Heavy Montreal 2016: Day 2 Recap And The Pit Of Pits At The Fest

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Yes, it’s nearly been a week since we attended Day 2 at Heavy Montreal 2016. I’m sure you can understand how life sometimes digs in and forces you to do other things, and it sucks when all you want to do is live and breath metal!

Nonetheless, let’s get on the recap of Day 2.

After three interviews (count them, three!) didn’t happen on Day 1 we were anxious to know how many would happen on the second day. It sucks that things get cancelled, but it happens, and it’s part of the beast that is heavy metal. Thankfully, three of our four interviews panned out on Day 2, and, if you haven’t already, check out our interviews with Despised Icon, Mantar, and Beartooth.

The heat on Sunday, August 7th, wasn’t as demoralizing as it was on Saturday, but you still suffered if you stood in direct sunlight for too long. Hot sun is hot sun when it beats down on you like a blacksmith’s hammer. Even if the VIP section sat in direct sunlight for most of the day, there was a bit of reprieve when some clouds rolled in and brought some showers with them.

The organizers made a couple of noticeable improvements over Saturday’s showing as well, such as the additional porta-potties, and, from a media perspective, added security and repositioned interviewing facilities. Thank you for noticing and taking care of us.

It’s a delicate task to balance what performances to watch and review, as it is for everyone, but then to also coordinate interview times adds a layer of difficulty. And while we often have to wait around for last-minute confirmation and for delayed time slots, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Having said that, I Prevail opened the day. I didn’t catch their whole set, but the energy these hipster boys exude was palatable. Even from a short distance you just wanted to jump in the crowd to share in the energy they were feeding back to the band. Between band and crowd it was a mutual exchange.

We Came as Romans were up next on the adjacent stage, but we missed that. We also missed hometown act, Despised Icon, even if we were going to be interviewing them later in the day. Reason being that I absolutely wasn’t willing to miss German noisemakers, Mantar, and their debut Canadian performance. If you’ve been keeping up with my musings, then you already know that I think Mantar slayed. If you ever get a chance, you must check these guys out… and give them free beer!

We caught a portion of Animals as Leaders, who were as pretentiously expert on their instruments as you’d expect. I can respect what they do, but I found it incredibly boring and was thankful for the downpour of rain that gave me an excuse to run for cover under the media tent and away from their stage. I apologize to you if you’re a fan.

As we had interviews getting underway, Beartooth took the stage, which we missed, and yet again it was a band we were going to be interviewing. I did hear good things about their performance though.

Also, due to interviews we missed Hatebreed, and I really wanted to catch them. For me, their music is so cathartic and it has literally helped me out of some dark places.

We caught a bit of old-schoolers Blind Guardian, and they sounded just as you’d expect — awesome! There’s something about a limited number of older bands that parallels fine wine… a fuck, did I just write that cliche drivel?

At this point it was time to eat dinner, and we were starving having not eaten since the early morning. So, what does one do at a festival in Montreal, Quebec? We ate poutine, damn it! And we sat our asses down to stuff our faces while Alter Bridge played. OK, I know that this band is three-fourths Creed, but this band is nothing like the Scott Stapp vomit. Alter Bridge actually sounds like an old-school ‘80s metal band and vocalist Scott Phillips sounds amazing. This band is definitely bookmarked as one for me to investigate further.

Next up for us was Killswitch Engage, and they put on one hell of a memorable show! The best part of their performance might have been Jesse Leach’s comments between songs, inciting fans to drink, party, and show your tits! Hell yes, this guy gets it. I’ve said it myself, and I’ll paraphrase what he said, which was basically, if you’re on someone’s shoulders, you have to show your tits because it’s the courteous thing to do since you’re blocking the view for those behind you. Got that, ladies? Metal = tits. Show ‘em!

Next for us was the immutable Napalm Death! Classic, brutal, fast, wicked, political, and insane! And it was probably the best pit we saw at the entire festival. As much as 10 minutes prior to the band taking the stage, fans were preparing for battle by removing their shirts and wrapping them around their faces to block the cloud of dust that was kicked up. Yes, it got brutal and violent, but there was, as always in Montreal, a great deal of respect among the pitters.

We also sat down to enjoy the rock ‘n’ roll of Volbeat before watching Vin Diesel front his Disturbed… oops, sorry, that was David Draiman in his dress… and, in my opinion, it sucked my sweaty, cheesy ball sweat. Actually, Disturbed would probably be better with Vin Diesel up front. Why am I talking about Vin Diesel? Because when Draiman vomits between songs he sounds like the action star.

Woulda, shoulda watched Candlemass instead. Thank god we left before Disturbed got halfway through their set of shit.

Rock Hard \m/

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