Parkway Drive + The Amity Affliction + Northlane + Make Them Suffer @ Place Bell

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It was an incredible opportunity to finally attend the all-Australian lineup, Monsters of Oz tour featuring headliner Parkway Drive with The Amity Affliction, Northlane, and Make Them Suffer at Place Bell in Laval. I was ready for one hell of a spectacle as it was the first time that Parkway were bringing their full pyro show to North America and we have been waiting for this show since way before the pandemic.  It was finally time.

Opening the show, Make Them Suffer took to the stage and wasted no time in captivating the audience with their punishing breakdowns and haunting melodies. Their performance was intense, and their passion was contagious. Despite being the first act of the night with barely any lighting and stage real estate they still set the tone for what would be an unforgettable evening.

Next up was Northlane, and they brought a different flavour to the stage. Their experimental and progressive approach to metalcore added a dynamic element to the lineup. Their technical prowess and tight musicianship were showcased flawlessly, leaving the crowd in awe with their mind-bending guitar riffs and the powerful clean vocals of frontman Marcus Bridge.

As The Amity Affliction graced the stage, the atmosphere intensified even further. To say we were blinded by the light would be an understatement here.  They had huge strobes that made the viewing experience almost impossible.  Once we got used to the lighting, we noticed their ability to seamlessly transition between melodic choruses and blistering breakdowns was truly impressive. The crowd erupted into a frenzy as the band’s emotional lyrics resonated with fans on a deep level. Frontman Joel Birch’s raw and impassioned vocals were particularly captivating, driving home the intensity of their performance highlighted by the last song of the set, “Soak Me in Bleach’”

And then came the main event – Parkway Drive. From the moment they burst onto the stage, it was clear that they were on a mission to completely annihilate everything in their path. Their powerful and aggressive sound reverberated through the venue, sending shockwaves through the crowd. Starting the night off with “Glitch” of their latest album Darker Still, the song was complimented with a huge display of pyro midway through the song; it was on!  They followed up with “Prey” and “Idles and Anchors.”  We were in for a great night of heavy metal.  The combination of vocalist Winston McCall’s fierce growls, blistering guitar solos, and thunderous drumming created an atmosphere of pure chaos and energy. The stage production was equally impressive, with pyrotechnics and an elaborate lighting setup that amplified the band’s already mind-blowing performance. For me, the highlights of the night were “Vice Grip”, “Bottom Feeder,” and the encore! 

Let me tell you about the encore; what we witnessed during the encore may have been the best 15 minutes in metal period!  From the drum solo while drummer Ben Gordon does his best Tommy Lee impression upside down, culminating into a hell fire on stage.  The band joins him and start crushing “Crushed,” pun intended.  Holy fuck, that was wild; fire was coming out of everywhere and made the 5 years of waiting worthwhile!  Viva The Underdogs, we had finally witnessed the mayhem that is a PWD show with full pyro.  Finally, the band joined together at the front of the stage to take everyone for a blessing of a night; Winston explained the reason we all do this is for the connection.  He requested a riff and guitarist Jeff Ling obliged to a roar of the crowd who sang along with him their hit “Wild Eyes,” and it was beautiful!  What a night! 

Overall, the Monster of Oz tour at Place Bell in Laval was an unforgettable experience. Each band brought their own unique style and energy to the stage, resulting in a night filled with headbanging, mosh pits, and a shared sense of camaraderie among the metal community. If you have the chance to attend any of the remaining shows on this tour, I highly recommend seizing the opportunity – it’s a night of heavy music that you won’t want to miss.

Review & photos – Eric Brisson

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