JANUARY 20th 2017


Review/Photos by: Char Tupper
Gallery: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/namm-jam-2017/

Time to hit up the hottest ticket in town, the one and only, NAMM Jam. It is the 8th year of the event, and for myself, this is my 4th time attending the show, which I will say is always a blast. This year was a diverse line-up of bands, with Buckcherry, Like a Storm, Doll Skin, Hillbilly Herald, and Vital Noise. All the bands put on a great performance “under the stars”, however, that being said, the event had to accommodate some slight weather change and add a tent to keep the show from getting “rained out”, Delve Texas and the team did one hell of a job for keeping us dry and rocking all night long.  This was the first year of having the show at the Anaheim Gardenwalk, it was a unique venue choice, since I know personally I enjoyed The Grove more last year, however, I know the House of Blues is in the middle of construction in the Gardenwalk area, so venue might be a bit different next year. I anxiously await for next year, either way. The event had a silent auction, which the benefits of the auction pieces went to the House of Blues Music Forward foundation, a foundation that helps youth use music to build a bridge of success. The non- profit organization has helped for years with NAMM Jam, both proudly work together to help the youth, but also make an amazing event, even better to help support a great cause.

Vital Noise was first to hit the stage tonight, a young band out of Los Angeles, CA. These guys are young, no older than 18 infact, but, with their heavy hitting alternative rock sound, and their positive energy, these guys don’t carry themselves like an average “18 year old” rock band. The performance by these guys was not to be taken lightly, they were beyond professional, skilled at their instruments and stage presence.  It was great to watch a band so young have such a passion for music and performing, it is so rare, but a treat to see. These guys put on a great show.

Now for a band that is staying true to rock and roll, it was Hillbilly Herald’s turn to take the stage and all I can say is “Hmm…interesting?”. I honestly don’t know how I felt after this performance, did I like it? Did I dislike it? I’m not sure, but let me give you some information first. The band’s originally out of Indiana, but currently resides in Los Angeles, specializing in keeping rock n’ roll true to its word, with in your face guitar riffs and raspy voice singing. Stage attire ranged from fedora hats, frizzy hair, skinny jeans, leopard print, it was kind of all over the “rock attire” like they couldn’t decide which era of clothing in rock to wear, but, it did give them a kind of “edge” so to speak. Back to the performance, where Im still torn between a like/dislike relationship, I quite enjoyed their stage presence and energy, which was a level 10 for sure, but musically, was not my cup of tea. Plus, doing a AC/DC cover of the most popular song, “TNT” personally didn’t help impress me, since in my opinion, to cover AC/DC, being the legend that band is in this scene, it must be either exact, or so unique, its bad ass. Sadly, this cover, didn’t fall under either. Maybe next time, I will feel a little differently, all I can say, is to this day, Im still undecided.

Looking for some Doll Skin? Well, get ready because these ladies are ready to rock the night. Forming in Phoenix, AZ and all 20 or younger, but don’t let their age fool you, these ladies pack a punch. Musically inspired by old punk bands like Rancid, NOFX, even old rockers like Led Zeppelin, the musical styling wasn’t at all what I expected when I saw these bright haired, glittery girls hit the stage. They put on an enthusiastic performance filled with chants, singing, and banters with the audience. The singer, Sydney Dolezal, explained how some of her lyrics were from personal tough experiences in her life, but through family, support, and music, that she pulled through and now happily is doing what she loves. It is always nice to hear that musicians love what they are doing, and it helps them in tough situations, like it helps the rest of us too. Great performance all around by these ladies, hope to see them again soon.

Time for a little “New Zealand” taste, heavy guitars, pounding drums, and a didgeridoo? Yes, you read that right, a didgeridoo. Like a Storm was next to hit the stage and let me say, hearing the didgeridoo was something that caught my attention right away. The band formed back in 2005 originally in New Zealand, now currently living in Toronto, Canada, but that New Zealand influence in the band hasn’t departed.  Their layered masterpieces give them a unique edge and diverse sound unlike any other metal band, which is always a treat for me, especially since going to hundreds of concerts a year, it is nice to experience a new and unique sound in this genre. The guys put on a great show, boosts of energy and amazing sound, eventually also collaborating with Doll Skin and Vital Noise to do a cover song, also AC/DC “TNT”. In my opinion, I would have loved if it was a different cover song, even if it was still AC/DC, I prefer a different song altogether, that being said, they did a better job at covering the song.

It is time for the band everyone is anxiously waiting for, the headliner of the evening, Buckcherry. Los Angeles born band forming back in 1995, these rockers had an audience who was anxiously waiting for their performance to hit the stage. Personally speaking, Buckcherry is not a band I am a fan of, in fact, I quite enjoyed the previous performances more, but, I will give credit that they do put on a show full of energy and enthusiasm. Plus, their fans enjoyed every second of their set. Each member gave 110%, I do wish it had been a little brighter for their set to better see the band from further back in the room, however, the set itself, sound was great and the band had a great turn out.

NAMM Jam, you have done it once again, even with competing with countless other shows all around Anaheim the same night. I truly had a blast seeing your 8th annual show at a new venue with a unique “under the stars” kind of experience, I quite enjoyed myself all around. Special thanks to Delve Texas for pouring their hearts into this event every year and making it a huge success. I anxiously await for my 5th attendance, and your 9th event to be once again another hot ticket, we at MetalTitans eagerly await the next NAMM Jam.