Home Arts & Culture Heavy Montreal was beeeeeeeaaast! Sort of

Heavy Montreal was beeeeeeeaaast! Sort of

MONTREAL, QUE.: August 6, 2016-- Nightwish perform during the first day of the 2016 Heavy Montreal festival at Parc Jean Drapeau on Saturday August 6, 2016. (Tim Snow / EVENKO MANDATORY CREDIT)
This year’s festival brought a variety of sub-genres to Park Jean-Drapeau. From symphonic metal like Nightwish (pictured) to rockabilly and whatever Napalm Death was, there was something for every metal head. (Courtesy Tim Snow / EVENKO)

Heavy Montreal

Sweaty metal heads unite

None more black, rock on

That poorly written haiku sums up my experience at the ninth edition of Evenko’s Heavy Montreal.

Last weekend marked my fifth time attending the festival, which brought 30,000 metal heads, tattooed chicks, and sweaty drunk dudes in black tees and camo shorts to Park Jean-Drapeau for their annual dose of noise.

With Five Finger Death Punch headlining Saturday and Disturbed on Sunday, expectations for this year’s festival were not very high for many Kahnawa’kehró:non.

Concert enthusiast Kariwakeron Montour has been to every edition of the festival, but decided to pass on this year’s.

“I didn’t go because it was a lackluster lineup, the festival was downsized and Park Jean-Drapeau was double-booked with IleSoniq,” said Montour.

He wasn’t the only one. In fact, 20,000 more people opted to watch DJs stand in front of a laptop at IleSoniq.

According to Samir, a 37-year-old lawyer on Tinder, “Snails was crazy” and the EDM festival was his “best party/rave ever.”


Meanwhile, I sat on the edge of a hill eating a pulled pork poutine listening to a unique blend of noise like no other – Mastodon blaring from the main stage, Suicide Silence searing from another and whatever EDM artist blasting from the other side of the park.

Whose idea was it to hold two music festivals at the same time?

Regardless, from my point of view, the smaller crowd at Heavy wasn’t totally a bad thing.

If the Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello taught me anything, it is that huge crowds at rock concerts just produce unpleasant clouds of dirt and body odour.

Nah man, I don’t want my face to get brushed up against a sweaty shirtless back of some skid. Nor do I want to be kicked in the head by a shoeless crowd surfer.

Not to mention, I was actually able to get close enough to the stage without being thrown into a mosh pit, circle pit, or whatever a wall of death may be.

As for the actual music, a variety of sub-genres were heard across the festival’s three stages.

MONTREAL, QUE.: August 7, 2016-- Zakk Wylde performs during the second day of the 2016 Heavy Montreal festival at Parc Jean Drapeau on Sunday August 7, 2016.  (Tim Snow / EVENKO MANDATORY CREDIT)
Black Label Society’s Zakk Wylde took the stage twice over the weekend. No word yet on what type of shampoo and conditioner regiment he uses to maintain his long locks. (Courtesy Tim Snow / EVENKO)

Zakk Wylde and his long blonde locks hit the stage on both Saturday and Sunday, resulting in me questioning why a black leather vest isn’t a part of my wardrobe yet.

Wylde’s set as front man to Black Label Society was far more enjoyable than the solo material he played on Sunday afternoon.

To paraphrase some dude that plays guitar in Dumptruk, no one wants to hear the piano stuff – at least not at metal festival, and that was evident by crowd dwindling in front of the stage.

Heavy Montreal did feature some butt-kicking performances from Alter Bridge, Volbeat, and Finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish.

While I know I’m not old compared to most of the artists that graced the stage this weekend, by the time Monday morning rolled around I couldn’t help but think “am I too old for this sh*t?”

Maybe it was because I hobbled home the night before with the sole of my boot flopping off, bleeding, and sunburned.

Maybe it was the level 11 hangover I was experiencing while trying to write this review, or the fact that for the second year in a row I opted to skip the headlining acts to “beat the metro traffic.”

Either way, this year’s Heavy Montreal wasn’t that bad, but, still, let us pray to the rock gods that next year’s festival will bring us more appealing headliners.

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Jessica Deer was a staff reporter from 2015-2018 who started out in 2008 as a summer student.