Nothing feels certain anymore, but live music triumphantly returned in 2021, and it seems like it's here to stay in 2022 — international travel restrictions be damned. Metal giants like Tool and Ghost are returning to the road for the first time since 2020, and there are countless smaller packages that are set to rip through clubs and keep people moshing like there's no tomorrow.
Last week, we published our list of the 25 most anticipated tours of 2022, and then we asked our readers to chime in with their pick for the single band they're most excited to see onstage this year. The main takeaway is that heavy music fans of all shades have shows to look forward to, but the top five vote-getters are ranked accordingly below.
There are few bands with a better grasp on metal's satanic pageantry than Ghost. When the Swedish occult heroes step onstage, it's like the most extravagant black-metal ritual you've ever seen being soundtracked by the catchiest rock anthems you've ever heard — a strangely magical audiovisual experience that doesn't seem like it should work, but does. It's been roughly two years since their last ceremony, and we're ready to feel the spirit inside of us once again.
Deftones haven't played a show since November of 2019. Which means Chino Moreno and Co. haven't yet had a chance to rip through any of the music from their stunning 2020 opus, Ohms, or to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of White Pony live onstage. The alt-metal leaders' now-twice rescheduled tour with Gojira is slated to set sail this April, and we'll keep our fingers on both hands crossed until then.
Rammstein don't make it over to North America very often, which is probably a blessing for local fire departments. Later this year, the German pyromaniacs are set to blaze through their first-ever North American stadium tour, so residents in those counties with an aversion to humongous flames, phallic imagery and Neue Deutsche Härte fuckery should start building out their bunkers now. The rest of us are getting ready to party.
While many bands rushed to return to the stage in 2021, Tool hung back and waited until last week to resume a massive run of dates that were cut short in March of 2020. All that did was make the anticipation even more palpable for fans who haven't had a chance to experience Fear Inoculum songs in the live environment. Even better, the prog-metal titans took the opportunity to dust off some rarely played classics like "Pushit" and "Right in Two."
It was supposed to happen in 2020, then in 2021, and now it's finally (hopefully) going down in 2022. Rage Against the Machine's first live shows in over a decade couldn't be arriving at a more suitable time in the course of human history, as fists-up bangers like "Take the Power Back" and "Know Your Enemy" feel more socially relevant now than ever before. Clearly, people are ready to let loose and join the rap-metal titans in a pseudo-spiritual uproar of cathartic anger. We agree: These shows can't come soon enough.