The Living End, opening for Green Day
Nautica Stage, 2014 Sycamore Street, the
8 p.m. Saturday, June 30
Slayer pounds the metal at Extreme Steel.
With bands with names like Slayer, Pantera, Static-X, Skrape, and Morbid Angel on the bill, you expect the Extreme Steel Tour to be a kick-ass affair. And chances are, it will be a kick-ass affair. Who really cares if none of these bands actually makes music that can be called contemporary by today's metal standards? There's more heavy metal on display here than at LTV these days. Headliner Slayer's new album, God Hates Us All, won't be released until late August, but word is that it's the group's hardest album in years. Pantera is still pushing last year's Reinventing the Steel, more slice-and-dice rock aimed at the aging headbanger. We never really got the appeal of this bordering-on-Fascist bunch of redneck thrashers, but considering their longevity (the group will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year), obviously somebody digs 'em. A bit more modern in its approach to hormonal rock is Static-X, which comes closest to supporting the current rock revolution by incorporating computer programming and hip-hop elements into its music (although its new album, Machine, is as cold as its titular device). And leader Wayne Static is guaranteed to have the best, or at least the tallest, hair onstage. As for Skrape and Morbid Angel? Only the most fervent black metal fans care about these derivative rookies and vets, respectively. The Extreme Steel Tour promises more speed and volume than either Ozzfest or the Warped Tour during its five-week jaunt through the States, even if it all does amount to just a pile of rusty metal.