Summer is upon us, which gives you all the more reason to turn up the heat on heading out to live shows in the evening when the temps cool down. The summers here may not be the most ideal time for us to head out to shows, but it's prime time for touring season everywhere else — which means we just have to step up and head out. And this June, there are a ton of incredible metal shows to pump you up, from legends like Anvil and Venom Inc. to killer local lineups like That Damn Metal Show and Phoenix Death Fest.
Here's your list of the best 10 metal shows in the Metro Phoenix area for the month of June.
June 2 – Westfield Massacre – Club Red
13th Floor Entertainment presents this killer lineup at Club Red. Los Angeles-based Westfield Massacre is known for their fusion of American modern metal and traditional European metal — my personal favorites include their classically inspired passages and insanely fast drums. They have a longstanding cult following, so this show is bound to be packed. Sinshrift, Paradiso Falls, Haven’s End, and a few other special guests round out the bill.
June 4 – Anvil – Pub Rock Live
Canadian-based heavy metallers Anvil have been melting faces since the late '70s. Between their 15 studio albums and influence upon such legends as Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax, you can bet that this band lives up to its reputation, even if they are more on the old-school side. Unleash the Archers, Night Demon, Graveshadow, Sanitation Squad, and Ironkill complete this lineup. Note: Sanitation Squad is a great Phoenix act to keep an eye on; they are incredible.
June 8 – Winds of Plague – Club Red
Since its formation in 2002, American deathcore act Winds of Plague have been one of the only deathcore bands to incorporate symphonic elements into their music. Currently working on a new album after a brief hiatus, this show is sure to showcase some of that crazy energy the band has always been known for. Presented by 13th Floor Entertainment, the lineup also includes Rings of Saturn, Earth, American Standards, Hounds of Tindalos, and Infinite AZ.
June 9 – Phoenix Death Fest 2: Abhorrent Deformity – Rogue Bar
Final Hour Booking presents the Phoenix Death Fest 2. Headliner Abhorrent Deformity has been around since 2013, and released its first full-length album last fall. The four-piece North Carolina band is all about the extremely fast death metal coupled with brutal elements, particularly the strength behind the bass guitar and drums, and the mid-range vocal screams. Expect to see local support by Fetal Disgorge, Atoll, Meatcleaver Amputation, and Dead Inception.
June 10 – Gorgatron – Club Red
If you’re a fan of death metal, this is the show you should hit up this month. “Death metal from Fargo, North Dakota, puttin' emo kids in log chippers since '06” — this is how the death metal/grindcore band Gorgatron describes themselves. Add Unholy Monarch, Through the Earth, Avarice, Oppressor God, and Dead Swarm to the mix, and you’ve got yourself one hell of a night of music. Added bonus? The bar is offering $8 Blue Balls (a shot of fireball and a PBR tall boy).
June 11 – Metal Extravaganza – Joe’s Grotto
The band Bekkoning is an eclectic mix of musicians that met over the intersection of dramatic melody and heavy, hard-hitting beats. With music that is aggressive yet thoughtful, their songwriting is original and fresh. Put on by Immortalized Productions, there’s Vermin, Nephilim, and Long Since Dead also on the bill.
June 17 – That Damn Metal Show - Rockbar
I can’t wait for this free show put on by Rockbar Inc. That Damn Metal Show features some of the most talented and loved bands on the Phoenix scene today, including Howitzer, Ella Kaye, Soundmankillz, Lost In Lies, Murkocet, and Archetypes Collide.
June 18 – A-Frame – Cactus Jack’s Tavern
This is a great chance to check out A-Frame, featuring Tantric’s Tommy Gibbons and Mike Smith. It initially began as a single man band with Tommy Gibbons, who has been making headlines for his guitar talent for more than 10 years (including a Guitar Center Guitargeddon Best West Region Guitarist award more than once). Other bands on the bill include Concertina — a band I’ve been keeping a close eye on as they are young, hungry, and super talented — and Aimless Ambition.
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June 18 – Slipknot – Ak-Chin Pavilion
Obviously Slipknot needs no introduction, particularly when it comes to the prowess of their live shows. Add that to the excitement of the recent announcement of Ozzfest meets Knotfest this September, and their success over 2014’s .5:The Gray Chapter, and there will be a ton of pumped up fans at this show. The only downside here? Moshing in 115 degree-heat.
June 26 – Venom Inc. and Necrophagia – The Rebel Lounge
English metallers Venom have been around since the mid-1970s, and they were not only a part of the new wave of British heavy metal, but the band’s first two albums, Welcome to Hell and Black Metal (’81 and ’82, respectively), were considered a huge influence on extreme thrash metal. In fact, they are often credited with spawning the name of the subgenre black metal. Necrophagia, also on the bill, is considered one of the first death metal bands ever.