November is known as the month full of Fall weather and massive Turkey Day feasts, but in Southern California, it could also be known as the month of heavy metal. As 2018 winds down, this month promises to be a great time for metalheads into live music, as the region will be saturated with concerts where you can hear everything from grindcore, black metal, thrash metal, and metalcore, and even some badass guitar players from various eras, all sharing the stage. Get ready for the best metal shows in November.
Danzig’s Halloween Bash
Five Point Amphitheater in Irvine
Revered as one of the most influential vocalists and songwriters in all of heavy metal, Danzig usually performs his concerts in the Winter season, in Southern California at least, and this year is no different. Fans in Irvine will get a chance to see the Evil Elvis perform his sinister songs, from a musical catalog that goes back now 30 years. Not only will fans catch Danzig in concert, but this post-Halloween bash also includes a diverse line up of bands that might not otherwise share the stage. UK punk legends The Damned will also play this special show, along with evil psychobilly rockers The Meteors, English black metal legends Venom Inc, neo-thrashers Power Trip, and progressive metal band Mutoid Man.
The Slidebar in Fullerton
Bringing a classic traditional sound to fans in Fullerton, this New Wave of British Heavy Metal band has been on the scene for four decades, and as such have been regarded as a band whose musical style has influenced everyone from GWAR to Metallica, the latter of which was the opening band on Raven’s 1983 tour of the U.S. For fans of Iron Maiden, Saxon, and Judas Priest, this show in Fullerton should be a treat to those hoping to see a band metal whose legacy and influence on the signature sound of thrash cannot be denied. Another reason this should be a raging show at the Slidebar is that it’s FREE, and you can’t beat that!
Generation Axe (Feat. Steve Vai, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Nuno Bettencourt and Tosin Abasi)
The Grove of Anaheim
If you live for heavy metal guitar virtuosos, with solos that are beyond technical, and musicianship that is well above just riffing, then this concert is one not to miss. Generation Axe is a guitarists supergroup featuring guitar wizards Steve Vai, Nuno Duarte Gil Mendes Bettencourt(Extreme), Yngwie Malmsteen, Zakk Wylde and Tosin Abasi(Animals As Leaders). The band also features bassist Pete Griffin(Edgar Winter, Dweezil Zappa), drummer JP Bouvet and keyboard player Nick Marinovich(Yngwie Malmsteen, Dream Theater). The band performs both covers and original songs from each of the respective musician’s bands. The energy and vibration from the guitars must be so immense that resonate throughout the entire venue from start to finish. If you love metal guitars then you will enjoy this performance of Generation Axe.
CHEVY METAL with John 5
Anaheim Convention as Part of Designer Con 2018
Chevy Metal is known as one of the best hard rock/heavy metal cover bands, and features Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and his bandmate, bass player Wiley Hodgden, along with part time member Dave Grohl and guitarist Mick Murphy. This special performance in Anaheim will also feature guitar master John 5, and should be an eclectic and mesmerizing show. This show is 18+, so sorry kiddies.
The Regal Inn,( 6763 Carson St, Lakewood, CA)
Although Sepultura is the metal band everyone thinks of when the country Brazil comes up, there are in fact others besides the great Sepultura whose extreme metal music deserves attention. One such group is Claustrofobia, a truly brutal and underground extreme metal three-piece group that fuses thrash and brutal death metal with the vibe and ethos of punk. The band has been on the metal scene in South America for decades now and will bring its energetic live show to a small intimate bar in Lakewood. Plus, you get to check Bad Acid Trip, One of LA’s best psychotic experimental grindcore bands. Plus brutal tracks from local extreme bands Asphyxia, Grave Defier, and LA black metal band Sadism.
As I Lay Dying
the Glasshouse in Pomona
It’s amazing how even in today’s #MeToo society that a man can make a comeback from being convicted of hiring a hitman to kill your wife, but that’s exactly what AILD frontman and vocalist Tim Lambesis did in 2014. Prior to this notorious scar on the metalcore band’s career, the San Diego based rockers were doing well, and had a base of fans across the world from tours and albums. But, sadly Lambesis was convicted of the aforementioned crime after he was caught by an undercover hitman. After doing time in prison for his crime, Lambesis was released after serving about half his sentence. After several apologies to everyone involved, including his former bandmates(Jordan Mancino, Phil Sgrosso, Nick Hipa and Josh Gilbert), the musicians agreed he was sincere. Since earlier this year As I Lay Dying has been making music together, as a pick up where they left off before this ugly incident. As I Lay Dying shows before this ordeal were pretty hectic, but after the entire ordeal the band has gone through this show in Pomona should be highly intense, jam-packed full of emotions.
Every Time I Die, Turnstile, Angel Du$t and Vein
Hailing from the East Coast, this metalcore band has always more on the metal side of things, and have gained a devoted fan base throughout all the trends over the past 20 years, since forming in Buffalo, New York in 1998. Fans at this show at the Observatory should be ready to slam, this one will go off, as the band’s performances are always explosive and intense. Special guests include opening bands hardcore band Turnstile, East Coast hardcore punks Angel Du$t, and Vein.
House of Blues Anaheim
Around a month ago, Machine Head guitarist Phil Demmel announced that he was leaving the band after the current US tour, saying on a social media post that “People naturally grow apart over time and it’s no one’s fault. It’s amazing and we’re so fortunate to have been able to do it for so long.” Further adding to this lineup change to the Bay Area metal band, drummer Dave McClain is also exiting the group. However, the band agreed to do a final tour with this line up before the changes occur and the drummer and guitarist move on. No word on any members who might take over the guitar and drumming duties, but fans and the band intend to focus on each show of this final tour with the current line up. Machine Head are a band whose fan base is loyal but also rabid, much like the fans of their peers like Pantera or Slayer, Machine Head fans get into it at the band’s shows, and the band’s performance is explosive, playing a charged set of tunes from over 25 years of thrash that has survived punk, metal, and even nu metal, to become a style of its own. Frontman Rob Flynn, took a background in old-school thrash and gave it a groove and style that Machine Head invented. Expect this to be a long and epic concert that will leave fans deaf, and sore from headbanging.
Observatory with Toxic Holocaust and Haunt
This tour was also supposed to feature Bay area doom thrashers High On Fire, but due to a last minute medical emergency involving HOF frontman Matt Pike, this tour is now set to have regional guest co-headlining bands joining last minute with at the time of this post, no additional info is available for this show at the Observatory in Santa Ana. But, even just with Municipal Waste, this is worth it. These East Coast thrash punks are keeping the crossover style of bands like DRI, Crumbsuckers, and SOD alive and well, and the Observatory’s floor will erupt into a giant mosh pit for this entire show, for sure. This will be a great way to have a great time to chug some beers then jump in the slam pit, to burn off that Turkey Day dinner. Along with the Waste, solid support comes from Portland’s thrash punks Toxic Holocaust and the Fresno based mystic metal band Haunt.
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.