wild metal bands
[Photos by: letlive., GWAR/Bobby Makar, Slipknot/Julia Nemesheimer]

Live music is one of the best things in life, but not all bands offer the same experience when you go to see them perform. Some are subdued and just fun to listen to, while others are all about crowd participation. Some just have such wild stage setups, you can’t help but be amazed. If you’re looking for a live show that will truly knock you off your feet, though, metal has the best range of bands to leave you with a memory of a night unlike any other.

Take a look below for the top 10 craziest metal and hardcore bands to hit the stage.

Read more: Lamb Of God release new single, “Checkmate,” play Chicago House of Vans


1. The Chariot

The Chariot were one of the best acts for making fans feel like they were a part of the band themselves. Their live shows were highly energetic, with bodies of both band and audience members flying across the room that made it feel like staring down a wave of bloodthirsty zombies clambering over each other at a chance to catch a meal.

2. The Dillinger Escape Plan

No band will ever quite match the energy emitted by the Dillinger Escape Plan live. The band were known for their members hardly actually staying onstage while vocalist Greg Puciato and guitarist Ben Weinman fought for who would be more unhinged as they’ve been seen diving from ungodly heights, breathing fire, running across the heads of audience members and more.

3. Ho99o9

Ho99o9 (pronounced “horror”) aren’t exactly easy to describe in their sound, bouncing from hip-hop to old-school punk to industrial and more, but one thing is for sure: They’ve learned how to put on a show. The band’s belligerent onstage presence has led to countless standout performances, and their dense tones add to the utter chaos of their shows.

Read more: Disney ‘Onward’ gives Chris Pratt a metal-inspired character
4. Gallows

Back when Gallows still had Frank Carter as their vocalist, the U.K. hardcore band were known for being one of the most visceral up-and-coming bands. Carter frequently fought people onstage and performed in the audience more often than not. Since recruiting Alexisonfire member Wade MacNeil, they’ve become less active but maintained the high level of energy at their shows.

5. GWAR

It’s pretty difficult to top GWAR for being one of the most out-there metal bands, onstage or offstage. The group of murderous crack-smoking aliens are constantly updating the story they tell through their live show while cycling through various celebrities and politicians to murder onstage while spraying various fluids on the audience.

Read more: Top 50 metal songs from the past 20 years
6. Rammstein

Rammstein’s stage setup is so massive and complex, yet they continue to make it bigger as their career carries on. They have a penchant for pyrotechnics, with singer Till Lindemann eventually becoming a licensed pyrotechnician (who has spent entire songs engulfed in flames before). In addition, they have one of the most stunning light shows and bring along countless other props while injecting political undertones into their outfits and other stage gear.

7. Compressorhead

Compressorhead are one of the weirdest bands to exist as their members aren’t even humans but rather animatronic robots programmed to play instruments. While they climbed to viral fame through playing covers of classic-rock and metal tunes, they’ve gotten more crafty and wrote an album of original material in 2017 to deliver a truly one-of-a-kind show to fans.

Read more: 10 metal bands who drastically changed their sound successfully
8. Slipknot

The scope of Slipknot’s performances has become a lot bigger since climbing to the top of metal, but they’ve achieved a visceral live show since their formation. With nine members who frequently set each other on fire, fight while playing songs and jump off everything in sight no matter the height, it’s hard to top. Although the band have tempered their antics over the years, you still never know what will happen at a Slipknot gig.

9. letlive.

People who discovered Jason Aalon Butler through his new band FEVER 333 may think they pull off crazy shows, but if they haven’t experienced letlive. before, they have no idea what the musician’s full potential is. The band were known to fling themselves in any direction the energy took them, fight unnecessarily pushy security while onstage and try as much as possible to make their fans a part of the chaos, all without missing a note.

10. Exhumed

Exhumed are one of the best death-grind bands of all time, and their live shows become a spectacle to watch when they bring out their butcher character onstage. The band’s gore-drenched imagery is brought to life for each performance, with a person running saws and power tools to fly sparks throughout the room as the band tear through their ultra-brutal material.