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It’s the week of the annual NAMM Convention in Anaheim, CA. Many of you readers may be lucky enough to attend, while the rest of us, well, not so much. But, that aside, Malone’s Bar & Grill and House of Metal have a couple of shows that all of us are welcome to, provided you are lucky enough to nab tickets, that is.

Underrated metallers Heretic will be steamrolling in on Friday night. Originally formed in the  L.A. area in ’85, the band reunited (albeit only 2 original members) after a long breakup, releasing last year’s Time of Crisis. Six other concussion-inducing metal bands will be on the bill, including the awesome Death Alley Motor Cult, the winners of last year’s House of Metal God’s Challenge 1.

uli jon roth larger by ed spinelliThe following night, Saturday, Malone’s will continue the hard-and-heavy process. That’s the night the amazing Uli Jon Roth will be there.

For some reason, the ex-Scorpions guitarist has flown under the radar, never really receiving the credit, he has earned. You can scour over the multitudes of Top Guitarist lists from any hard-rock/heavy metal website, or guitar-related magazine, and Roth seems to always be missing, at least in the U.S. But, he doesn’t need to justify his talents, by being categorized on a list. His Hendrix-meets-classical-meets-experimental style of playing just doesn’t fit into the safe (read: “commercial”) territory where Clapton, Van Halen, and Page reside.      Roth replaced Michael Schenker in The Scorpions in 1973 when he moved onto U.F.O.  The 4 studio/1 live outing Roth recorded in the early years of The Scorpions was closer to Roth’s style of playing, in that they displayed a hint of things to come, and, of course, prior to the German rockers later commercial releases (Lovedrive, Blackout, etc). Roth went on, and explored his talents, recording 3 albums with Electric Sun, and 5-solo and classical-music releases. Some of his material was near brilliant, though some flirted with self-indulgent pretentiousness. Regardless, Roth always showed there was a lot of exploration in his blood, by displaying his mind-boggling guitar techniques that truly need to be heard live to be believed.

It’s the 40th anniversary of Roth’s joining of The Scorpions so he will be arranging his set list, based upon a random draw, each night of this tour, of 30 old-school Scorpion songs. Therefore, each show will vary, so who knows what will actually be performed. Bonus: the show will be recorded for an upcoming live release.

All due respect to Malone’s, but it isn’t exactly a large arena, so what better way to see this amazing guitarist, than in such a small venue, up-close-and-personal? I expect this show to be packed to the rafters.

The ass-kicking Stonebreed are on the bill, in addition to Brand New Machine (from Texas), featuring ex-Bang Tango/Beautiful Creatures/Faster Pussycat guitarist Michael Thomas. Cry Wolf,  DevilSeed and At Last round out the bill.








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