While June is beautiful just about everywhere else in the United States, it’s when the streets of Phoenix start to get sluggish. Not only are all the snowbirds gone (thank God), but the triple digits really hit full force. Lucky for us desert rats, the music industry doesn’t slow down. In fact, the touring season is just picking up. The (somewhat) cooler nights are full of some great rock and roll.
There are a ton of great shows around town, which is why we compiled a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley during the month of June. There are legends like Crowbar and Sacred Reich, bills with a dozen bands like the the Civil Unrest Tour and the Metal Alliance Tour, and locally loved bands like Element A440 and Play for Blood.
June 3 — Crowbar — Club Red
Over the course of 25 years, doomcore/sludge metal act Crowbar has been fueling heavy metal crowds with a brand of music labeled as “the down-tuned sludge of the Melvins and the over-the-top aggression of Peter Steele’s Carnivore.” In fact, this heavy unique sound has been the only thing really constant in the band, throughout numerous line-up and label changes. Plus, every time you watch Kirk Windstein shred, you can’t help but feel happy. 13th Floor Entertainment presents this amazing show with a line-up rounded out crossover thrash band Battlecross, Portland metallers Lord Dying, the self-proclaimed “American Drinking Metal” act Absolute Adversary, and local headbangers Ashes of the Dead.
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June 5—Element A440—The Blooze Bar
If you are a local heavy metal fan and haven’t seen Element A440 live yet, well, then what the hell have you been doing? While not the heaviest band in the local scene, they are by far one of the most theatrical, unique and talented. The mix of industrial, thrash, grindcore, mix of screaming and atmospheric vocals, and grooving basslines always gets the crowd going—and this is their tour kickoff. Other acts on the bill include Death Awaits, Altered Silence, Wolves of Winter, and the F.U.M.E. Brothers from Flagstaff. Oh top of that, ValhallaRadio.com will be broadcasting live from the event.
June 6— Sacred Reich—Club Red
Sponsored by Heavy Metal Television & Dark Cuts From The Underground, and presented by 13th Floor Entertainment, I have no doubt this will be my favorite show for the month of June. Sacred Reich has always been seen as a band that Arizona metalheads proudly hold close to their hearts. The band has been kicking ass since 1985, with a vast catalog of politically charged thrash and a small number of shows each year. Also taking to the stage will be Ye’iitsoh, which is a fantastically heavy AZ act. You gotta see these guys shred. Other bands include Footer, Destructured, Bleed the Fifth and Axe Wound.
Super excited about all the New Orleans metal in the Valley this month! Goatwhore, known for their punishing death metal and relentless touring schedule, will have quite the arsenal to play from their extensive catalog, including the super heavy 2014 recordConstricting the Rage of the Merciless
, as well as my personal favorite, their fifth studio albumBlood for the Master
. Other bands on the bill include Ringworm, Black Breath, Theories, Through the Earth, and Vermin.
June 12—Metal Alliance Tour 5—Club Red
With a name like the “metal alliance tour,” you can rest assured that you will get your dose of metal for the day, if not the entire month. American death metal band Deicide is credited with being the second best-ever selling death metal band, only second to Cannibal Corpse. They always rock the classics like “Decide” and “Legion” on stage, each with heavy servings of lyrical content that’s been provoking controversy for decades. You may even catch vocalist/bassist Glen Benton brand an inverted cross on his forehead; he’s done it about a dozen times before. Just a heads up to the intensity you can expect in the mosh pit.
June 14—1349, Necrophagia and Vattnet Viskar—Joe’s Grotto
Mosh Pit Army presents this line up that takes over two whole stages at Joe’s. It’s full of some of the most classic and unique metal bands on the scene today. There’s the unique Norwegian black metal act 1349, named for the year black metal allegedly entered Norway; American death metallers Necrophagia, named for cannibalism and classified as one of the earliest death metal bands; and Vattnet Viskar, which is Swedish for “the water is whispering.” Other acts include Skinned, Logistic Slaughter, and Cancerous Womb.
June 20—Play for Blood—Joe’s Grotto
Melodic metalheads will love this show. There’s Play for Blood, a strong fixture on the Phoenix metal scene that’s all about heavy melodies full of shredding riffs. It’s like a mix of Megadeth, Pantera and Volbeat, with a tagline of “more metal than ya ma’s kettle.” What’s not to love? While She Waits is hardcore Southern rock, and DeathGrip (another local act I can’t get enough of). Also expect to see Illusion of Control, Indogen, Mirros, and Innocent Elaine.
June 20—Powerman 5000—Pub Rock Live
A lot of people don’t consider Powerman 5000 as “metal,” but I like to include some mainstream rock on here at times—plus I love the band’s longevity impressive. You can’t deny that you get a little adrenaline rush when they perform “When Worlds Collide” live. Last time I saw them, they were opening for Rob Zombie at the Great American Nightmare haunted house experience at Westworld on opening night; for those who don’t know, Powerman frontman Spider One is Rob Zombie’s little bro. And added bonus to the show? Phoenix rockers Some Call Us Heroes will be opening, and those guys are a great live act all on their own.
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June 23—The Civil Unrest Tour—Club Red
13th Floor Entertainment Presents The Revolver Civil Unrest Tour this June. The Phoenix date hosts about 10 bands across two stages at Club Red. Latin metal band Il Nino are headlining, which should attract quite the crowd in AZ, where a strong presence of Mexican metal abounds. Then you’ve got some oldies but goodies—like Straight Line Stitch, Davey Suicide and Motograter. Rounding the diverse lineup out is Lydia Can’t Breath, Darkc311, Malo De Dentro, Tome, Paranova, A Moment of Clarify, and Happy Accidents.
June 25—Condemned, Lurid Memory, Atoll and more—Rogue Bar
I absolute love metal shows at the Rogue. The intimate venue immediately gets thick with the humidity of sweat, blood and excitement, and that’s what a metal show is all about. Death metal is the name of the game here—you know when you see those posters, and the bands are so brutal that you can’t even decipher the names? We’ll do it for you: Expect California death metal with Condemned, Lurid Memory and beloved Cranial Engorgement, and a taste of the AZ death scene with Oppressor God and Atoll.