Though we are dealing with cold temperatures and a particularly wet winter season, the elements can’t slow down the metal concerts coming to the OC area. Offering an array of shows ranging from nu-metal, to punk-oriented music festivals, grindcore shows and touring black metal bands, this month will offer a plethora of shows for music fans to attend. Here are some of the best metal shows coming to the OC area this month.
Crematorium, Dark As Death, Exhausted Prayer and more, 3/2 at the Regal Inn, Lakewood
To celebrate six years of local concert promotion and booking underground touring punk and metal bands in OC/ Long Beach area, ADHD Entertainment is throwing an anniversary show, in the form of an extreme metal gig. This time, in Lakewood, at the Regal Inn, this underground show will feature LA death metallers Crematorium, Dark As Death, Exhausted Prayer, Transtorno, Saphropogus and Asphyxia. If you are into the local, extreme underground metal scene in LA this would be a great show to attend.
Eyehategod, Phobia, Trappist 3/3 at Alex’s Bar (matinee show)
New Orleans sludgecore masters Eyehategod are back in So Cal for s string of club shows, including this stint in Long Beach. But, this time singer Mike Williams is in good health following a liver transplant two years ago. But this hasn’t affected the band’s harsh caustic live show, as the band is consistent with a sound that will make fans bang their heads. Local grindcore heroes Phobia and beer obsessed extreme metal newcomers Trappist will open this show, which starts at 2 p.m.
Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway 3/7 at The Observatory
Though known as the guitarist for mega rock band, System of a Down Daron Malakian’s separate musical project was formed in 2008 and has been on hiatus until recently when System of a Down ‘reunited’ only to perform live, not to record new music. Fans of System of a Down should not expect Scars on Broadway to be a System of a Down clone. Though listeners will hear similar guitar notes, vibes, melodies, and musical motifs, Scars on Broadway is its own entity, and rightfully so. With a new live line up for touring, and a new album, entitled ‘Dictator’ the band’s music might be more rock and less metal than System of a Down, but its message is no less urgent, especially considering current events.
MUSINK March 7-9, at Costa Mesa Fairgrounds
This year, Travis Barker brings his three-day tattoo and music festival to Costa Mesa, which will feature three diverse line ups, featuring hardcore punk, hip hop, nu metal and more. Friday will be headlined by Suicidal Tendencies, as well as Hatebreed, Sick of It All, Bleeding Through and All Hail the Yeti. Saturday’s line up will feature Limp Bizkit, plus a special guest DJ/drum set by Travis Barker, H09909, and a special as of yet unannounced surprise guest. Sunday will be dedicated to old school punk as local punk vets The Vandals headline, along with FEAR, Dead Kennedys, TSOL, Anti-Flag and Voodoo Glow Skulls. Aside from the music, there will be halls filled with tattoo artists from Orange County, to Europe and everywhere in between, as well as tattoo contests, merch booths, and a classic car show. This should be a rager that pulls in a diverse range of fans for each day.
Martin Barre 3/8 at Mozambique
There’s a specific kind of magic that occurs when a rock legend takes over the stage at surprise, unlikely show. We can imagine most Jethro Tull fans losing their minds when they saw the band’s former guitarist Martin Barre on the calendar at Mozambique to deliver his signature brand of progressive rock. The man’s reputation as one of rock and metal’s most influential players (his solo on Jethro Tull’s “Aqualung” was rated one of the top solos of all time by Guitar Player Magazine) precedes him. Since the early ’90s his ventures as a solo artist, he’s continued with his unique classic rock style, bashing out eight albums including 2018’s Roads Less Traveled that has him sounding as fresh and vital at age 72 as he did back in the day, with plenty of soul and solos to set ablaze.
Cradle of Filth with Wednesday 13 and Raven Black 3/8 at House of Blues Anaheim
UK extreme metal masters Cradle of Filth are back in North America again for a tour, to promote the band’s latest record, ‘Cryptoriana – The Seductiveness Of Decay.’ Though initially part of the early black metal scene of the 90s, Cradle of Filth separated itself from the Norwegian church burners but still remained true to a sound that was based out of darkness, evil and religious mythology. Whether you are into death metal, black metal or any kind of extreme metal, Cradle of Filth are a band that was well ahead of its time, merging symphonic black metal with rock, gothic music, death metal and more. Though the band’s sound evolved over the years, lead singer Dani Filth’s devotion to the dark arts has not diminished, as the band still works hard at l tours and making albums. Opening the show is Wednesday 13, and Raven Black.
Baroness, Deafheaven Zeal & Ardor 3/14 at HOB Anaheim
If you are into something different, but something heavy, check this show out. With the commercialization of black metal, comes the merging of other styles with the particularly evil music. This is where Deafheaven comes in. The band’s core is a foundation of black metal but fusing the sounds and intricacies of post-metal, experimental and dreamy pop/ rock influences. Perhaps think Mayhem meets the late Elliott Smith. For 15 years, Southern metal band Baroness have been fusing psychedelic music, punk, stoner rock, and metal all into a unique homogenous sound. Also appearing at this show, Zeal & Ardor, a musical group who fuses black metal and African ‘negro spiritual’ music.
All That Remains, Atilla, Escape the Fate 3/27 at The Observatory
One of metalcore’s biggest bands All That Remains is consistent in its music with melodic, yet easy to remember riffs, that appealed to fans of death metal, and metalcore, but unfortunately, the band made recent headlines after tragedy struck when original guitarist Oli Hubert was found dead at his home. Initial reports were that he drowned, but things got ugly soon when it was revealed months into an investigation that Hubert’s death was being treated as ‘suspicious.’ Since Hubert’s untimely passing, the band recruited guitarist Jason Richardson. This should be an emotional show, as the band is still grieving for their fallen brother. As the adage goes, the show must go on. RIP Oli Hubert.
Horna 3/28 at the Karman Bar Laguna Nigel
All the way from Finland, Horna is a diabolical black metal band dedicated to the dark arts. With its music, the band aims to conjure up demons and Satanic entities in each live show, which have become rarer in the states, as the band last toured North America in 2008, despite forming in 1993. This intimate show at the Karman Bar will give OC extreme metal fans a treat, to witness a truly evil sounding black metal band, as they should be presented, raw and in a tiny club at night. Local, underground black metal duo Cultus Profano opens the show.
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.