Big Sky Arts Council Announces First-Ever Metal in the Mountains

Friday Sep. 1st, 2023

The Arts Council of Big Sky is adding one more event to this summer’s Music in the Mountains free summer concert series. This one, however, will have a different—and louder—flavor than the rest of the music presented so far.

On Thursday, September 14, the Arts Council will present Metal in the Mountains, a free end-of-summer festival featuring three local heavy metal bands. The event includes Big Sky’s Scavenger as the headliner, with support from Belgrade’s Liquid Gnar and Big Sky’s own Stoneman’s Way, and will take place in Len Hill Park.

“We’ve been planning this for a few months and are super excited to announce this lineup to our Music in the Mountains series,” said Brian Hurlbut, the Arts Council’s Executive Director. “It will be great to showcase the area’s burgeoning heavy metal scene to a Big Sky audience.”

This year marks Scavenger’s 10-year anniversary since their first show at the Broken Spoke Bar in Big Sky. The riff-heavy metal band has played more than 150 shows since then at venues around Montana and beyond, showcasing their original material. Their first album, Cliff Manor, was released in 2018, and the quartet will release its second album later this year. The band members—which include Timmy Bowers on drums/vocals, Ben Blodgett on bass/vocals, Joey Mathis on guitar, and Brent Philippi on guitar/vocals—have been part of the Big Sky community for decades.

“We’ve seen many shows in the park and it’s very validating to us all to get to showcase our music on that same platform,” said Philippi. “We are aware people look at metal music differently, but we’re committed to staying true to ourselves artistically while at the same time changing a few minds when it comes to heavy metal music.”

Liquid Gnar is based out of Belgrade and recently won the Belgrade High School Battle of the Bands competition, which included groups from all over Gallatin Valley. The band is also performing at this year’s Rockin’ the Rivers Festival in Three Forks on August 12. The group’s latest single is Eye of the Sun.

Stoneman’s Way is a punk-influenced rock band based in Big Sky and Bozeman that released their debut album, Get It Right, earlier this year. The band frequently plays at venues around the area.

The park will open at 5 p.m., with Stoneman’s Way kicking things off at 5:30. Liquid Gnar will take the stage at 6:30, and Scavenger will start at 8 p.m. Like all Music in the Mountains concerts, the event is free, family friendly and there will be food and beverage trucks available. This event is presented by the Arts Council and the Rocks Tasting Room and Liquor Store with additional support from Big Sky Build, Herbaceous, and Liquid Death.