Mayhem Festival made its annual pitstop in Montreal this past weekend under, the double entendre monicker, HeavyMTL. While Mayhem, more or less, gets the same lineup across cities, Montreal had bragging rights this year by being the only city to have KISS headline the event. Before I begin the review of the two day metal orgy, here's a quick little PSA.
Public Service Announcement
If you're going to be at an outdoor festival all day, on a scorching hot day nonetheless, I can't emphasize this enough: stay hydrated! By "hydrated" I don't mean stick to a strict beer diet; show some love to some H2O as well. There were dozens of people who fainted over the weekend and needed medical attention. Don't try to be a tough guy either, there were many larger, healthy men who found themselves on stretchers with a towel over their face. Stay cool!
HeavyMTL Day 1 - Billy Talent, Godsmack and Disturbed
The first day of HeavyMTL was aimed at a slightly younger crowd with NU Metal rockers Disturbed headlining the day. Metal heads In Flames, Trivium and Machine Head each had solid performances, and while they may have been screaming their lungs out, they were definitely enjoying themselves. Niclas Engelin, the now permanent guitarist for In Flames, had a smile on his face the entire time while singer Anders Fridén let loose songs of hatred. Following Trivium, Billy Talent came out on the Jägermeister stage and were prompt to inform the crowd that they weren't a heavy metal band and to bear with them. They did good.
Godsmack had the crowd going with classics like Alive and Voodoo. Disturbed finished up the night playing hits from across all five albums leading up to Down With The Sickness in their encore. While their performance had plenty of thrills, explosions and high points, it did feel very sloppy -- especially with singer David Drainman who was occasionally skipping key words in songs.
HeavyMTL Day 2 - Anthrax, Opeth, Motörhead and KISS
The second and final day of HeavyMTL saw the more veteran acts make an appearance (a.k.a bands found in your dad's iPod). Anthrax performed their classics including Madhouse, Caught In a Mosh and their cover of Antisocial. Opeth played just five songs, but they easily filled up their allocated hour thanks to their tracks lengthiness. They ended their set with the 8+ minute long Hex Omega.
The crowd ate up Motörhead act which included a drum solo for In The Name of Tragedy. After performing Ace of Spades, Lemmy introduced the crowd to the band, in case they had been living under a rock for the past thirty years. Motörhead finished up with Overkill.
The face-painted fans approached the stage and echoed a loud roar when (probably pre-shot) footage of KISS making their way out was being shown on the monitors. A large black drape sporting their logo covered the stage briefly before revealing KISS to the very suspecting crowd. The concert was heavily rehearsed; Paul and Gene's dialog felt like a copy paste of every other concert they've ever performed with the city name being replaced for Montreal. Did it matter? Of course not! It was entertaining, the partisans ate it up and the pyros got more spectacular as the show progressed.
No festival coverage would complete without concert pictures and we've got plenty of them.
If you plan on using these pictures on your site, you must credit the photographer and link back to UpVenue.
Note: KISS pictures to come.