Red Fang, Dillinger Escape Plan & Mastodon



I saw Red Fang at Heavy Mtl this past summer.  It was a scorching sunny summer day and their low chunky guitars rolled off the stage like waves crashing on the beach – consistent, dynamic…refreshing.

I remember wanting more when their set drew to a close….and now…4 months later (and many degrees colder)…I set out on this November night to see them, and sit down with guitar player, David Sullivan to find out what’s been going on since that smoldering set in July.

I immediately liked David.

He was warm and seemed completely at ease.  He offered me a seat and a beer and made sure that I was comfortable before the camera started rolling. Very cool.  This was going to be an enjoyable conversation….I could just feel it.

His passion for music coloured every story he shared.  This man LOVES what he’s doing and with whom he’s doing it.  His eyes lit up when he talked about gear and his long-term friendships with his band-mates.


Sitting and talking with him made me happy.  It’s not an easy life he’s chosen – but he’s doing it – eyes aglow with a gigantic ass-kicking grin on his face.  You can’t help but admire the enthusiasm…the dedication.

Just before their set started, I stood, leaning my back against the stage and had a good look at the venue.  It was shoulder to shoulder on the floor, and upstairs every seat was full.  I’m betting that a lot of the people that came to the show remembered them kicking ass at Heavy Mtl and wanted to be sure to get there early to catch their set.  I smiled.


I giggled with delight as the first few chords were played – so gloriously raw yet phat, distorted and spilling off the stage like filthy dirty booming grooving waves.  THIS is what I came for.  The snare cut through the guitars, clean, snappy but not too bright. It was the best snare sound I’ve heard at a live show in a very long time.  The drums were monstrous.  I totally did a double take when I saw the size of the kit drummer John Sherman was playing.  How he got that monstrous sound out of that teeny kit – I’ll never know….I guess when you’ve got it you’ve just got it…and Mr. Sherman, undoubtedly has got it!!!

And Montreal got it too!    The crowd loved them!  Can’t wait for them to come back!

The Dillinger Escape Plan hit the stage next. When I say HIT the stage – I mean HIT.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  I’ve been turning over descriptions in my head for the past few days and can’t seem to capture what I witnessed with mere words.

High-energy just doesn’t seem to cut it.  Let’s try some imagery shall we?  Work with me here….

It was like what you’d get if you gave 5 six year olds all the chocolate they could eat, then turned them into 18 year olds, fed them speed, put them on pogo sticks, sprinkled them with cocaine, gave them instruments & a live audience, showed them the shiny new Glock that you’re holding and told them that if they stopped moving for more than 2 seconds, you’d start shooting, then yelled “GO”.

Dillinger’s FB page warns

“Our band may seem hard to digest at first, but it’s like a good drug: if a little doesn’t scare you off, you just might be soon on your way to becoming an addict, and if you do find yourself wanting more, then get ready to have your “norms” challenged and possibly reset. Just don’t way we didn’t warn you.”

Curious?  Check them out for yourself.

Honestly, it seemed like an odd pairing, having these guys play before Mastodon.  When the circus cleared out and the mighty Mastodon began it was almost anti-climatic.

Don’t misunderstand me.  Mastodon was incredible.  They sounded amazing, played technically, and were super tight….but for any band to truly command the stage while the audience was still reeling from chaos that had just unfolded, was a tall order.


They appeared to be so calm, still, even serene while pumping out this massive wall of sound.  It was such a contrast to the previous frenzy…but within a few minutes they managed to harness the energy in the room and ride it through the rest of the night like true seasoned professionals.

Montreal sure loves a good rock show…and this one delivered.

*Special thanks once again to Security for another great job keeping us all safe!!!

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