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Friday, July 10
Walter Trout The Coach House Few OC-based musicians bleed the blues like Walter Trout. The soul, dexterity, heart break and elation in his voice and his guitar playing have always flowed out of him when he's on stage. After battling his way back from complications with a liver transplant, Trout is in good spirits and once again ready to reclaim the spotlight as one of the greatest OC bluesmen to ever pick up the guitar. Criss crossing Europe and North America on his aptly titled "I'm Back" Tour, he's touching down in San Juan Capistrano for a sold out hometown show at the Coach House. (Nate Jackson)
X The Observatory Los Angeles-- land of celebrities, wannabe-celebrities, track suits and palm trees-- is a city so consumed in mythos you could spend months dissecting its cultural significance in almost every form of entertainment. Only a freeway ride away from OC, it was this city that disenchanted a little-known punk group in 1980. Calling themselves X, the group-- featuring Billy Zoom, John Doe, and future artist, writer and polarizing columnist Exene Cervenka-- would enlist the help of ex-Doors members Ray Manzarek and John Densmore to produce and write songs for what would be their debut album titled-- what else?-- Los Angeles. Now nearly forty years later, X will be performing their first four albums their its entirety (tonight is 1981's Wild Gift), rehashing the same angst-ridden, anti-hedonism campaign that put them on the map, which is probably just as potent today as its initial release. (Aimee Murillo)
Stick to Your Guns Chain Reaction Hardcore rock never sounded more...well, empowering, than the way Stick to Your Guns does it. The band, who hails from Orange County itself, has a knack for blending aggressive instrumentation with raw, positive lyrics. On their newly released album Disobedient, for example, "Nobody" is about how vocalist Jesse Barnett turned his earlier struggles with fitting in into an opportunity to love himself more. The same call to self-acceptance goes with other songs on the album like "It Starts With Me" and "Nothing You Can Do to Me." Needless to say, Stick to Your Guns' latest tour is not just about the music but, rather, being human and how our acceptance of that can help us go beyond our limits. (Kristine Hoang)
Saturday, July 11
Danzig Fox Theatre Pomona Even after four decades and over a dozen albums crammed underneath his skull belt buckle, Glenn Danzig still has a lot more evil left to give. He reminded us of that last month when a photo of him dawning the black and white skull make up, a look synonymous with his early days in the Misfits, appeared on his Facebook page as a tease for the art on Skeletons, his forthcoming album of cover songs (set for release in July/Early August). Not a bad way to mark his 60th year on the planet--even though if you ask him, he'll tell you he doesn't give a shit how old he is. But the album itself finally opens a new chapter for the New Jersey native, one that he's been thinking about since early on in his career. Three years later, he says the album is nearly ready to come out, just as he prepares to kick off his tour at the Fox Theatre in Pomona this Saturday, July 11. And of course, expect to hear more than enough bluesy metal classics from his first few albums to fill your blackened soul. (Nate Jackson)
Sunday, July 12
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Billy Vera and the Beaters The Coach House You might know Billy Vera & the Beaters from his successful 1987 "At This Moment"--a.k.a. the kind of tune that makes for a perfect shower performance or drunken karaoke session. But those who aren't that familiar with them don't know that Billy Vera was a prolific songwriter who penned music for Barbara Lewis, Ricky Nelson, and even Dolly Parton's number one hit "I Really Got the Feeling." With a career that spanned over half a century, Billy Vera isn't going anywhere soon and, like how he's normally approached things in his life, it's only, always the beginning. For Billy Vera & the Beaters, any chance to play and write music influenced by Little Richard, Ray Charles, and Bob Wills (as they always have) is one to take. (Kristine Hoang)
Creedence Clearwater Revisited City National Grove of Anaheim It's hard to believe that at this point, Creedence Clearwater Revisited has been around four times longer than Stu Cook and Doug Clifford's original band. After Creedence Clearwater Revival's lead singer John Fogerty became entangled in lawsuits with the band's record label that stretched on for decades, the fallout from that also caused a longstanding estrangement between him and the other members. And yet 20 years after rebooting the group that so famously flamed out after just five years, audiences are still able to siphon some nostalgia from their brief but spectacular run that produced hits like "Proud Mary," "Fortunate Son," "Who'll Stop the Rain," "Bad Moon Rising" and many more. People looking for John Fogerty's trademark rasp will find echoes of it in John "Bulldog" Tristao's voice. But let's face it, you'll be too busy singing every word to really notice who is up there as CCR's immortal catalogue washes over you. (Nate Jackson)