This night of metal at Mesa's Club Red truly celebrates the best of old school and newer bands that run the desert scene. There's Flotsam and Jetsam, local thrash legends that have been making impressions with their killer live shows and hard-charging sound since 1981. They've certainly had a lot of ups and downs, but shared the stage with such acts as Megadeth and Mercyful Fate during the process. Rounding out the rest of the bill for AZ Metalfest is a melting pot of bands influenced by your favorite metal and hard rock bands: Chemicals of Democray, Downhill Trend, Ghost 211, Altered Silence, Warhead, and She Murdered Me - the latter of which has only been around a couple years, and have already shared the stage with bands like Deicide and Moonsorrow. LAUREN WISE
For a band that was playing club gigs and smaller venues within the last year or two, Walk the Moon has done extremely well for itself. Six years after its formation, the Cincinnati indie rock act is selling out venues across the country. The recorded versions of its hits and songs -- including the currently inescapable radio favorite "Shut Up and Dance" -- are good, but seeing these guys perform them live is simply impressive. Musically, Walk the Moon is reminiscent of early era Talk Talk, and lead singer Nicholas Petricca's powerful and expertly controlled falsetto has a richness reminiscent of Mark Hollis, especially on tunes like "Tightrope" with its HEALTH-like, noise-laced intro. "Fixin'" finds lead guitarist Eli Maiman channeling a bit of Robin Guthrie with his ghostly, gently swirling guitar tones. TOM MURPHY
Editor's note: The show is currently sold out but tickets are available online via StubHub and similar sites.
For many of us, the very idea of saying "fuck you" to cancer is nothing short of catharsis. The disease has affected every one of us in one way or the other, and more often than not it is deeply personal. The good folks at Joe's Grotto are doing something about it by making their North Phoenix nightclub available for the Fuck Cancer Benefit show, featuring some of the Valley's best hard-rocking bands.
The lineup this year includes Crushed, which in band years, may predate the disease itself. Also on the bill: the lovely and wicked Venomous Pinks, who released one of the coolest EPs of 2014 and continue to get better and better. These two local favorites are joined by Sectas, Volatile Minds, Mill's End, Mental Cases, Don't Panic, and Twisted Theorem. If you like to rock out for a good cause, head over to Joe's Grotto and pony up some dough to help fuck the disease that has fucked so many of us out of time with people we love. The show starts at 6 p.m. to accommodate the many bands giving up their effort and energy for a tremendous cause. TOM REARDON