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: Inkcarceration, Blue Ridge Rock Festival, Louder Than Life, Welcome to Rockville

Website: www.beartoothband.com 

Latest release: Beartooth released its fourth album, “Below,” in June via Red Bull Records.

What You Need to Know: In the studio, Beartooth is one-man band Caleb Shomo. On stage, it’s a powerful, high-energy live act that’s been a festival staple for the past five years or so, steadily rising higher and higher on the bill. The latest album appears destined to take the band to even greater heights.

“‘Below’ is by far my favorite album I’ve made to date,” Shomo said. “It covers the dark side of dealing with mental strain during the last year. I gave it all I had—musically and lyrically. Is it too dark? Possibly, but it was as honest as I could be about how I felt. I hope everyone is ready to strap in for a wild ride of headbanging and rocking.”

Beartooth fans are some of the most dedicated around, making every festival performance a must-see event.

What You Need to Hear: 

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