Mushroomhead, One-Eyed Doll, UnSaidFate, Ionia, Fatal Malady, and Serum - Marquee Theatre, Tempe - December 10This is a line-up that would've been best suited for a Halloween show, but we'll have to settle for a Tuesday in December. I have a soft spot in my heart for Mushroomhead--or maybe I just have a thing for axe-wielding dudes in masks that hail from the Midwest, which would explain my infatuation with Jason. All I do know for sure is that when Mushroomhead's creepy, tinkering, industrial heavy breakdown jam "43" comes on I go nuts in the moshpit.
And then there's the goth punk outfit One-Eyed Doll--ohhh, One-Eyed Doll. Comprised of just two members, vocalist/guitarist Kimberly Freeman and drummer Jason Rufuss Sewell, this is one of my favorite weird live shows I've seen in a long time. It's like Marilyn Manson meets Strawberry Shortcake.
Just make sure you can see the stage when they break into "Be My Friend": I made a dress from a choir girl's skin / I wore it to church, the preacher said I'd sinned / Forgive me Father for my fashion crime / Your skin is so nice I'll use yours next time / Serial killers are people too / If you take away the voices I'm just like you / I'll hack you up and bury you in my yard / But why does making friends have to be so very hard?
Exhumed, Iron Reagan, Saintbreaker and more - Club Red, Tempe - December 12Influenced by early Entombed and Carcass, this band is all about old-school death metal and is notorious for gore- and horror-themed lyrics. Since its inception in 1990, the band has gone through more than a dozen band members (guitarist/vocalist Matt Harvey has been the band's only consistent member), went on hiatus in 2005, and then regrouped in 2010.
This tour stop is perfect timing for the holiday season, considering that the band's 2013 album Necrocracy featured a critique of American corporatism and consumerism. Tis the season to hate this subject even more, so go ahead--indulge.