The Best OC Metal Concerts in January

Zakk Wylde at NAMM
Zakk Wylde at NAMM
Andrew Youssef

It's the first month of the year, so get ready for the annual NAMM(National Association of Music Merchants) Convention, which comes to Anaheim January 19-22. Anyone interested in metal, hard rock or any kind of musical instruments(and all groupies) can all rejoice at the Comic-Con of OC area is submerged with Gear Nerds, Instrument experts and a plethora of of musical equipment. For fans, this means a chance to meet and greet some of your favorite musicians, panels and workshops, debuts of the latest musical instrument swag, and of course the concerts, from private parties and invite only gigs, to the shows open to the public. Get ready to mingle with seas of leather jackets, long hairs, and plenty of dudes of play guitar way better than you. We now highlight this mont's many great metal concerts in the the OC.

Brujeria and the Casualties
Jan. 11 at The Observatory

Brujeria came into existence in 1989, and ever since the band has scared the shit out of white people, Conservatives, Evangelical Christians, and lately anyone who supports President Elect Donald Trump. The band, which at first began as more of a mysterious side project death grind band of masked anonymous mad men, now evolved into a full-time band, despite only releasing four studio albums, including the first release in 16 years, 2016's Pocho Aztlan. The band has raged in the underground but despite being a cult band, has managed to gain momentum recently with the spread of Anti-Mexican racism and rhetoric. The band's sound is brutal, sped up death metal grind core, and with a name that translates into Witchcraft, Brujeria's music is saturated with themes of Mexican Nationalism, Satanism, the Drug Cartels, violence, rituals, murders, and sexual deviancy, all delivered in Spanish sung lyrics. Playing with Brujeria is street punk scenesters The Casualties, whose speed metal style street punk has earned them cred in some circles over the years of non stop DIY touring.

L.A. Guns Reunion Show
Jan. 20 at The Observatory

Hosted by Hard Rock DJ Eddie Trunk, this concert will feature the band known as L.A. Guns, a version of the band featuring longtime singer Phil Lewis and guitarist Traci Guns. The band, and versions of it over the years have had various line up changes, but this duo seems to be the most remembered and revered among fans. For a special set of classic L.A. glam metal, with of course some mandatory ballads, this will be a night to reminisce about your youthful days three decades ago, when the leather pants and Aquanet were still in use and fashion. The Observatory in Santa Ana might be full of crowds of NAMM attendees and those searching for that 80s hair metal nostalgia that a band like L.A.Guns delivers with soul.

Zakk Sabbath
Jan. 20 at Alex's Bar

Well folks, if you haven't got a chance to see the legendary Godfathers of Heavy Metal music, Black Sabbath, you're out of luck, because the band played a massive world wide retirement tour, before deciding to call it quits for good. But, instead of being sad, you can catch the next best thing, a Sabbath Tribute band, But this isn't just any other old Sabbath Tribute band, this one features former Ozzy axeman, and Black Label Society frontman Zakk Wylde, along with his musical peer, bassist 'Blasko,' and Queesns of the Stone Age/former Danzig drummer Joey Castillo. Together the trio blast through a set of Sabbath hits and classics, offering up their versions of tunes by a band that launched the start of Heavy Metal music and culture. Be sure to bang your head and be squeezed like a sardine in the tiny confines of the intimate Alex's Bar, this might sell out so early arrival is suggested.

Metal Allegiance
Jan. 20 at The Grove of Anaheim

Another NAMM oriented show, this concert offers up the best metal has to offer, and lets the musicians all jam and perform the best hits and classics of the genre together, in a jam band session. This year, the core band will feature David Ellefson, Alex Skolnick, Mark Menghi, and Mike Portnoy, who will jam with special guests including but not limited to Phil Demmel from Machine Head, Gary Holt from Exodus/Slayer, Charlie Benante from Anthrax, Chuck Billy from Testament, Mark Osegueda from Death Angel, and Billy Sheehan from the Winder Dogs Many other guests are expected throughout the night as well. This event is always a blast and a chance to see some of the best musicianship and camaraderie that the metal community has to offer.

Dirkschineder
Jan. 22 at The Grove of Anaheim

Udo Dirkschneider rose to fame in the late 70s/early 80s as the front man vocalist for the German heavy metal band Accept. After exiting the band he also had a successful career with U.D.O.. He has toured the world, and played with everyone from Doro Pesch to Lordi. His traditional power metal sound and signature voice have a place in the history and sound of the New Wave of British Heavy metal explosion hitting Europe in its heyday. To date, Dirkschneider's style and vocal range allow him to tour and play for fans across the globe. This is sure to be a stellar show in Anaheim, featuring one of the most under rated singers in heavy metal.

August Burns Red
Jan. 25 at The Observatory

Celebrating the 10 year anniversary of the album, Messengers, East Coast Christian metal core band August Burns Red bring their furious, heavy sound to fans in Santa Ana at the Observatory for an intimate show and special performance which is sure to include many tracks from that second album, released in 2007, as well as newer songs from their most recent albums. The Grammy Nominated band have been a favorite among fans of metal core, and the new wave of prog meta/djent bands on the scene. Opening the show, are Protest the Hero, In Hearts Wake, and '68.


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