the survivors of the Northern California wildfires. Sunday night was definitive proof that rock and roll will indeed save us all.

Check out the photos below by Estefany Gonzalez.