Arriving at Heavy T.O day two, ready for more Metal Mayhem and better prepared to traipse through the mud bath, the first act I caught was Cannibal Corpse, Death Metal at its finest. Personally, I’m not a big fan of the band because the lyrics are hard to understand but the sound and the way they play their instruments is truly powerful. It’s amazing they survive the performance. The lead singer George ‘Corpsegrunder’ Fisher’s screaming voice and the way he swings his neck is unbelievable! They put on a great show and the crowd went nuts – with the reaction from the audience and their performance they could have most definitely headlined the show.
Near the end of the Cannibal Corpse set I shuffled through the sticky mud to make my way to a good spot at the other stage to watch Killswitch Engage. I had never seen these guys play before and didn’t know much of their music. Wow what a treat! Amazing fun to watch and rock to plus a great sound as the band interacted with the audience and each other – cheeky and funny. I fell in love with this bands sound and presence and must catch a show of theirs in the future – that’s how much they blew me away. I now have the biggest crush – seeing them was a highlight of the second day for sure.
The Deftones were next on the bill. They played and performed as well as the last time I saw them at the Big Day Out two years ago. Their passionate performance came easy, and even though they were a more mature band on the bill, like fine wine they have improved with age. The audience went mental in the pit and the roaring of the crowd must have made them feel great on stage.
After Deftones I had a bit of a break in the media tent and only caught the last little bit of Five Finger Death Punch while I waited with the massive crowd that had gathered at the other stage in anticipation for System Of A Down to grace the festival with their presence. Five Finger Death Punch were on stage with a couple of young kids (the next generation of Metal?) although I am not too sure what or why or who the kids were but I did love watching their faces as they looked out onto the massive crowd and were completely overwhelmed. A massive white banner became visible and covered the other stage with System Of A down in bold font and the screams and roars drowned out any that were coming from the other stage – a bit awkward for Five Finger Death Punch.
System Of A Down drew the biggest crowd of the festival and after their performance there is no surprise why. The audience chanted ‘System’ over and over in unison, impatient for them to start. The light show began, Prison Song started, the curtain dropped with a bang and the screams would have been heard in downtown Toronto!
Throughout their entire set, there was not a still body, or quiet voice. So much energy spread throughout the grounds, electrifying everyone in a metal trance, as we bounced off each other and screamed the lyrics. The band’s performance sensational with voices and instruments in perfect harmony. Quirky eye expressions, dance moves, and an interesting light show made the stage more exciting to look at rather than just a head-banging instrument thrashing exercise. I did not want System to leave the stage, they could have played forever and the audience would not have got bored or lost any of their Toxicity energy. Playing hit after hit the whole set: ‘Psycho‘, ‘Toxicity‘ ‘Needles‘ and ‘Chop Suey’ was flawless! These were only some of the highlights of the just under two hours set, but really the whole performance was a highlight. Even after a long break from touring these guys can rock it like they never stopped!
Metal might not be everyone’s shot of whisky but there is no denying it is an amazing genre of music – and one of the most intelligent. The musicians are not only talented in a musical sense but most of them are deep thinkers. Their songs are political, targeting issues that many other musicians are scared to tackle. Metal has no fear and brings the power to the people.
The festival was a massive success and a lot of fun. The switches between each act smooth and you were never waiting around to be entertained. Considering the weather gods were not too nice, there were no noticeable stuff-ups. A better layout of the festival and getting more tan bark to cover the mud would have improved my experience – plus free water – a necessity at any festival but especially a Metal one when you have an aggressive pit.
However, my complaints are minor in the scheme of things because a music festival is about the music and atmosphere, and Heavy Toronto has both of these points covered! The weekend made me realize how much I miss the Soundwave Festival back home!
Thank you Heavy T.O. for a great two dirty days but how could it not be with a line up like they had! Now it may take a week for my body and voice box to recover and I’m not sure when the ringing in my ears will disappear!