South Florida loves its heavy metal. While the area may no longer spit out talented metal bands with the same tenacity it once did, there was a time when South Florida's extreme heat and humidity provided an ideal environment for the incubation of top-notch heavies in a way rivaled only by the likes of Tampa and Sweden.
Fortunately for us, metal tours still hit South Florida with a consistency that fans of most other genres would kill for. We have it good when it comes to metal shows, and that's due in large part to the fact that bands, promotors, and booking agents all understand the unwavering reality that is the South Florida metal fan: A breed of ride or die head-banger not afraid to come out on a Monday night, swill beer, churn a pit, and scream their fuckin' head off into the wee hours.
Additionally, South Florida is home to enough heavy metal temples to house covens of all sizes. Venues not afraid of the depraved rituals and sonic baptisms that metal shows consist of. Structures built to withstand countless assaults of blastbeats, dive bombs, and hoards of inebriated maniacs losing their collective shit. Here are our top 5 places to see a metal show in Broward and Palm Beach counties.
See also: Ten Best Florida Metal Bands of All Time
The Culture Room is a South Florida metal institution. Still independently owned and consistently booking remarkable shows (last year alone they hosted Morbid Angel, Marduk, what had to be Cannibal Corpse's 50th show there...), the place is a proper tradition at this point. If the club's smoke-tainted walls could speak, they'd sound like Mark Lanegan doing a Tom Waits impression, they'd tell of countless nights of absolutely primal heavy metal mayhem, and they would probably tell you what you did in the bathroom in 1994 was just not cool, man.
Nestled comfortably in the middle of the land that morality forgot, downtown Fort Lauderdale, Revolution appears to have been designed and furnished by Nathan Explosion himself. The venue's wrought iron sculptures, rich, blood red paint, and massive sound system bring the thump and rumble of a heavy metal show to life with the same horrifying exaggeration the IMAX theater around the corner provides for films. The security staff is also generally efficient without the unnecessary roughness people might expect of a venue this size.
There was a glorious time, not so long ago, when Clematis Street in downtown West Palm was home to Ray's Downtown Blues, Spanky's, and Respectable Street. This was a time when you could catch a solid metal or hardcore show at any one of these venues and any given month would provide a wealth of shows that many certainly took for granted at the time. Now, Respectable Street is the only venue that remains on Clematis, and though the venue's focus has shifted to less aggressive fare in recent years, anyone present at the Converge/Modern Life is War show of 2006 will attest to the fact that the place provides an awesomely intimate environment for a metal show.
Metal, hardcore, and most aggressive genres of music are in their very essence a young person's game, and what the Talent Farm loses in not having a bar is gained in the role it plays for the youth of the area. This venue, hidden in the swamps of western Pembroke Pines, has provided a safe environment with big venue sound since 2004. Thanks to the efforts of its unbelievably benevolent owner, Kevin Burns, the venue has attracted some of the best hardcore and metal shows that South Florida has enjoyed in years, all while giving Broward's hardcore scene a place to call home.
Sometimes, the best metal shows happen at the smallest venues. Sweaty, adrenaline-fueled, visceral madness tends to explode in a far more dramatic way when packed into the bowels of a small bar like Lake Worth's Speakeasy Lounge -- just ask anyone who has been present when Obituary decides to play dive bars in its hometown of Tampa. The Speakeasy Lounge has provided the stage for some serious acts in recent years, including shows by death-metal titans Dying Fetus and metalcore heroes Unearth.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!