Early on in the pandemic, Slipknot frontman Corey Taylor predicted that there would be an “explosion of live entertainment” once the concert industry opened up again. And, boy, was he right! The summer and fall 2021 concert season is jam-packed, with countless hard rock and metal tours taking place from July through December.
Not only are Slipknot set to embark on their “Knotfest Roadshow” this fall, other major acts like Guns N’ Roses, Megadeth, KISS, Judas Priest, Korn, and more will all be on the road.
Punk and hardcore will also be well represented, with tour packages including Dropkick Murphys and Rancid, Rise Against and Descendents, Bad Religion and Alkaline Trio, and more.
And if you’re looking for a gory good time, there’s always the intergalactic barbarians of GWAR.
We can only imagine the cathartic experience it will be for fans to see their favorite bands in concert after being cooped up for more than year.
See our guide to the 25 Essential 2021 Hard Rock & Metal Tours to Catch This Summer and Fall below. See you in the pit!
After a year or more without concerts, Slipknot’s Knotfest Roadshow sounds like the perfect way to immerse ourselves in the live heavy metal experience. For good measure, Corey Taylor and company are bringing along a stacked support lineup of Killswitch Engage, Fever 333, and Code Orange. Slipknot will be touring in support of their acclaimed 2019 album, We Are Not Your Kind, but the masked metallers are already working on the follow-up. The tour runs from September 28th through November 2nd, and will be preceded by the all-day Knotfest Iowa festival on September 25th.
Guns N’ Roses
Guns N’ Roses were originally supposed to play a stadium tour in 2020 with support on select dates from the Smashing Pumpkins, but the pandemic postponed those plans. Although the Pumpkins won’t make it for the rescheduled 2021 dates, the support slot has been notably filled by Mammoth WVH, the solo project of Wolfgang Van Halen that’s fresh off the release of a self-title debut album. The two-month run kicks off July 31st in Hershey, Pennsylvania, and ends with a two-night stand in Hollywood, Florida, on October 2nd and 3rd.
Judas Priest’s “50 Years of Heavy Metal” North American tour comes a year after the band’s actual landmark anniversary. Of all recent Priest outings, this one feels particularly vital, as it celebrates five decades of metal brilliance. Fronted by the Metal God himself, Rob Halford, the band continues to remain at the peak of its powers both on stage and in the studio (i.e. 2018’s masterful Firepower). These 50th anniversary sets promise a retrospective of hits and classic songs from the leather-clad British heroes. The expansive tour hits most major markets and starts on September 8th in Reading, Pennsylvania, and runs through a November 5th date in Hamilton, Ontario. Swedish military metallers Sabaton will support.
Megadeth & Lamb of God
A lot has happened within Megadeth over the past couple years. Frontman Dave Mustaine successfully won his battle with throat cancer, and the band was making good progress on their next album when they first announced a co-headlining tour with Lamb of God first announced their way back in February 2020. Then the pandemic hit. And then this year David Ellefson got ousted from the band. When Megadeth finally hit the stage for that first show on August 20th in Austin, Texas, it will be a long-awaited, triumphant moment. Meanwhile, Lamb of God spent the pandemic releasing an excellent self-titled LP, brewing signature coffee, and hosting a pair of livestreams. The newly scheduled tour dates run through October 10th. Trivium and Hatebreed will serve as support.
After an eventful pandemic, GWAR will finally emerge from their compound to ring in the 30th anniversary of Scumdogs of the Universe with a massive 42-date US tour this fall. The trek kicks off October 28th in Norfolk, Virginia, and runs through a December 13th gig in Washington, D.C. Among the stacked support package are Napalm Death, Eyehategod, and Madball. Measly Bohabs now have the option to indulge in some of GWAR’s newly launched Bud of Gods CBD to enhance their concert experience. The line currently has hemp flower, gummies, cartridges, and other accessories available in the Bud of Gods store.