As we enter February, the OC music scene still seems to be still recovering from a NAMM hangover, but we got some hair of the dog to cure that, in the form of more live music. This month brings us many shows and concerts, from classic heavy metal to death metal, rock n roll, tribal thrash, metalcore, and even old school hardcore punk. Take your pick, at any one of the best metal shows in the OC area.
August Burns Red February 5 at the Glass House
This is a bill of well established heavier acts all from roughly the same generation of bands to emerge from the early to mid-2000s. Headliners August Burns Red will tear the Glasshouse up with their aggressive and heavy mix of new metal and hardcore. The band, formed in 2003, currently features singer, Jake Luhrs, guitarists John Brubaker and Brent Rambler, drummer Matt Greiner and bassist Dustin Davidson. With hundreds of shows, tours and festivals the band has appeared at year after year, August Burns Red has not only gained a mass following of fans but has also been for the band was nominated for a Grammy in the metal category twice, in 2016 for song “Identity” then again in 2018 for the track “Invisible Enemy.” The camaraderie on this tour should also pour out into the shows every night, since fellow American metalcore bands Fit For a King, Miss May I and the headliners have all toured before, within the past few years.
Danko Jones and Nashville Pussy February 9, at Marty’s on Newport
Get ready for a night of sleazy down and out rock and roll. The Canadian singer-guitarist and songwriter Jones comes to town with his rock band. Also appearing are the legendary sex, booze and drug-fueled rockers Nashville Pussy, who since the late 90s, has been on the road and wrecking havoc all around the world with bands like Motorhead, Clutch, and Marilyn Manson, just to name a few.
The Three Tremors February 17, at Malone’s
The Three Tremors is a band that brings together three of heavy metal’s most vibrant, yet underrated vocalists. Bringing their chops to this group are Tim “Ripper” Owens, from Iced Earth and Judas Priest, Harry the “Tyrant” Conklin from Jag Panzer and Sean “The Hell Destroyer” Peck, from Cage, Deathdealer and Denner/Sherman. This will be a night full of an intense range of vocal talent, hitting those high and falsetto notes, along with plenty of headbanging action. Resistance, Manic, Killing Tyranny will open this show of classic, traditional heavy metal music.
Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel February 22 at The Observatory
Two giants, legends of death metal music, arguably the biggest bands of the genre come together for this brutal tour, presented by Decibel Magazine. Cannibal Corpse and Morbid Angel will destroy the Observatory in Santa Ana. Each band on its own merit can and has headlined sold-out shows at this venue, so it’s going to be beyond packed to the brim, get tickets now because the odds are very high this will sell out. Morbid Angel was not only groundbreaking for its sound and Satanic lyrical content, but it was the first death metal band on a major label in the 90s, a feat unimaginable today. Fans will also get their eardrums, faces and bodies smashed with an audible hammer, as the iconic death metal heroes Cannibal Corpse will shred the mosh pit with over three decades worth of songs, all from a blood and gore soaked career. Plus, the band is performing with friend and musician Erik Rutan, who is filling for guitarist Pat O’Brien who is dealing with some personal/health issues. Opening this stellar show of death metal’s two biggest bands will be Necrot and Blood Incantation. This will be a raging sold-out show.
Soulfly February 27 at Marty’s on Newport
Max Cavalera has been leading his tribal thrash metal band Soulfly for over two decades, after leaving the seminal Brazilian metal band Sepultura in 1996, a band still around that Cavalera formed with his brother Igor. with Soulfly, Cavalera’s thrash metal roots never really left, and the music has been based in spirituality, but metal aggression, with hardcore punk fury. They’re currently on tour this time to promote the band’s 11th album to date, Ritual.
MDC and Verbal Abuse February 28 at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach
Alex’s Bar will be taken over by two legendary Texas hardcore punk bands, both with a furious, urgent sound that will get things moving and a pit opened up in the tiny bar venue. MDC, a name known among the 80s punk generation came out at the same time as Bad Brains, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and similar bands. With s fast, similar style, the band’s Texas roots helped it build a scene, in a very conservative part of the county. Led by openly gay vocalist Dave Dictor, the band’s initials have been said to have stood for various anagrams, including Millions of Dead Cops, Multi-Death Corporation, Millions of Dead Children and Millions of Dead Christians. Verbal Abuse, is also from Texas but are known as one of the early founders of the hardcore movement in the state. Both bands might be older but are still full of plenty of venom to lash out against the system using loud, fast, angry punk rock music as a conduit.
Alex Distefano is an established freelance writer and music blogger from the Los Angeles area. With over a dozen years under his belt as a published Journalist, he covers the worlds of heavy metal music, punk rock, current events, cannabis culture, comedy, radio, food, tattoos, the paranormal, and ‘conspiracy theories.’ He graduated from California State University Long Beach in 2012 with a Bachelor’s Degree in both Journalism and Ancient History. Aside from his professional writing endeavors, Distefano works as an Educator, and delivery/rideshare driver.