After a short night, here I am, back at Parc Jean-Drapeau to enjoy Day number 2 of Heavy Montreal.
I arrived a bit before 1pm to be sure not to miss a bit of what this day has to offer. I decided to go check Montrealers Mass Murder Messiah labeled as a “rockcore” band on stage “de La Fôret”. Well, even if I don’t really know what “rockcore” means, a lot of people stopped by to support the band.
The sound is heavy, the bass sounds amazing and I have to admit the sound guys during the fest did a really great job and it’s not an easy task with outdoors events. Anyways, song after song, the crowd grew up and horns kept waving in the air, even Satan came by and seemed to enjoy the show.
I would have loved to spend my day in the forest to protect myself from the sun and heat but there are so many bands I want to see!
Up next was another band from Montreal called The Brains playing psychobilly. If you’re not familiar with this genre you just have to mix rockabilly from the 50’s and incorporates punk rock and horror themes and here you go.
The 3 piece band, composed of a drummer, guitarist and upright bassist, gave a really nice and swinging performance that made me and the whole crowd dance.
After a short break I took a few minutes to go check another band from Montreal, mathcore/death metal act Ion Dissonance. Started in 2001, the band has opened for a lot of American bands (The Dillinger Escape Plan, Black Dahlia Murder….) and I now understand why. Vocals are powerful and the technique of both guitarists and drummer is absolutely crazy.
Now it’s time go back to Main Stage to see legendary guitarist Lita Ford. Wearing a tight red leather outfit from the 70’s and her full yellow guitar, Ford showed the boys in the audience who’s the boss. I was really impressed by the performance; this girl knows how to play guitar for sure and even gave me chills with her crazy solos, and what a pleasure it was to hear the cover of “Cherry Bomb” by her former band, The Runaways.
No time to sleep as Abbath is about to play the Molson Canadian Stage. Former guitarist and singer of the band Immortal; Abbath just started his solo project and came all the way from Norway to deliver his black metal. The whole band was wearing make-up as usual, the audience was bigger than I expected and even if I’m not an expert in this genre of music I really enjoyed the show.
One of the metal band France is the most proud of is probably Gojira. Used to touring with non other than Metallica, the frenchies have nothing to prove but that did not stop them from offering one of the best and most brutal sets of the fest.
Brothers Joseph Duplantier (guitar/vocals) and Mario (drummer) are beasts, as well as second guitarist Christian Andreu and bassist J-M Labadie. The crowd was absolute chaos, with crowdsurfers & mosh pits. It was my first time seeing them but won’t be the last for sure.
Another act that completely delighted the audience was the thrash metalers of Testament. Sitting and enjoying a cold beer from the vip terrasse, I had the perfect view to see the band take over the Molson Canadian stage. Horns up, crazy pit moves on songs like “More Than Meets The Eye” or “Into The Pit”, and the virtuosity of the musicians….what a show!
Every time I’ve seen Billy Talent they amazed me, and once again they didn’t fail. Playing one of the main stages, the Mississauga-based punk rockers were full of energy from the beginning to the end of their set. Hundreds of fans have been waiting in front of the stage way before the show started. The band played new songs like “Viking Death March,” “Surprise Surprise” and “Runnin’ Across the Tracks” and had the whole crowd singing along and crowdsurfing on older one like “Red Flags” or “Fallen Leaves”.
Just before the end of Billy Talent, I went to check The Agonist perform their last few songs. The new frontwoman, Vicky Psarakis, was impressive switching from clean vocals to screaming and the fans seemed to enjoy it a lot.
Back on Molson Canadian Mainstage, a small banner is up to announce one of the biggest punk rock band of its generation. NOFX comes on stage to a packed crowd like it’s no big deal, with frontman Fat Mike wearing a pink dress (yes a dress) and his red mohawk.
After a few catchy songs and the cover of Rancid hit “Radio”, the band told the audience it’s guitarist El Hefe’s 50th birthday and made him smash the 2 big piñatas that appeared on stage…that was epic!
Besides songs such as “Murder The Government”, “Franco Un-american” or “Seeing Double at the Triple Rock”, the band also covered french song “Champs Elysées”. I love seing NOFX on stage, they always make fun of other bands, of the crowd (especially metalheads that time) and have fun playing like they were in a rehearsal room.
The legendary Iggy Pop was part of this year’s Heavy Montreal and I’m glad I was being able to see him live. The 68 year old was just like I expected, jumping all around,
doing crazy movements during the whole set and making the girls standing on shoulders show their breasts.
After 75min on stage and songs like “I Wanna Be Your Dog”, “Five Foot One”, “I’m Bored” or “Down On the Street, now it’s time for the last band of this Saturday night…. Faith No More.
At first I didn’t know what to think because the stage was decorated in full white with funeral flowers and also because the band was dressed in white as well and made me think a bit of the Jehova’s Witnesses!
Anyways, after a few minutes I slowly started getting into it and so the crowd. Singer Mike Patton’s vocals were amazing and I couldn’t imagine that the band went through years of hiatus, as the songs were perfectly performed.
Despite the good performance I have to admit I was a bit disappointed as it seemed a distance between the band and a part of the crowd but the die hard fans surrounding me appeared to have the time of their lifes and in the end that’s all that matters.
Review – Ingrid Pllrn
Photos – Kieron Yates