ACL is over, and with it, the spillover has left. I guess it's back to a more typical slate of weekday shows tonight. Still an interesting collection of touring acts invading our area this evening, though. Something for everyone. Almost.
Accept, King's X and White Collar Ghetto at The House of Blues
Supposedly, Accept's 1983 hit "Balls to the Wall" was about slaves revolting against their masters. Whether any '80s metalhead had a clue about this is unclear. Whatever the case, the German band laughed all the way to the bank, selling over two million copies of its Balls to the Wall album. This current version of the band is fronted by Mark Tornillo, not original vocalist Udo Dirkschneider, making this a sort of pseudo-Accept. Seeing that many acts (Journey, Yes, Foreigner, etc.) are also performing with non-original singers, this has (sadly) become common practice. Whether or not aging headbangers will know the difference this evening is up for debate. What's not up for discussion, though, is that King's X, another '80s metal act, should be headlining this particular bill. The band's 1989 effort, Gretchen Goes to Nebraska, is one of the smartest metal albums ever made. Believe it or not, there is competition for such an accolade. And don't forget to get there early to catch Machete "star" Billy Blair and his band White Collar Ghetto.
The Toasters at Trees
New York's The Toasters is one of the most celebrated American ska bands, and rightfully so: Singer Robert Hingley has kept some form of the band going for almost 30 years at this point, and, unlike most bands who peter out after a couple of good records, The Toasters' 2007 effort, One More Bullet, was as solid as anything the band had released prior. Fans may prefer 1997's Don't Let the Bastards Get You Down, but Bullet's "Where's the Freedom?" and "You're Gonna Pay" are perfect mixtures of the political and the poetic. Even after three decades, Robert Hingley has a lot to say and an engaging way of saying it.
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40 oz, to Freedom and Rhymin' N Stealin' at The Granada
There are several Sublime tribute bands out there, but San Diego's 40 oz. to Freedom has taking the notion of testimonial to a whole other level. Dane Scott and crew have been honing their, ahem, sublime skills since 2007 and have transcended the tribute band circuit. Ironically, 40 oz. to Freedom may well represent the best chance to hear the authentic sound of Sublime; as you surely know, Sublime's frontman Bradley Nowell died of a heroin overdose in 1996 and the remaining members have toured under the (court-ordered) name Sublime with Rome to lukewarm results since. In this case, some fans might prefer a copy over the (almost) real deal. Local Beastie Boys tribute act Rhymin' N Stealin' opens things up in what should be a enjoyable evening of people playing other people's songs.