Concerts are finally coming back and you can feel the excitement in the air. Live music is such an integral part of the heavy-music experience, and after a year and a half without it, the prospect of seeing your favorite band play your favorite songs before your eyes — and not on a screen — sounds almost too good to be true. Last week, we named the 20 bands we're most looking forward to seeing live again in 2021, and then we asked all of you to pick the one act who you're most thrilled about seeing in a crowded room of like-minded fans. The top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.
Faith No More would be an amazing first-concert-back experience. The alt-metal icons are only playing a couple of dates later this year, but Knotfest Iowa is one of them, and seeing Mike Patton and his bandmates go wild as the 30th anniversary of Angel Dust approaches would be majestic. No wonder our readers agree.
There are few bands who are more suited to help us shake out the post-pandemic jitters than Lamb of God. The New Wave of American Metal gospelists are a beastly force to behold in the live setting, and they've got a whole new album's worth of material to showcase along with mosh-pit classics like "Laid to Rest," "Redneck" and "Walk With Me in Hell."
If a Slipknot show felt like a gale-force blast to the face before COVID, then imagine what hearing the Nine rage onstage will sound like now. The masked metal titans have a busy 2021 ahead of them between hosting Knotfest in Iowa and then embarking on a country-wide trek with Killswitch Engage, Fever 333 and Code Orange. It's time to get psycho-fucking-social all over again.
It's hard to think of a band in heavy music who puts on a more cathartic live show than Deftones — and god knows we need that musical cleansing power now more than ever. Fresh off their phenomenal 2020 record, Ohms, Chino Moreno and the gang are heading across the U.S. later this summer, and we're just as stoked as our fans to rage to "My Own Summer (Shove It)" once again.
The hype is seriously too real for Gojira. The French metal masters had a heavy presence on our best albums and best songs of 2021 so far fan polls, and they easily racked up the most votes in this one — as they should. Their mighty new album, Fortitude, is yet another bunch of bangers that are aching to be cranked in the live setting, and Gojira are objectively one of the tightest heavy acts in the world right now. We'll not about to miss their return to the stage, either.