First Heavy TO was a great success

Much to the dislike of all the “haters” out there as some signs I saw, I thought that ALL of the bands at Heavy TO this year were perfect for the line up. Yes, that means Billy Talent as well. After a day and a half of too much sun, not enough sun screen, too much booze and not enough water, I still found myself having the energy to dart to the front of the stage and thrash about like a crazy woman during the Billy Talent set. Ben (lead vox), definitely played right along with all the signs that anti-fans were toting about introducing themselves as “Billy got’s no fuckin’ Talent” from Toronto and then reading the signs one by one. I took this opportunity to get hoisted up on the shoulders of two big guys who were fans and hold up my crudely made “Don’t be a fucking pussy and show us your tits <3” sign, to which Ben delightfully compiled. Lost voice and sore from too much head banging later it was well worth it.

But they were not the highlight of the festival, I think it was a sense of nostalgia for something I have not yet experienced. Toronto hasn’t had a metal festival of this calibre in any recent years to my knowledge. Getting to see acts that my Dad raised me on listening such as Motorhead, Megadeth, DiamondHead and Anthrax was such a surreal experience that I never thought I’d have the chance to have. They were every bit as amazing as I could’ve possibly expected.

I got to see some bands I had never heard before including Volbeat, who I have a new found love for. Not only did they take a shot at The Sword, a band who couldn’t get across the border on the first day and cancelled their set, by telling the audience that since we don’t like criminals in Canada that the guitarist couldn’t come but they still wouldn’t cancel. They also did a cover of a Johnny Cash tune and had a lot of metal heads surprisingly chanting all the words along.

My first ever circle pit experience was during Devil Driver‘s set in which I got a punch to the face but kept on going. I didn’t try for the crowd surfing just yet, but maybe next year. Caught my first drumstick courtesy of Baptized in Blood, and had a bit of a spat with someone about it.

I want to applaud the organizers for putting Rob Zombie as the finishing act. I can’t think of any other artist that was there that would be so widely accepted…and awesome. Mid solo, the Canadian National Anthem was played on guitar via tongue action. Also “Pussy Licker” was a great followup to “Mars Needs Women”. Next time I catch a Rob Zombie set I want to be a lot closer to the front.

An interesting mix of free booze, great LOUD music with almost seamless set to set and no breaks, way to expensive food, water prices fluctuating, a bit of a kerfuffle with security/wrist band issues, and naps in the sun while Slayer played (in attempts to avoid the terrifying pit); I definitely rate Heavy TO as a mega success and will be one of the first to check it out next year. Maybe we’ll get some interviews this time around.

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