Kind of had a great start to this day with the news that Amy Winehouse had passed away… too soon?
Day 2 at Heavy MTL saw a reprieve in the temperature and stale air thanks to a nice breeze; however, the breeze meant you caught a whiff of some stank body odor a bit more often.
The beer was still fairly priced, but the donkey dick they called hot dogs and placentas they called hamburgers were still over priced. Quebec’s favorite heart-stopping food, poutine, was cold and horrible (unless you got it from zee smoked foods – then you had shards of pork mixed in with the sauce, but then it was like eight bucks). And I still maintain that if Jägermeister was a major sponsor, they should have had the Jäger girls walking around giving away free shots or, at the very least, let us grab them from their cleavage with our mouths – there’s always next year, gals.
Some of the highlights during Heavy MTL Day 2 include Morbid Angel performing their only North American date this year, Annihilator performing “King of the Kill,” Anthrax with Joey Belladonna, Children of Bodom, As I Lay Dying, and DevilDriver (I have no idea why they were on the small stage – they’re big enough and good enough to play one of the main stages). As you can see, except for a few exceptionally standout performance on Day 1, Day 2 at Heavy MTL was a superior day.
Surprise Performance of the day
Like yesterday’s Unearth, Girlschool was the first band to catch my ear (it would have been Times of Grace had we not been interviewing Martin Mendez during their set). They have a great ‘70s-era glam sound in the vein of The Runnaways. For old-school chicks they rocked it and blasted their way through some of their most popular material, including: Yeah Right, Future Flash, Race with the Devil, and Emergency.
Best Performance of the day
Death growls, straight vocals, near-symphonic music, heavy grooves, crunch guitars, wicked bass lines, a blend of evil and inspirational sounds, and a sense of humor. How does that work in a progressive death metal band?
When Opeth plays, the venue their at gets transfixed. Yes, they’re that good. And when Mikael Åkerfeldt delivers between songs his personality is charming, sincere, and fun. Before their last song, “Hex Omega,” Mikael admitted that “No one likes to hear this song, but we’re gonna fucking play it anyway.” You have to love how true they are to themselves – plus they’re family men who don’t give into the conventions of their industry.
Best-Sounding Performance of the day
Admittedly, I’m not all that familiar with Motörhead – I know, turn in my metal badge – but that only makes me unbiased when I say that Motörhead’s show was, without a doubt, the best-sounding performance.
Honestly, I don’t know how Lemmy is still alive – drinking like a fish and smoking like a chimney at his age, and still sounding awesome on stage. For a three-piece, the fact that they sounding so good is yet another testament to how good they are. It was total perfection, reproducing their studio sound on a live stage.
Quebec Band of the day
We saw these guys a few months ago and were even more impressed by them at Heavy MTL. There was lots of bass, an unrelenting pace, booming death growls, and much more coming from The Catalyst. I said it last time, and I’ll say it again, these guys are among the heaviest bands around.
Best Stage Presence of the day
Despite getting older and less agile on stage, KISS is still KISS and they rarely disappoint. Though the outdoor venue limited what they could do, there were still kick-ass drum and guitar solos, and Gene Simmons still breathed fire and spit blood. After they left the Heavy MTL stage, they treated fans to a 15-minute fireworks display. Totally awesome, but KISS was still out of place with the lineup there that day.
Embarrassment of the day
I could go two ways with this. I can either do as I did in yesterday’s Heavy MTL Day 1 review and call out a band who sucked or shouldn’t have been there or I can call out some idiotic and sad parenting skills. I’m opting for the latter.
So, there I was enjoying the KISS show with a couple colleagues/friends, when half way through the set they tell me that they’re going to take off in order to avoid the rush. I’m fine with that and hang out in the dense crowd for about another 20 minutes before moving to the outskirts of the crowd where it’s a bit thinner and easier to move about. So, standing there I see a dad holding his 5-year-old sons hand walking toward me. As he approaches, I can see that dad is also clutching two of those aluminum-style beer bottles close to his chest. I also noticed a slight stagger or wobble in dad’s step. Clearly he’s had a few too many. As they pass by, I keep watching and at one point dad nearly tumbles on top of his son. Good thing his son was there because he quickly raised his other hand to steady dad. Then, the saddest part, I could see the sons lips mouth, “Dad, are you OK?” And dad just grasped his son’s hand even more firmly as he stumbled into the distance and out of sight.
Yes, I considered approaching dad and saying something, but decided not too as it could have made the situation worse and more traumatizing for the boy.
Sad? Yes. Pathetic? Yes. Child services? No doubt in the near future.
I can’t imagine the memories and scars this kid is going to have.
Reunion Band of the day
I practically had to drag my friends over to the small stage to see Diamond Head, and when we took a seat on the lawn in the back, that’s when I told them that this band was a huge influence on such bands as Metallica and Megadeth. Though they looked like members of some suburban-dad garage band, they sounded fantastic. Fans were treated to such classics as “Helpless” and “Am I Evil?” We were also promised that we wouldn’t have to wait another 35 years to see them again.
So, just like having seen Morbid Angel’s only North American stop this year, we get bragging rights for seeing Diamond Head.
Photo Credit: Charles William Pelletier - Heavy MTL 2011