The music gods have blessed Ventura County with an October to remember. There are simply too many artists passing through this month to cover every one. But after much debate we here at the Reporter put together our Top 10 shows of the month. You’re welcome.

Frost and Fire II at Ventura Theater, Bombay and Sans Souci, Oct. 7-9
One of the most impressive metal festivals on the West Coast (if not the whole country) is happening right in our backyard. Headlining the bill is the reunion of the legendary Cirith Ungol, who will be performing for the first time in 25 years. Hundreds of fans are literally flying in from multiple countries to be at the almost-sold-out event. Put on with help from VC’s own Night Demon, Frost and Fire II spans three days and three venues, from the Ventura Theater to Bombay to the Saturday night after-party at Sans Souci, and features over 25 bands with epic names like Blade Killer, White Wizzard and Spellcaster. Death to false metal indeed.

Matisyahu at One Love Experience at Lake Casitas on Saturday, Oct. 8
Matisyahu is a Jewish reggae-artist-meets-rapper out of New York. The spiritual artist has built a loyal cult following, as will be seen when he headlines the ambitious One Love Experience, a three-day extravaganza with music, speakers, yogi masters, herbalists, sound baths, drum circles and something called a wisdom village.

Bruce Hornsby at Libbey Bowl on Saturday, Oct. 8
Ojai’s newly refurbished Libbey Bowl is easily one of the best places to see a concert in the county. One of music’s finest living piano players, the Grammy Award-winning Hornsby performs a benefit for California State University, Channel Islands. This should be an amazing night.

Smokey Robinson at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on Thursday, Oct. 13
Frontman of The Miracles, Motown VP, Rock ’n’ Roll Hall-of-Famer and, according to Bob Dylan, “America’s Greatest Living Poet,” the one and only Smokey Robinson comes to The Canyon later this month. Advertised as “an intimate night of signature hits and audience interaction,” expect the legendary singer to croon out some of his best loved songs (including “The Tracks of My Tears” and “I Second That Emotion”), share stories from Motown’s glory days and show audiences what a true music icon looks (and sounds) like. 

Melanie at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills on Friday, Oct. 14
There aren’t many musicians who played the original Woodstock that are still performing live. While everyone remembers those who made the cut in the documentary film, there were others there as well, including Melanie, the singer/songwriter responsible for the hits “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain).” Her performance is often considered the best set that didn’t make the iconic film’s final cut. She’ll be at The Canyon Club for a rare appearance.

Yellowcard at the Ventura Theater on Wednesday, Oct. 19
Yellowcard is touting its current tour as its final world tour. The band has broken up before and gotten back together, so we shall see, but its roots in the area go way back. When the pop-punk-meets-emo rock band from Florida headed to California to chase the dream, it first called Ventura County home and built its fan base in lobby shows at the Ventura Theater and the Livery Theater. Exposure on MTV and the radio hit “Ocean Avenue” followed. Relive the glory days of 2004 and say “goodbye” to Yellowcard at its old stomping grounds.

Good Charlotte at the Ventura Theater on Sunday, Oct. 23
For a brief moment in time, Good Charlotte was one of the biggest bands in the world. And while the heavily tattooed, twin-fronted pop-punk band members were teen-mag heartthrobs, what was often overlooked was that they were pretty damn good songwriters, too. Tracks like “Complicated,” “Wondering” and “Predictable” by any other band of their era would be heralded as perfect pop songwriting. The backlash against them was heavy, as it often is with bands that have primarily teenage-girl fan bases, but after a long hiatus Good Charlotte is back with a tremendous new record, Youth Authority, and the solid songwriting remains.

CJ Ramone at The Garage in Ventura on Wednesday, Oct. 26
Hey-ho — let’s go . . . see CJ Ramone at The Garage. Say what? Let’s not get into arguments about the best lineup of the seminal punk rock band. Granted, he wasn’t a founding member, but for crying out loud — he was an actual Ramone! The real deal. He played bass alongside Joey and Johnny until their retirement and he’s going to be at a bar on the East End of Ventura courtesy of the fine folks at Bad Sam. Curiosity alone makes this a can’t-miss show.

Yellowman at Discovery on Thursday, Oct. 27
With bowling alley/concert venue Discovery becoming ground zero for reggae in the area, it’s appropriate that it’ll be getting an authentic legend when Yellowman takes the stage at the end of the month. The Jamiacan-born reggae icon, who recently turned 60 and has successfully battled cancer multiple times, has always been a popular draw in the 805. Expect a fragrant parking lot.

Mandex at Copper Blues in Oxnard on Saturday, Oct. 29
A tribute band to ’80s arena rock and hair metal like Bon Jovi, Van Halen and Poison, what makes Mandex special is that the band comprises a who’s who of incredible local musicians. While it’s still just a side project to its members’ many original acts, The Dex’s stage show is a sensational blast of spandex, hair spray and pure entertainment, and its following is growing. Check out the county’s finest “accidental tribute band” when it plays The Collection’s killer new venue, Copper Blues, for the first time. Feel free to dress the part, too — it is Halloween weekend, after all.

Honorable Mentions
A few other shows piqued our interest this month, even if space and time keep us from giving them the attention they probably deserve. Echo and the Bunnymen (Oct. 9), Steve Vai (Oct. 12), Garbage (Oct. 20), Ben Folds (Oct. 21) and Violent Femmes (Oct. 24) at the Ventura Theater; Don Felder (Oct. 22) at Libbey Bowl and Oingo Boingo at The Canyon Club (Oct. 30). Ventura County’s rockin’ all month long, so keep an eye on the calendars of your favorite music venues — there’s a lot happening that you don’t want to miss.