At times it seems as if the basic pathology behind, and outright need for, heavy metal has been lurking somewhere deep within mankind since the days of the Neanderthal. The sound’s core appeal–the cataclysmic guitars, the punishing kick drum and eruptive, squalling vocals, is one that satisfies that big, unyielding, common and essentially primal need for full-steam, just-for-the-hell-of-it, celebratory abandon–yeah, kiddies, the forbidden devil’s music that we’ve all been so famously warned about. Despite an implicit offer of supernatural gratification, metal has always met with an ironic degree of resistance from the more polite, pop-enamored quarters of post-Beatles rock & roll tastemakers, a wimp-advanced dereliction of duty that qualifies a band like Dokken as heroes. Formed in 1977, when disco ruled the airwaves and punk rock was infecting the underground, Dokken’s straight-up, kick-in-the-teeth sound was delivered with ferocious purity, intense technical mastery and enough rabid momentum to place them at the forefront of what became within several years a metal insurgency of impressive scale. They rode the wave with no small success: their second album Into the Fire sold over a million copies and produced a pair of chart-topping singles (the title track and "Alone Again"), and launched the band as a turbulent, international sensation. Despite the vagaries of popular taste, Dokken still aims to kick your ass tonight, and with founding members drummer Mick Brown and lead singer Don Dokken still ably grinding it out, the head bangers should be anything but disappointed. (Jonny Whiteside)
Dokken with Shameless, Angel’s Roadhouse, 32464 Dunlap Blvd., Yucaipa, (909) 795-0665; www.angelsroadhouse.org. 7 p.m.