August 21. The hottest day of the year everywhere — especially Phoenix. But hey? Guess what? We have a ton of awesome metal shows to look forward to this month. And since it’s waaay too hot to figure out the best shows to attend, we do it for you. This way, unless you love heat exhaustion, you know when and where to head for great music. During the month of August, we’ve got the killer No Cover Anniversary Party, Summer Slaughter Tour; legends like Michael Angelo Batio and Lamb of God and Slipknot; and local CD release shows by Scattered Guts; and a benefit show for Joseph LaBianco III.
Granted, we might’ve missed a few, like the August 1 show at Prescott’s Drunken Lass, which hosted St. Madness, Pelvic Meatloaf, Hell Defined, and more, also celebrating Pelvic Meatloaf vocalist’s Rich Fourmy’s birthday. But alas, this article posted Monday for Metal Mondays, and it was also not exactly in Metro Phoenix. Not like you already need an excuse to get out of the heat.
Trust me — this list is a great introduction to the amazing sets being planned for September and October in the Valley of the Sun.
Into the Thrash Fest Two - Saturday, August 15 - The Nile Theatre
The list of killer metal shows starts late this month, but it’s one for the ages: Into The Thrash Fest Two. This all ages show — but get this, the Nile finally has a bar — and has almost 15 bands that celebrate the world of thrash, metal, punk, and everything in between. Expect to see Suspended, Tormenter, Warhead, Social Overload, Flying Donkey Punch, Ye'iitsoh, Varkan, Death Awaits, Grindhouse, Skull Drug, Vermin, Fractured, and IronKill.
Cover Anniversary Party - Saturday, August 15 - RockBar
Anyone who has ever gone to a handful of shows in the metal and hard rock scene has heard of the amazing gals over at No Cover. They’re all about supporting the local scene, so everyone better get their asses out to this concert to support them! Sponsored by Coors Light and The Best Clothing Co., the No Cover Phoenix Anniversary show features some of the favorite local bands, including Element A440, Deathgrip, Bloomfield, Christopher Shayne, Twisted Theorem, and Tricus. Tickets are only $10 — but this show is for adults 21 and over, kiddies. Crazy shit’s gonna go down.
Butcher Babies - Sunday, August 16 - Pub Rock Live
The Butcher Babies have been busy lately. I think this is their third time in Phoenix in the past year, and they know how to party. Seriously. Last time they were here I ended up drenched in whiskey on their tour bus. And the band is gonna be super stoked on this tour, as their album Take it Like a Man drops on August 21. Chivalry is Dead and 94 Blades will be opening. If you’ve never seen this band live in an intimate space, you’re missing out — their sheer energy, raw power and excitement is palpable, along with their increasingly impressive catalog.
Michael Angelo Batio - Wednesday, August 19 - Club Red
If you are a fan of the shred guitar, then you know about Michael Angelo Batio. As one of the pioneers of shred, he’s known for super fast picking and sweeping arpeggios. He’s mostly known for heavy metal, but his early work is literally what most guitar masters say today is basic technique. By the age of 16, he had won the Chicago All-State Jazz Solo Award. Oh yeah—and he also invented, and was the world’s first player, of the double guitar. In 2012, his “Jet” double guitar was put on display in Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. As if Batio wasn’t enough, Sicmonic and Phoenix & Dragon round out the bill.
Summer Slaughter Tour - Thursday, August 20 - Marquee Theatre
August 21 is known as the hottest day of the year, but in 2015 it’ll come a day early with Summer Slaughter. With Swedish melodic death metal band Arch Enemy headlining, you can expect a packed house. But Arch Enemy, fronted by Alissa White-Gluz (who had some big shoes to fill last year after taking over for Angela Gossow), isn’t hogging all the glory on this bill. There’s also Born of Osiris, Veil of Maya, The Acacia Strain, Obscura, After the Burial, Beyond Creation, Cattle Decapitation (killer!), and more.
When Titans Collide II - Saturday, August 22 - Joe’s Grotto
This is a show you should attend just because 100 percent of the proceeds go to all the bands. That’s rare, nowadays. There’s hardcore/metal four-piece 94 Blades, local favorites Altered Silence (gotta love the shredding of Zipp Wiggins and bassist Rudy T, always in the forefront), Sectas (one of my personal favorites), rock ’n’ rollers Latency, hard rockers Chemicals of Democracy, and more.
Benefit Show for Joseph LaBianco III - Sunday, Aug 23 - Joe’s Grotto
The local scene is known for rallying around its own, and there’s no other way to describe Joseph La Bianco III, the lead vocalist for break out act She Murdered Me. Organized by Scott Rowe, this benefit show is rallying around Joseph, who suffered a massive heart attack. Saved by his girlfriend, he was on rocky terrain for quite some time. Now stable, he’s been in a coma for more than a week. Everyone is rallying: Joe Grotto cancelled Fear Factory for this show; Rowe and his girlfriend set up a fun don Facebook and did a car wash in the Arizona summer from 9 to 5. Rounded out by Iron Ozzy, Scott Rowe’s Alice Cooper Tribute, Dreddmaster, Sinthetic, Fat Gray Cat, Tricus, Xpansion Theory, Twisted Theorem, Empire of Dezire — it starts at 2 p.m. $5 donation at the door — but you know you can do better than that!
Weedeater - Wednesday, August 26 - Pub Rock Live
Stoner metallers Weedeater just released their fifth album Goliathan, and it’s the epitome of all that is Weedeater, with the band’s signature style of Southern rock meets metal meets weed and whiskey and humor. The three-piece band evokes a great atmosphere live, so if you’re a fan of sludge, stoner or doom metal, you should check ‘em out. Rounded out by Cave Dweller, No Shores, Kill Command, Return to Zero.
Scattered Guts CD Release - Friday, August 28 - Club Red
Since 2008, Scattered Guts has long been a fixture on the AZ thrash metal scene. From the low-register riffs to the powerful vocals, the band’s name describes their style perfectly: it’s a bit all over the place, but the puzzle pieces all come together to create a fully functional entity. And it’s heavy as hell. Come celebrate their CD release party, and check out the supporting bands, which include Broloaf, SaintBreaker, Warhead, Oak & Stone, The Chemical Clownz, and Dead Irony.
Slipknot, Lamb of God - Saturday, August 29 - Ak-Chin Pavilion
Both these bands require little to no introduction. Lamb of God has been through a lot in the past few years, between Randy Blythe’s jail time and new book, their new July album, VII: Sturm un Drang, which is unlike anything the band has ever done, and revived live show. And speaking of going through a lot, Slipknot isn’t far behind.. To be honest, metalheads either rlove ‘em, or hate ‘em. I’m for the former, as I always find something love about them, be it their early hits, long road to success, Midwest roots (Kansas, right here), determination, brutal live show, weird personalities, amazing “maggots,” or tributes to their fallen brothers. Not sure why this lineup is rounded out by Bullet For My Valentine… but... yeah. Go for Slipknot and Lamb of God.