Annual Dimebash All-Star jam rocks Observatory OC

Dimebash, an annual tribute to the late Dimebag Darrell (guitarist of Pantera), rocked The Observatory Theater in Santa Ana on January 16th, 2020. Dimebash is where metalheads come together to remember Dimebag Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul, all in the name of charity. The tickets were only $33 for four straight hours of all stars and all proceeds from the event went straight to music education programs and animal rescue groups.

Jose Mangin, the ‘Metal Ambassador’ of Liquid Metal and Octane on SiriusXM, and Riki Rachtman, VJ on MTV’s Headbangers Ball, co-emceed the show.

Holy shit — take a drink every time Jose Mangin says, “Holy shit!” That man breathes, sweats and bleeds metal… that’s ‘Liquid Metal’! He kicked off the show as MC and sang the first two songs. Mangin’s energy is so infectious. You can’t help but feel fired up around him. His passion for metal pours out of his soul with every verse, so much that his veins were popping on his forehead. The fans felt every bit and feed off it. Mangin went out to middle of venue to be right in the mix with everyone — he is always a fan first. When he wasn’t in the spotlight, you could see him side stage, with a big smile on his face, soaking it all in and adding some backup vocals at times.

Dimebash is where metalheads come together to remember Dimebag Darrell and his brother Vinnie Paul, all in the name of charity.

Riki Rachtman was the host Headbanger’s Ball on MTV from 1990 to 1995. While stalling for time, Rachtman would tell stories about the Headbanger’s Ball and Pantera. Finally, we all found out the story behind the mishap of “Diamond” Darrell. MTV producers would not allow them to say “Dimebag” on MTV, so it turned into “Diamond”.

Members from Kill Devil Hill, HELLYEAH, Kyng, Butcher Babies, Bad Wolves, Sepultura, Kings X, The Haunted, Armored Saint, Anthrax and Prong (who just got inducted into the Metal Hall of Fame) took the stage alongside legends like Dave Grohl, Sen Dog, Chris Broderick, Lita Ford, Sebastian Bach and pro BMX rider Rick Thorne.

It’s one of those shows that you don’t want to go pee, because you’re going to miss something awesome. I’m thinking (in Jose Mangin’s words) “Holy shit!” — this is amazing! And THEN, an 8-year-old ginger-haired kid named Revel Ian, walked out onstage with guitar over his shoulder. He seemed quite shy; the beat dropped and he started jamming on his guitar like a pro. Proud dad, Scott Ian, played next to him. I’ve never seen Scott Ian look so happy onstage. Revel found himself surrounded by his dad, Frank Bello, Dave Grohl and Phil Demmel. The kid was amazing!

A drum line of 10 all stars was insane, too. Art Cruz, Gene Hoglan and Revel Ian stood wailing right in front of me; Grohl came in a little late, while Cruz was quick to move drums around to get Dave in there. When he did, Grohl was hitting them hard!

…Dave Grohl ran in, stabbed a couple Coors Lights with a bigass knife and shotgunned a beer with his buddy.  

After the show, VIPs were treated to some Dave Grohl BBQ. The man is a drummer, a guitarist, a singer AND he cooks! Holy shit! It was a bit chilly and raining on and off at 1am, but Grohl’s meat was worth the wait. As some BBQ chicken was being placed on my plate, Dave Grohl ran in, stabbed a couple Coors Lights with a bigass knife and shotgunned a beer with his buddy.  

Walking out to the car, my belly was full, my heart was full and I was feeling pretty fucking fortunate that I get to be a part of this metal community, seeing all the smiles, the hugs, the love and respect for each other on that stage. Long live DIMEBASH 2020!

Photography by Heather Vandemark

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