Loud-ass guitars dealing out sadistic riffs, flailing hair, sweaty bodies and hands raised and locked in the two-finger devil horn salute can only mean one thing. No, not a night with Beavis and Butt-head, fool. It's the "AZ Blackend Deth HardKore Fest II" on Friday, April 29, at Chasers, 8005 East Roosevelt in Scottsdale. Co-promoted by Euphoric Productions and Monsoon Radio, the event is a feast of whiplash-inducing metal acts from all over Arizona. From the classic chuga-chuga style to black metal, nü metal, thrash, hardcore, technical and more, the primary focus is on recognizing the diversity and talent within the multi-genre metal scene that permeates our state. The lineup is a profusion of new bands and veteran metal masters, including Storm Within, Vektor, Grid-Lokt, Miso, Konvulsion, JASONsociety, Fracture Point, Obskurity, and Fish With Guns. The blistering sounds begin at 6 p.m. Admission is $7, and the show is open to all ages. Call 480-945-4985 or see www.euphoric.7h.com. --Amy Young
Dance performance with live jam
While Ashlee Simpson's impromptu hoedown on Saturday Night Live was amusing, there are definitely better dancers in the world -- who perform to real, live music. For instance, the Glendale Community College dance ensemble Physical Graffiti, who will perform "Suite Hands and Feet" on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30, at the GCC Performing Arts Center, 6000 West Olive. Choreographer Lenna DeMarco says the style is "primarily modern dance," and those moves will be accompanied by music from GCC Guitar and Percussion Ensembles. The shows start at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5 to $7. Call 623-845-3796. -- Niki D'Andrea
Young man with serious ax
Nick Sterling admits it's weird to play at places he can't drink in yet, but the 14-year-old guitar phenom isn't fazed by much. "I don't really mind it," he says. And how does he play with his guitar behind his back like that? "You play everything the same, just in a strange, contorted position," Sterling explains. For a kid who's opened for acts like Cheap Trick, Peter Frampton, and Aerosmith, Sterling's surprisingly grounded. And he's seasoned, too. Sterling's show on Saturday, April 30, at The Sets, 93 East Southern in Tempe, brings his total tally to around 300 live performances. As far as what to expect, Sterling says, "We do originals, we do covers, we do a lot of Boston and Rush, we do some Queen, some guitar music, some Joe Satriani -- all types of stuff." Be ready to rock at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to $15. Visit www.nicksterling.com. -- Niki D'Andrea
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The true story behind Jean Genet's psyche-pinching play The Maids, opening Friday, April 29, contains all the elements of a gory horror flick: eyeballs torn from their sockets, blood play, incestuous homoeroticism, and the most unsuspecting of murderers -- two quiet sisters working as maids for the Paris bourgeoisie in 1933. Criminologists have often marveled at the brutality of the Papin sisters, who were found naked in bed together after dismembering their mistress and her daughter. The play follows the role-playing the sisters indulge in while their mistress is out of town. Upon their madam's return to the house, their fantasy spirals into a bloody reality. The Maids runs through Sunday, May 1, at Herberger OutReach Theater, 222 East Monroe. Tickets cost $12 to $15. Call 602-347-1071. --Niki D'Andrea
Hiroshima Maiden reveals complex aftermath
Fifty years ago, American volunteers brought 25 Japanese women to New York for reconstructive surgery. The women bore severe burn scars from the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. This rarely told bit of history is the focus of Hiroshima Maiden, showing at ASU's Galvin Playhouse on Friday, April 29, and Saturday, April 30. Although the State Department maintained a blackout on images of atomic bomb survivors until 1964, the "Hiroshima Maidens" were immensely popular and appeared on TV's This Is Your Life, where they were introduced to one of the Enola Gay pilots responsible for the bombings. The story explores notions of morality, beauty and nostalgia through the movements of nine intricate bunraku-inspired puppets and five dancers, accompanied by Robert Een's Obie-winning original score. Writer/choreographer/director Dan Hurlin is a 2002 Guggenheim fellow and a Mayflower descendant. This ain't your father's puppet show. Hiroshima Maiden is suitable for audiences 11 and older, and curtain time is 7 p.m. Tickets are $30, $15 for students, at www.asugammage.com or 480-965-3434. -- Julie Peterson