More and more, festivals are becoming the driving force for touring rock and metal bands. While obviously there were none in 2020, festivals are returning in force in 2021, mostly in late summer and early fall. Headliners and co-headliners include such heavy hitters as Metallica, Nine Inch Nails, Slipknot, Rob Zombie, the original Misfits, Korn, Judas Priest, Five Finger Death Punch and Shinedown. Live Metal’s “2021 Festival Spotlight” series aims to bring attention to some of the names in smaller print on the festival admats—the bands you can get up close and personal with at the smaller stages—along with a few higher profile acts we find worth calling out here. See you at the shows.

Playing: Rocklahoma, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, MMRBQ, Louder Than Life, Welcome to Rockville

Website: www.ayronjonesmusic.com 

Latest release: Ayron Jones released his debut album, “Child of the State,” in May.

What You Need to Know: Hailing from Seattle, Washington, guitarist/singer-songwriter Ayron Jones has been one of the big success stories of rock music in 2021. His single “Take Me Away,” released in 2020, hit number five on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, while “Mercy” has climbed even higher, reaching the top spot in early June.

In an interview with All Access, Jones described his new album as “a culmination of my life stories told through the lens of my various musical influences in rock and beyond.” Those influences include Prince, Nirvana, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jackson and Rage Against the Machine.

He’s also proud of his Seattle heritage and the city’s rich musical history. He told Guitar World, “I think if you’re a guitar player in Seattle, it’s impossible for you to have not been influenced by the greats from here … In terms of the influence of the Seattle sound, I think I would have done a disservice to myself and everyone else had I come from this scene and not represented the sound in the best way possible.”

What You Need to Hear: 

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