I was very much looking forward to this event. It’s a sad state of heavy metal in Canada that these kinds of festivals are few and far between.
Friday started out with pouring rain…and it rained and rained all day and night.
We arrived at the venue around 3:30ish and I’m grumbling because we missed meeting up with Jeff Waters after Annihilator’s sound check…So we meet the staff, get all set up and head back to the hotel. All the while, I’m miffed because I missed Jeff…. and there he is at the check-in counter! Luck is looking up!
Jeff evidently was having an issue with the francais, while trying to negotiate his room rate; so I move in, introduce myself, and save him some money, which appeared to give us a mulligan for not showing at sound check! Win-win!!
After getting settled in the room, preparing all the cameras and gear for Day One, we grabbed a bite and a few beers and headed to the site.
We arrived just at the tail end of Beneath the Massacre…didn’t see enough but notice the sound is a little off. I’m wondering where all the people are…
Next up is Carnifex. I knew nothing of this band before the show. They are heavy as f–k! Tight on stage, killer riffs and totally heavy…the crowd are loving them.
I already knew that Atheist were running behind as we had an interview set up with them. Texts back and forth confirm that they are not even in the Montreal airport at set time so I’m curious how the promoters are going to go about fixing this…
Next up Insurrection. Another band I don’t know anything about….they play a real tight set and appeared to be loving the vibe from the room. Full on blazing guitars and about 10 feet of hair flying between the 2 guitarists. Great stage presence and the crowd is loving their mix of French and English lyrics.
We caught up with the guitarists later and they told us that originally they were supposed to be playing on Saturday, Day Two. They’d had a few hours notice about getting bumped up to play on Friday night; but certainly didn’t mind playing a later set time and opening for Napalm Death!
Good bunch of guys and always a treat to see a band thoroughly enjoying themselves on stage.
Napalm Death. Heavy. Pure heavy smokin’ speed death extreme metal whatever you wanna call it. Tight as a machine. Seasoned pros. The crowd is amped and loving them. I’d be a liar if I said I knew all their tunes but damn they play a killer show!
Annihilator!!!! It must be a challenge playing after a smokin’ band such as Napalm but this is not Jeff’s first BBQ. Shockingly, the crowd thins out a bit…but this doesn’t affect the energy they bring.
Annihilator rip through a 70 minute set, playing old classics and newer stuff as well. Very tight set and as always, Jeff is ON. I’m wondering to myself as I’m enjoying their set; who is a more accomplished Canadian metal guitarist???….. Jeff IS the band, and his supporting cast is tight. Flo Mounier on drums is ripping it!!
The end of Day One and I was mildly disappointed in the turnout. It’s raining; big F’n deal??!! This is most likely a once in a lifetime show…with this caliber of bands rolling through a small town.
Sound issues surfaced here and there. It was really loud but not balanced well…hoping that gets fixed for day 2.
Off we go into the night to grab a bite and a few more beers…….
Arrive early to check out Cavalera Conspiracy’s sound check only to find nobody from the band; just the crew checking levels. Next up for sound check are Canadian metal legends Sacrifice.
I’ve seen these guys a few times, back in the day, and had the honor of playing with them 2 years ago…from what I’m seeing, they are going to rip tonight. They’re all jacked up to be playing in Quebec for the first time in almost 20 years.
I’m really excited for the show to get start! Due to Atheist’s flights from hell; this actually works out the best…well for me, anyway! 4 killer bands coming up!
We arrive just in time to catch Atheist. This is not your ordinary thrash band and I’m curious to see how the crowd will react. I noticed right away the sound was better and you can hear both guitarists clearly. New guitarists Jason and Chris have their hands full playing this maniacal blend of speed thrash prog metal and they deliver no problem. Steve Flynn on drums = wow. The band plays a good mix of older stuff and new material off the latest release, Jupiter. The band is super tight and Kelly is digging playing in front of an appreciative crowd. This show was a treat for me as I’ve been a long-time fan. This was one of the reasons why I was jacked up for this show. Met up with the boys after and we had a great time hanging. No place was quiet enough to do an interview, so we settled on pounding back some Jager and enjoying the evening.
During tear-down between bands, we quickly head upstairs to interview Sacrifice.
Cryptopsy is up next. I don’t know enough of their material, but holy shit -they are tight! The crowd is losing it and it’s f’n loud! The guitarists are ripping and Flo on drums= win! I’m now a fan of this technical death metal band…….
Next up are Sacrifice. The crowd is anticipating their arrival and goes crazy it when they hit the stage. Two tunes in, crowd is going berserk and Rob greets the crowd in French… the love-in continues. They play the classics and a few off the latest release The Ones I Condemn.
It can be argued that this was the band that the audience wanted; and they got ‘em FULL ON. The band is tight, the pit is raging and I’m just grinning like a villain; this might have been the best I’ve seen them yet!
Cue Re-animation and the roof almost blows off with a huge circle pit going full out…….What a show by these legends.
Cavalera Conspiracy is up next.
Boom goes the crowd; it’s on. These guys are pros and they rip through new stuff and a few Sepultura classics.
A few tunes in, about a minute into My Inner Self, Max Cavalera stops the show. Some guy in the pit got hurt. Everyone waits five minutes or so, until the guy is whisked away by the medics.– class move by the ol’ vet indeed – then they get right back into it.
Guitarist Marc Rizzo is ripping thru his leads like he’s possessed by Kerry King on speed – now I know why the guy was shadow boxing warming up when we met up before they went on. Intense is too subtle a word to describe his and the entire band’s presence. I would argue that Max is the king of metal after the big 4. Igor on drums is crushing. Soulfly had a few good tunes here and there, but Cavalera are much more heavy and pounding. The crowd loses it when they play some Sep classics; Refuse Resist, Chaos AD about 20 bpms faster than the album, Roots bloody Roots and a couple more that I’d likely remember if Kelly’s bottle of Jager didn’t light me up……. We watch the show from upstairs with a few of the bands and everyone of us are chin wagging to these guys. True pros; they are machinegun tight.
I’ve played and been to I don’t know how many shows in almost 30 years, and I saw a first at this one.
The promoters, Michelle and Samuel were completely losing it in the front row media pit to Sacrifice and Cavalera.
It gave me goosebumps watching them and seeing people who truly love what they do, thoroughly relishing the moment. They ran a good event and the staff treated us really well. The bands on the bill really seemed to enjoy being there and they were accessible to all the fans. For a small town to have this caliber of bands is a pure treat.
We had a blast and look forward to the next one in 2012!
To find out more about Danno, click HERE