Thor and Truth And Janey get top billing in this 10-band lineup of heavy and psychedelic music. Info/tix
Returning for its second year, the one-day Ancient Future festival offers a wide variety of heavy Madison bands and some truly inspired touring headliners. "Muscle rock" cult hero Thor has had a career resurgence in the last few years, thanks to the documentary I Am Thor. A former professional bodybuilder, Jon Mikl Thor is infamous for his onstage feats of strength and heavy- metal bombast. Truth & Janey, driven by Billy Janey's blown-out guitar riffage, were one of the best Midwestern proto-metal bands of the 1970s, and also feature prominently in the Ancient Future lineup. Though they never achieved commercial success, the band's 1976 album No Rest For the Wicked has become a coveted holy grail for modern metalheads.
Ancient Future Fest also features a rare local appearance from spooky country duo Those Poor Bastards and a set from Vanishing Kids, whose new album Heavy Dreamer comes out later this year. And while Cthonian Lich and Ruin Dweller are relatively newer groups in town, they both feature hardened veterans of the Madison metal scene and are well worth showing up early for. With a 10-band line-up, Ancient Future Fest 2 offers a day packed full of music from local staples and unsung cult heroes. —Ian Adcock