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I took my first visit, in quite some time, to Malone’s Bar and Grill last week. The Santa Ana venue ran an awesome night of Tribute bands last Saturday and I was quite impressed. Malone’s interior is “cleaned up” and the amazingly impressive flow of the evening’s musical events really impressed all in attendance.

First, Malone’s is better lit and no longer possesses that coat of sleazy-down-town bar attire.  It now radiates a cleaner, more inviting appearance. And, laugh as you may, but the bathrooms have been spiffed up and no longer maintain that God-forsaken gas-station quality. But, you know as well as I do, if you consume a lot of beer that’s one place you spend half the evening visiting. And, hey, what’s wrong with asking for a degree of cleanliness? After all, we bought your beer, at least keep our “other” watering hole clean!

In terms of the evening’s music, it truly rocked. Promoter Jackie Davis, head of Other World Productions, really put together a stellar line-up of bands and she will be offering the same quality this upcoming Saturday, October 15th. But, before I get to that, I have to point out something Malone’s has that truly contributes to a patron’s level of satisfaction. There are two stages. One is a bit higher off the ground and larger than the other. But, that small note aside, this means the “down-time” between bands is next to none.  Patrons always dislike that long, agonizing wait between bands.  You get in a groove, rocking out to one band, only to have it be buzz-killed by that long agonizing wait for the next band.  That start-stop approach really ruins the momentum of the evening’s festivities. We all know that the wait can be anywhere from 20 minutes to nearly a frickin’ hour. Not here. While one band is rocking out, the next band is setting up. I don’t think there was any more than a 5-minute wait between acts. I hope Malone’s realizes how much patrons appreciate that.  Davis and the entire Malone’s crew deserve kudos for setting Malone’s up to become the premiere OC hard-rock establishment. Currently a home for both tribute bands and original rock bands, Davis is hoping to soon bring in national name bands

Saturday’s schedule features an array of bands that are refusing to give into today’s trends (whatever those may actually be, since music today seems directionless).  While the music industry seems to be forgetting the over-30ish crowd, we do have bands such as the following to keep our music alive and kicking:

Blackbird Sky comes from Huntington Beach, and features Jeff La Rosa on guitar, Patrick Samek on bass, Robert Casillas on drums, and Dan Kern on vocals. The band  possesses that quality I always seem to love—one foot in Heavy Metal territory the other in the Melody territory. They are blues-inspired and are obviously influenced by the hard rocking bands of the ’70s.

Stepchild, hailing from Northern California, are coming down to Malone’s to offer up their brand of hard hitting, in-your-face metal. They are a hybrid of metal and rap with a good comparison being Suicidal Tendencies.

Fermented Youth, from Orange County, features Jeff Miller on bass and Brent Walsh on drums. This dynamic rhythm section are best known for playing in White Lie. With Dan Williams on vocals and Donnie Becker on guitar, Fermented Youth’s style of music is rock with a funky groove and catchy, anthemic songs.

Rounding out the bill are Flake and Flying Brains.

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