Grab your favorite black t-shirt, some ice cold Molson, and get ready to shake your shoulder length hair at a furious rate as the MFJ crew reports in from Heavy Montreal. We take on both days of this annual Canadian celebration of metal and hard rock. Below some of our highlights from the first day.
10:42am: Angry Villager has an expired passport, but he’s helpfully brought along a temporary driver’s license that specifically notes this “will NOT be accepted as a border crossing document.” The border guard spends all of 10 seconds examining the dot-matrix printer document before cheerfully waving us into Canada.
11:32am: We see half a dozen people running parkour stunts on abandoned rooftops. I feel like I’m in a French action movie. Also realize our GPS doesn’t work in Canada.
11:56am: After multiple missed turns and a tour of most of the city, we arrive at our lodging for the weekend – a swank modern apartment found via Airbnb.
12:20pm: The Cheval Blanc bar isn’t open, so we grab some Molson Coldshots at the bus station. These seem specifically designed to be mistaken for energy drinks so we crack them open and descend into the cleanest subway ever.
12:41pm: By the beard of Odin, Heavy Montreal is so popular that there’s a half mile line waiting to get into the show. With an appropriate amount of guilt and zero regret we bypass it by using the press entrance.
1:26pm: Fruit? At a metal show? Now I’ve seen everything.
1:47pm: Funny fact about photographing at a metal festival — whenever you point a camera at people, they will automatically flash the metal horns – \m/.
1:56pm: Our first act we catch, Municipal Waste, kicks off the day by screaming into the microphone, “Have you ever been cut off by a bartender and said ‘Fuck that shit, you can’t tell me how to live my life.’” The crowd responds that yes, this indeed has happened to them. Headbanging ensues.
2:04pm: The lead singer from Municipal Waste encourages everyone to start climbing the trees and create two giant, running circle pits. The crowd cheerfully obliges. More headbanging ensues.
2:26pm: Our press badges provide access to the VIP lounge which turns out to be wildly comfortable with giant lounge chairs, half price drinks at a private bar, and real bathrooms. Pro tip: consider shelling out for this next year.
2:35pm: Holy crap. Main stages are packed.
2:58pm: Apocalyptica plays “O Canada” to close out their set. Crowd goes wild.
3:47pm: Metalheads at rest.
3:55pm: The bassist in the Whores may be the happiest performer at the entire show. A sampling of his rock god moments.
4:16pm: Angry Villager notes that Canadians are super polite even when running full tilt around a mosh pit. “I just saw a guy tap another guy on the shoulder to warn him he was coming.” We’re pretty certain everyone was just muttering “sorey…sorey…hoarably sorey” to each other as they crash into each other.
5:11pm: “We come from a tiny island…in outer space!!!” the lead singer of Nekrogoblikon shouts at us. How do you make an already awesome set even better? Add in a creepy, dancing goblin.
5:14pm: More hair.
5:30pm: We find this kid just holding his phone up in the air. “It really works,” he informs us of his quest to find Lindsay.
6:35pm: “The lead singer from Anthrax looks like Tan Mom,” Angry Villager comments. Heavy Montreal is at full capacity for the double hit of Anthrax and Metallica. And I guess The Offspring.
8:15pm: Metallica takes the stage. Crowd goes wild.
8:50pm: Angry Villager, undercover as the least-metal metal fan in existence, discovers the latest technology in mobile waste disposal units – a four way outdoor urinal. Science! Another Pro Tip: If you go to a metal show and don’t wear a black shirt, it’s much easier for your friends to find you in that ebony sea of Metallica tour shirts.
9:15pm: We sneak out before the mass exodus of crowds. Veteran festival fan move.
10:01pm: Back to to the Cheval Bar where we meet a guy from Halifax who pretends he forgot how to speak English.
10:14pm: We settle down to a massive double heaping of a poutine dream. We ask the waitress if there’s any sort of poutine eating challenge to which she replies, “This isn’t the United States. We don’t give out t-shirts for overeating.”
10:45pm: We follow up food binging with a visit down the street to Station Ho.st, a hip hip beer bar that specializes in delicious beers.
Late Night: No records exist. See Day #2.