Summer is festival season, and festival season is metal season. Sure, you could pay double the money to see a bunch of indie-rock bands named after woodland creatures be sad at you, but nothing fits the spirit of the season more than getting your sweat on in the middle of a deafeningly loud mosh pit full of surly, beer-fueled stompers. On Friday, slip out of work early and wear your finest black T-shirt: for a little more than 20 bucks, some of the country’s most aggressive, adrenaline-charged bands will serenade you into the wee small hours until your earplugs fall out. Here’s our picks for the finest of the dozen bands on display at Backstage Live.
Terror: The vanilla of metalcore. Or the white bread. Or the Honda Civic. Or… well, supply your own metaphor, but the point is—if you’re looking for pure, catchy, throwback punk-metal, Terror isn’t flashy or spectacular or dressed up in whatever the flavor of the moment is. But they’re reliable. If you catch them on the All Stars tour, you’ll be seeing a group that’s toured almost continually since it was founded 10 years ago. Their music is never going to set the world on fire, but it’s a perfectly predictable blending of anthemic metal and pit-worthy punk—like a grilled cheese sandwich, it’s a delicious treat made from two utterly ordinary ingredients.
Veil of Maya: If you can judge a band by the company they keep, Veil of Maya are very good indeed. Named after a song by the legendary Florida death metal outfit Cynic, VoM is another band whose rep rests on a punishingly constant tour schedule, which has included gigs opening national tours with the likes of Arsis and fellow Chicago tech-death maestros Born of Osiris. Name-checking aside, they’re worth seeing on the strength of their mind-blowing technical prowess alone—just in terms of musical chops, they’re probably the best band on the tour, and their guitar pyrotechnics, impressive enough on record, are absolutely stunning on stage. These are the folks not to miss.
Every Time I Die: This five-piece out of Buffalo, N.Y. has gone through its share of internal turmoil, membership turnovers and a bit of an identity crisis about who they wanted to be as a band, but in recent years they’ve left all the chaos behind. As they’ve grown in popularity, their style has settled down some, incorporating southern sludge into their sound and lending some low-bottom dirtiness to heavy up their metalcore origins. If you’ve been a fan of the band for a while, this tour is a good time to reward yourself for sticking around. If you’re new, congratulate yourself for getting into them at exactly the right time.
2pm Fri, Aug 9
1305 E Houston
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