Music News

Future Shock: The Helio Sequence, Ted Nugent, Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival, and more

By Niki D’Andrea

Just when you thought the '80s nostalgia kick was over, promoters announce a ton of My Decade acts that are getting back on the bus, 20 years past their primes. Such throwback outings have been successful because, these days, nostalgia equals relevance. But '80s popsters aren’t the only musicians hitting the road this summer -- read on for an eclectic list of just-announced shows.

The Helio Sequence Wednesday, June 11, 8 p.m. The Rhythm Room $10 (

This indie-rock duo always throws a bit of electronica into the mix, and they’re currently touring in support of their fourth album, Keep Your Eyes Ahead (Sub Pop). Singer/guitarist Brandon Summers recently re-learned how to sing after damaging his vocals chords, and the new album reflects a stronger sonic sensibility.

Random band fact: The other half of The Helio Sequence, keyboardist/drummer Benjamin Weikel, also played for Modest Mouse.

Below: The video for The Helios Sequence’s “Everyone Knows Everyone,” from their 2004 album Love and Distance:


Regeneration Tour With The Human League, Belinda Carlisle, ABC, Missing Persons, and Dead or Alive. Friday, August 1, 7:30 p.m. Dodge Theatre $35-$45 (

There are seven #1 U.S. Billboard singles from the ’80s between these five acts -- three for Human League (“Don’t You Want Me” in 1981, “(Keep Feeling) Fascination” in 1983, and “Human” in 1986); one for Belinda Carlisle (“Heaven Is a Place on Earth” in 1988); and three for ABC (“The Look of Love” in 1982, “Be Near Me” in 1985, and “When Smokey Sings” in 1987).

Random band fact: Belinda Carlisle’s former band, the Go-Go’s, had eight singles make the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart, but never had a #1 song.

Below: The original video for Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)”:

Ted Nugent Monday, June 9, 8 p.m. Celebrity Theatre $39.50-$59.50 (

The last time I saw the Nuge in concert, he was opening for Lynyrd Skynyrd at Celebrity Theatre, and he was wearing skin tight, zebra-striped pants with safety pins all down the butt crack. He also started a bonfire on stage. We can only hope that this year, he brings back the loin cloth.

Random band fact: Nugent, an avid hunter, has claimed he’s received death threats from animal rights activists.

Below: Ted Nugent has a message for Hillary Clinton:


Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival With Slipknot, Disturbed, Dragonforce, Mastodon, Machine Head, Airbourne, Five Finger Death Punch, Walls of Jericho, Underoath, Black Tide, Suicide Silence, The Red Chord, and 36 Crazyfists. Friday, July 18, 2 p.m. Cricket Wireless Pavilion $33.32-$59.85 (

For heavy metal fans, this is a bill made in heaven. Slipknot, Disturbed, Mastodon, and Machine Head alone will be worth the price of admission, but up-and-coming metal acts like Walls of Jericho and 36 Crazyfists make this a stellar, well-rounded roster.

Random band fact: Slipknot has been nominated for six Grammy Awards. They won one Grammy, for “Best Metal Performance,” in 2006.

Below: The video for “Iron Tusk” by Mastodon:

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Niki D'Andrea has covered subjects including drug culture, women's basketball, pirate radio stations, Scottsdale staycations, and fine wine. She has worked at both New Times and Phoenix Magazine, and is now a freelancer.
Contact: Niki D'Andrea