Hard to believe, but it’s not officially summer until tomorrow. With Memorial Day in the books and most kids already out of school, it’s about to kick into high gear. Along with beaches, barbeques, ice cream and all the other accoutrements of summer comes the summer festival season. With Mayhem becoming the metal establishment, there’s also the Summer Slaughter tour. Then there’s the Warped Tour, which has plenty of heavy bands on it this year. A little later on, the just-announced Uproar tour is happening. There are also plenty of non-festival tours, like the Septicflesh/Fleshgod Apocalypse tour, the Def Leppard/KISS tour, and Cynic’s run. And then there are the standalone events, like the GWAR B-Q, Heavy Montreal, the Riot Fest and more. So what Festival, tour or show are you most looking forward to this year?
Bram: This is kind of cheating, since it’s a standalone event more than a touring festival, but Heavy Montreal’s lineup is stacked this year. Established bands like Metallica, Slayer, Lamb of God and Anthrax? Check. One-off appearances by bands like Baby Metal, Nekrogoblikon and Unlocking the Truth? Yep. Twisted Sister and Body Count playing the same day? Well, yeah. Summer Slaughter looks pretty good this year as well, as long as Morbid Angel stays away from Illud Divinum Insanus.
Chris: I will agree with Bram about Heavy Montreal, and in a perfect world, I would be going to that. Alas, money does not grow on trees. Getting back to the rest of the summer events, though, I’ll be perfectly honest in saying there’s not a lot I’m hugely excited for. The lineups for Mayhem and Summer Slaughter are good, but there aren’t enough bands in either band that I want to see enough to justify a ticket purchase. Chimaira’s summer tour would definitely be a draw for me, because I want to see Allegaeon play some of their new material live, but it’s not going to be anywhere on the East Coast. Same thing for Machine Head’s tour dates, where I’m sure material from Killers and Kings will be played live. And don’t even get me started about Demon Hunter’s mini-tour with Red and Veridia. Suffice to say, I’ve been waiting for over a decade for a Demon Hunter concert to happen in my area, and the dates announced for this tour have me feeling like my wait will be even longer.
I think I’m just too hyped already for the fall tours that have been announced. With tours already announced that feature Arch Enemy and Kreator touring together, Amon Amarth touring with Sabaton and Skeletonwitch, Sonata Arctica performing with Delain and Xandria, and Within Temptation touring with Amaranthe, I’m counting down the days to September already. It would take a monstrous summer tour announcement to capture my attention away from all that right now!
Matt: I’m already set to finally see Agalloch on their current North American tour supporting The Serpent & the Sphere, so that’s as great a way as any to kick off the summer touring season. Of all the premiere touring festivals, I’m with Bram on Summer Slaughter, which is sporting one of it’s strongest lineups yet in that having Dying Fetus, The Faceless, and Origin on the same bill is ludicrous. Speaking of ludicrous, that Septicflesh/Fleshgod Apocalypse tour just got even better with the addition of the newly signed Black Crown Initiate. It’s not everyday that my desire to see the opening act is on par with my desire to see the headliner(s). As for the much toted Heavy Montréal, that lineup certainly has the works. Even if attending isn’t feasible, we’ll likely see some good footage from the festival pop up online to enjoy from home.
Zach: Festival tour wise, I guess I’m the most excited about Mayhem Fest. It’s no secret that I love Avenged Sevenfold, and Korn are always great live, so seeing them both on the same bill should be a blast. And as an added bonus, you’ll get to see mutha fuckin Ice-T with mutha fuckin Body Count. As for non-festival tour, I’m most excited for Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden. I know, it’s not a “metal” tour, but it’s definitely the heaviest non-metal tour of the summer. Nine Inch Nails are truly amazing live, and I’ve yet to see Soundgarden despite hearing fantastic things, so getting to see them both on the same stage promises to be a treat. There’s also Motley Crue’s “final” tour, but if I’m being completely honest, I’m looking more forward to Alice Cooper’s opening set on that tour.