Well it's Summer and you know what that means... short shorts, over exposed man arm, and sweaty metal shows! The Summer Slaughter Tour hit Toronto's The Sound Academy on August 9th and was headlined by The Black Dahlia Murder in support of their latest record Ritual with specials guests Whitechapel, Darkest Hour, Dying Fetus, Powerglove and a shit ton more.
The Canadian Thanksgiving weekend was upon us and for October, it was a damn warm night. 28 degrees Celsius; nuts, yes, but a good way to foreshadow the events of the night. Kicking the night off with a bang was Toronto's own, white-shirt clad, Dancing With Paris. Definitely the heaviest of the night, these boys always put on a good show and never disappoint. DWP's set had a good mix of old favourites and tracks off their new album, The Drought.
Still riding the high from meeting the beautiful Sharon Den Adel earlier that afternoon, I walked into Rams Head Live expecting a goth crowd… also a really large crowd. After all, Within Temptation is the Netherlands' best export (besides tulips and cheese). I was pleasantly surprised - yes, the crowd was big, but there were people of all ages out to rock to some good ol' European symphonic metal.
Lineup: Kill Matilda, Booze Cruise and Overtime Heros. The show was a collision of the Kill Matilda "Zombie Apocalypse Canadian 2011 Tour" and the "Booze Cruise" tour. The road dwellers collided at the month old venue, The Bombshell, for a night of punk and rock n' roll.
This past weekend Canada was graced with the presences of not 1, but 2 heavy metal festivals; one in Montreal and one in Toronto at Downsview Park. If you had tickets to either of these shows you know that it was a weekend that you wouldn't forget. The Saturday show at Downsview started off with a bang thanks to Quebec band, Endast. With this hard-hitting, heavy hardcore mash-up the day was off to a great start! The whole show had great mixes of both the old school and the new school.
Lineup: Symphony X, Powerglove, Blackguard and Borealis. This tour has seen it's share of mishaps with Soilwork and Nevermore leaving before the adventure even started. Never the less, the three remaining bands packed up and hit the road. A week into the tour the trio stopped off at The Opera House in Toronto inviting local power metal band Borealis to share the stage with them.
Lineup: Between The Buried And Me, Job For A Cowboy and The Ocean. After doing interviews with all three bands, I got myself positioned behind the soundboard ready to watch this amazing Metal Blade Records Tour lineup. I was excited since this would be the first time seeing one of my favourite progressive metal bands - and they were up first.
On February 24th I went to see Parkway Drive and Set Your Goals perform at the Opera House in Toronto, Canada. The show was sold out, and the entire venue was packed. The main floor and the balconies were all filled with excited concertgoers. I've seen countless shows at The Opera House, and I've only witnessed it that crowded once - in 2008 when Bring Me The Horizon played there. As soon as I saw the size of the crowd, I knew it was going to be a good night.
Going to an Underoath show reminded me of my early days listening to metalcore and screamo. They were one of the first bands I got into that was part of that genre of music and their release They're Only Chasing Safety had a big impact on my musical taste which was altered from then on. Over the years Underoath have gone through some member changes and just recently lost their last founding member, Aaron Gillespie, who with his signature drumming style and vocals was the band's backbone.
When I was in high school I spent most of my weekends going to shows. When one of my favourite bands was coming to town, I’d comment my excitement to my friends on MySpace and we’d all gather in our skinny-jeaned glory to travel to Toronto. One of the bands that we never missed was The Devil Wears Prada. I had a great time during those days, so I was ecstatic when one of my old friends asked me to go see The Devil Wears Prada open for Silverstein at the Kool Haus in December.
On Tuesday, November 2nd I attended to the Congregation of the Damned tour at the The Phoenix. The show consisted of five very talented bands that all brought a different sound to the stage, and a different reaction from the crowd.
As with any time you hit the town, it’s always good to pre-drink. Thus, I began the night drinking in a parked car owned by James Manning’s (Dancing With Paris) girlfriend. After establishing a decent buzz we proceeded inside to meet up with some more friends and enjoy the ska and punk which the night would provide us with.
My Sunday began with a jaunt to the water point. On my travels I was approached by two young men wearing g-strings and corsets, who drunkenly informed me that Karnivool were about to play on the main stage, and that they were "the best band in the world." Well, who was I to argue with two vagrants with such impeccable dress sense and the ability to maintain some level of awareness at 11am after two solid days of alcohol consumption?
Sonisphere day two. Or hangover day one, as many of us will remember it. For the festival-goers who were up early enough (or perhaps hardcore enough to just not have been to bed yet) Family Force 5 took to the Saturn Stage. If you're unfamiliar with them, as I was, then I can tell you they're a little like Hollywood Undead mixed with 3Oh!3 and Brokencyde. Certainly not to everyone's taste, but they put on a decent show nonetheless, as was evident from the slightly confused smiles on the faces of a questionably metal crowd.
As 55,000+ rock fans descended upon Knebworth this year for the second annual UK Sonisphere Festival, it became apparent that Sonisphere has been swift to throw its dirty, sweaty elbows into the likes of Download and the Reading and Leeds Festival to become one of the premier festivals in Britain. While promoters Kilimanjaro are highly experienced in the live music scene, Sonisphere's virginal inception last year raised a few questions - would they be able to top 2009's awesome headlining bands Metallica and Linkin Park?
Being from a little town in Idaho, going to a big festival-type concert is a big deal. The aptly named Mayhem Festival made a stop in Nampa (near Boise) this week, and with a line-up that includes Chimaira, Hatebreed, Lamb of God, Korn and several other of my favorite bands, making the four-hour drive was not even a debate.
After about 5 hours of sleep I was back to Parc Jean-Drapeau for the second day of Heavy MTL. I quickly got myself to the front of the Mayhem Stage where Hail The Villain soon came on and rocked the crowd, opening with "Try Hating The World". HTV were magnificent performing songs off their album Population: Declining. Bryan Crouch satisfied the crowd with his scary movements and talked about how they are the most badass group - Hail The Villain definitely won fans' hearts.
I got to Parc Jean-Drapeau around the same time 36 Crazyfists hit the stage. I could hear them rocking both past songs and new songs off their upcoming release Collisions And Castaways. The live set was sounding great as I stood waiting to get in. After came Skeletonwitch killing fans with their death/thrash mixture. By the time I got in they were on their second last song and fans were definitely mesmerized by their talent.
At 19:00 an expectant crowd queues outside the HMV Picture House and as the doors open, they filter into the venue, picking up drinks at the bar and settling in for three hours of Aussie brilliance.
Lineup: Kathleen Turner Overdrive, Shortline Hero, Estate of Grace, The Go Time, In Lights, Of Soldiers And Saints. I got to the Groove Lounge at 5:30, almost an hour after the doors opened and there was no band on stage. All I saw was some equipment set up but no presence of life at the time. Because of this I looked at merch that was being sold.