On this second and last day of the 2016 edition of Heavy Montreal, the crowd seemed to be even bigger than the day before and ready to endure the sun for a marathon of heavy music.
Detroit’s I Prevail kicked the day with their latest single “Scars”, from their next album. Despite still being one of the smaller bands, the crowd cheered and enjoyed the energy deployed to make them move around. The highest point of their set was definitely their cover of Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space”, which racked up over 20 millions views on youtube. It’s confirmed, even metal heads love Tay Tay.
We Came as Romans
It’s fair to say that after a career of almost a decade, the WCAR guys know how to put a show on and they have fun while doing it. Between Dave Stephens’ screams and Kyle Pavone’s clean vocals, the set seemed way too short since it was packed with their biggest hits. Crowd’s favorites included “Regenerate” (opening track from their latest album), “Tracing Back Roots”, “Ghosts” and “Hope”, which they’ve dedicated to their friends from Beartooth.
Ohio’s Beartooth were definitely a band fans were excited to see judging from the amount of tshirts we saw of the band. Kicking things off after a quick (and icy) shower, Caleb Shomo and his crew invited the whole place to get low before jumping for their opening track, “The lines”. From their, it was literally a dust show as the fans were invited to get on top of one another, do mosh pits, screams and sings like the day after was not a Monday. One of the highlight was definitely Kamron Bradbury (guitarist) playing atop of the crowd before falling on his back and crowd surf, still playing. This move electrified the crowd who kept asking for more. Caleb Shomo really has the touch to bring out the best of the crowd and his band (Connor Denis, brilliant at the drums!) and this show was a perfect example of it. They finished the set with one of their biggest hit, “Body Bag”, as the crowd was already asking for one more song, something that was not heard so far during the weekend. Hey Heavy Montreal, bring them back next year okay?
Ah, Saint Asonia. I was actually really stoked to see them because Adam Gontier always put on an excellent show and his bandmates are not novice either, having played in acts such as Staind and Finger Eleven. The problem is, Gontier is so linked to Three Days Grace that it is weird to see him play with another band, even if he plays the excellent “Better Place”. It gets even weirder when he covers his own material (“I hate everything about you”, “Animal I’ve become”) after claiming how he is not Three Days Grace anymore. This set let a lot of people confused!
Seeing how enthusiastic the crowd was for Hatebreed makes us wonder if they really were a last minute addition! The massive crowd enjoyed the likes of “Destroy Everything” and “I will be heard”, only stopping the moshing and circle pits after the very last note played. Another act that should be brought back next year for sure.
Denmark’s greatest exports might not be Carlsberg, Lego and Nokia anymore! Starting with “The devil’s bleeding crowd”, their first single off “Seal the deal and let’s boogie”, it wasn’t long before the crowd was dancing and bobbing to the rockabilly sound. It was refreshing to have heavier music without necessarily metal or hardcore and the fans seemed to appreciate as well! Furthermore, their cover of Johnny Cash’s “ring of fire” was met with cheering and singing, proving music of quality transcends genres.
One of the most awaited act of the weekend was Disturbed, who are now regulars of Heavy Montreal. They took the stage to the very well chosen “Ten thousand fists”, with fire blazing behind David Draiman’s long leather coat. We’re far from the prison overalls look from a few years ago! What’s to say about the set except that it’s a very well oiled machine now? Well, they could have just done their songs and leave since the crowd was already conquered, but the band gave a lot of energy and made the crowd participate in such ways that it was a magnificent experience, even for those seeing them for the first times. Surprisingly, they didn’t keep their mega hit and cover of “Sound of Silence” as an encore, rather playing it mid-set. As for pretty much every other set today, this one seemed too short as well and “Down with the sickness” arrived way too quickly, ending a wonderful musical weekend.
Now that the festival is over and it’s time to reflect on this modified version, it’s nice to see that for so many concerns regarding the line up and new location actually still had pretty good ratings, considering the massive crowds for both days. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for the 2017 Heavy Montreal already!