February in the desert: The holidays are over, we’ve had our four days of winter (and a few weeks of rain), and the tufts of grass are greener than ever. Some people might think that February is supposed to be the month of love and romance — but for others, it’s a pure month of
There are a ton of shows this month from pioneers of metal like
Wednesday, February 8 – Mayhem – Club Red
Psyko Steve presents this killer show, where you can be sure to find a heavy dose of your black metal fix.
Thursday, February 9 – DED, Ella Kaye, As Thick As Thieves, and more – Pub Rock Live
98 KUPD presents the
Saturday, February 11 – When Titans Collide – Joe’s Grotto
Get ready for another addition of Titans Collide Concert Series. In its fourth year, this is a show that was built for bands and fans, by bands and fans. For just $5, fans get to see a lineup of stellar local acts, including
Sunday, February 12 – PHX Music Sticks Together – Joe’s Grotto
Not only is it amazing that this is a free show, but it supports one of the coolest chicks on the metal scene, the
Tuesday, February 14 – Otep – Club Red
For 17 years, Otep Shamaya has been crushing crowds, steady and provocative. Along with three other male musicians in the band, Otep tours incessantly, and every one of her seven albums touches a different tone and concept. Known for being extremely political, controversial, and an activist, she claimed to quit the music industry with the release of Hydra a few years
Wednesday, February 15 – Uli John Roth – Club Red
Okay, okay — so Uli John Roth isn’t particularly metal, but if you think he hasn’t had a huge influence on the genre, then you better re-examine your knowledge. The German guitarist first became known as the Scorpions guitarist, but eventually became an early pioneer of neoclassical metal and inventor of the Sky Guitar. He went on to form Electric Sun, and he has played with many symphonies throughout the world. Roth’s style is a fantastic mix of classical music and Jimi Hendrix, and his live show is fine-tuned. Even more exciting? Our own local symphonic progressive metal band Phoenix & Dragon are opening up for him, a suitable pairing. Throttle Head, Rocket 211, and Frankenshred complete the lineup.
Sunday, February 19 – Crowbar – Club Red
There are two things you can almost definitely count on when it comes to Crowbar: Kirk Windstein’s focus and passion, and a look into some of the best metal to come out of New Orleans. The band’s catalog spans more than 27 years of influencing and pioneering the sludge, doom, and stoner metal genres. That's twenty-seven years of delicious, creeping, low-keyed melodies, insightful songwriting, and hardcore punk interludes. The band is currently in town promoting their 11th studio album, late 2016’s The Serpent Only Lies, and have been switching up their set list quite a bit, according to Windstein. And Crowbar is a well-oiled albeit sludgy machine; the band is heading out almost immediately after this show to support Suicidal Tendencies on tour, then have
Tuesday, February 21 – Havok, Exmortus, and more - Club Red
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Colorado thrashers Havok may not be the fastest to put out some records — since forming in 2004, they’ve released two, 2009’s Burn and 2011’s breakthrough Time Is Up — but the band’s major influence on the New Wave of Thrash metal scene and live show make up for it. They’ve shared the stage with the likes of Sepultura, Anthrax, Behemoth, and Death Angel, as well as more than a few times with their fellow showmen Exmortus. Exmortus is all about the technical death metal riffs, the complex drumming, and twin lead guitar attacks. This band is great in the sense that you get a little taste of everything: death metal, prog metal, thrash, American heavy metal, and neoclassical. Solid local acts Extinction AD, Sicmonic, and Intent round out the bill.
Wednesday, February 23 – Suicide Silence – Joe’s Grotto
Deathcore trailblazers Suicide Silence are always a favorite of mine when they come through town; not only do they put on a killer live show and have an extensive, rich catalog of songs to play around with, you can tell that their blood, sweat, and tears truly is in the name of their music and overcoming adversity. When lead vocalist Mitch Lucker died in a motorcycle accident in 2013, the band used the strength from each other to grow closer and strong, instead of breaking away. Eddie Hermida was a gracious, powerful replacement when they started performing again in 2014, and the album You Can’t Stop Me served as an intro to the vocalist. Playing at Joe’s Grotto for its intimacy, the band has a listening party for the new album immediately after the show, open to all who attend, along with the band members. The band’s self-titled album is set for release the day after this