Pyro. Lots of pyro. And loud. Very loud. For a cheap holiday in other people’s misery, there’s nothing quite like a good thrashing at the hands of a dozen or so modern-rock bands, and the Meadows Music Center (203-265-1501) in Hartford has just what Independence Day demands: a star-spangled radio-station blowout on the Fourth of July headlined by bummed-out grunge-metal romantics Staind and Evanescence. The former are, of course, Western Massachusetts’s contribution to the annals of lovesick power-balladry. And the latter are a former Christian-youth group fronted by a girl who combines the art-metal bruise appeal of Tool with the tortured-waif-at-the-piano sex appeal of Tori Amos. Also on board are Hoobastank, Trapt, Third Eye Blind, Gob, Boy Sets Fire, and Lo-Pro, former Godsmack drummer Tommy Stewart’s new band, who’ve just signed to Staind frontdude Aaron Lewis’s new 413 Records imprint.
A few hours after that bombast dies down, the headbanger militias will start gathering in the parking lot at Gillette Stadium (617-931-2000) in Foxboro to welcome back Metallica’s " Summer Sanitarium " juggernaut on Sunday, a gig we recommend since (a) no matter how awful their albums get, Metallica are the best live act in metal, ever; and (b) just about every outfit on the bill has been talking smack about every other outfit on the bill, so the banter should be as explosive as the songs. Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Deftones, and Mudvayne set the stage.
If you’re stuck in Connecticut on the Fourth, be advised that piano man Ben Folds is at Toad’s Place (203-562-5589) in New Haven; Canadian metal grrrls Kittie show up at the same joint on Sunday. Elsewhere this loud-and-proud weekend, Virginia death-metal titans Lamb of God maul the goat-throwing faithful with what their last album referred to as the New American Gospel (Metal Blade) at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (401-272-5876) in Providence on Saturday. The summer’s big prog-metal bill teams Berklee-bred dream weavers Dream Theatre, operatic conceptualists Queensrÿche (who have a new album, Tribe, out on Sanctuary later this month), and Fates Warning for a tour that hits the Oakdale Theatre (203-265-1501) in Wallingford, Connecticut, on Tuesday and FleetBoston Pavilion (617-931-2000) on Wednesday. Jersey emo stars Thursday take flight at the Rye Airfield (800-477-6849) in Rye, New Hampshire, on Sunday. And South Carolina hardcore faves Stretch Arm Strong team up with Boston’s the Hope Conspiracy for an all-ages gig at the ICC Church (617-782-8120) in Allston on Tuesday, then continue on their own to the El-N-Gee (860-437-3800) in New London, Connecticut, on Wednesday.