Heavy MTL Festival – Canada 2011 [Review]
By Jon Asher
While Heavy MTL fest. happened several few weeks ago, the ear-piercing/ ringing of guitars, the battering of drums and anthemic chants from fans are still resonating in my head!
Unfortunately, I was only able to attend [day two] Sunday part of the weekend fest that took place last July 23 – 24th in Canada. Thankfully, my good friend and rock goddess Brandy Rose—the savior of the day, was there to hook me up to experience the fest and check off a few bands from my “bucket list.”
I arrived at around 3pm, enough time to catch Annihilator, which was a great band to kick off my day with. I’m a fan of Annihilator, but not an uber-fan. They played an energetic and crowd engaging set and when they played “King of The Kill” the place went nuts! I stuck around and watched them for a bit but one of my buddies is in a band called Slaves On Dope, who were playing the Budweiser stage at the same time [in replacement of The Sword due to border issues]. I was super stoked to see their set as I missed them the Saturday before unfortunately.
Jason Rockman of SOD [Slaves On Dope] is one hell of a front man and I truly enjoyed his stage presence/attitude of: “fu** you, I’m going to do what I want and let’s all have a good time,” which was clearly evident by the crowd’s reaction and the sick moshing that was going on. The highlight of their set was when they finished with their track “Pushing Me”. They had Drew—the vocalist of local Montreal metallers Averys Descent and Matt Bailie vocalist of The Catalyst [who were also playing HVY MTL that day], join up on stage to bring a triple vocal threat! The crowd went nuts…and when all three of them told the crowd to “separate and get ready for a wall of death”—I ran for cover, as this was one long f***in’ wall of death and the bodies were flying!
After that “near-death experience”, I decided to chill out until the Anthrax set, which I have to say, was awesome to watch, but a bit disappointing. I think I hyped myself a bit too much for it. Vocalist, Joey Belladonna personally looked like a space cadet on stage and I even caught glimpses of the band trying to get him to chill-out a few times and let him know the songs were done.
The band that I wanted to see the most [and check off my bucket list], was Motörhead! I was so looking forward to seeing them live. I have a few of their albums and I watched the recent Lemmy documentary. I told myself I had to see this influential band before it’s too late.
They say Lemmy is a god, and holy fu** does he live up to this status right from the get go. When Lemmy walked up to the microphone and said: “We’re Motörhead, and we play fu**in’ rock n roll!”…from that moment on—it was nonstop [heavy] head-banging hour. I would love to be able to tell ya’ their exact set list, but things got a bit “hazy” with the high heat and booze! One major high light of their set though, was drummer Mikkey Dee’s ten minute solo. Just incredible!
After Motorhead’s set, I just wanted to leave the fest—I was good for the rest of the night! But I stuck around as I was kind of curious to see the headliners KISS perform.
I do like some of their tracks, but I’m not that crazy for them. I would like to thank them for giving us 2 hours of comedy and pure “cheesiness.” Obviously it’s time for these old timers to retire perhaps.
Paul Stanley cannot sing anymore and went “off-key” several times and the rest of the band was just boring to watch. I kind of understand now why they have so many pyrotechnics going off around them during the show.
At the end of the day, I would say that this year’s Heavy MTL 2011 festival was an awesome time, but not my personal favorite. I still think the first one—back in 2008, was the best. One complaint I have about Heavy MTL 2011 is that their usage of three stages was just dumb and greedy. Why pit fans against one other and have bands they want to see playing at the same time(s)? Two stages were fine, but three is just overboard!
Saturday, Jul 23
Sunday, Jul 24
Jon Asher is a music publicist at Asher Media Relations in the Montreal, Canada Area. Jon is known for being a regular fixture on the Montreal music scene and founded AMR in September 2007 to aid Indie artists in celebrating their music to the world.
Coming from a musician’s life himself and being a McGill graduate in public relations, Jon had his epiphany. That he would help out the struggling artists and help them gain the attention they need to support their music. Asher’s previous endeavours have included former operator of F.A.M.E (Freedom Artist Management & Entertainment), working at CJAD 800AM as an intern in the promotions department, media relations co-ordinator for the TNC Theatre & recently guest lecturing at McGill University on Music Publicity for the public relations program.