CJLO @ Heavy Montreal: What a Weekend!

After another fantastic year, Heavy Montreal has now sailed off into the distance and left here’s some of the thoughts some of our DJs that attended had. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

Devon - Hot Chaud – Sundays 11AM – 12PM

Heavy Montreal: Worth the Weight


It’s with a heavy metal heart that we say goodbye to this year’s edition of Montreal’s heavy rock festival. As Parc Jean-Drapeau, on Saint-Helen’s Island, has transformed itself into a music addict’s playground, the next two festivals had some large, muddied shoes to fill. Osheaga and ÎleSoniq, who hosted some of the world’s top rock, pop and electronic acts over the following two weeks, definitely arrived to the smell of blood, sweat, and beers.

As a part of CJLO’s broadcasting crew, I was lucky enough to have access to the festival’s more privileged areas. From the media tent to the V.I.P section, none of them left me disappointed. Often finding ourselves walking or getting driven around Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve on a golf cart, the festival did sometimes feel like a formula one race. In my case, I got off to a slow start but when the race started, it didn’t stop. This was especially true on day 1 when I had an interview scheduled with a member of Underoath at 4PM and another with the singer of The Black Dahlia Murder at 4:30. When 4:20 came around and I still hadn’t heard from either of them, I was worried they would both show up at the same time making for an awkward and unprofessional moment. Then 5:15 came around and my interview with Trevor from The Black Dahlia Murder was ready to go, while Chris from Underoath was waiting for me at the back of the Apocalypse stage, a 10-minute walk from the media tent. It was then that the Heavy Montreal crowd witnessed a lanky redhead run for his life across the festival grounds, as if he were looking for sunscreen and shade. Meeting Chris from Underoath, a band I grew up idolizing, was definitely one of my Heavy Montreal highlights. It wasn’t just about meeting the guy; it was about being backstage, hanging out with the other band members, looking out at the crowd, and feeling like I was actually part of the mechanics of what ran the festival.

CJLO’s live broadcast from 3:00-6:00PM on the festival’s lot on day 2 was also something I won’t forget. Being the only radio station to broadcast live from the festival, I was proud to be giving our audience exclusive Heavy Montreal content. From live interviews with bands like Get The Shot and Khemmis, the CJLO team was also able to talk about the inside of the business with Looters’s A&R representative Sarah Lutz. From the day we stepped foot in the fest, I felt like we were treated like professionals, thus, making it even more motivating to produce professional content for our heavy metal audience.

Lastly, a festival couldn’t be a success without its artists. Although there were many groups that should be given props such as I Prevail, Underoath, and Gojira, this 90’s kid was not disappointed with Limp Bizkit. The group’s frontman Fred Durst had arrived at the track ready to win the race. He didn’t look sick, hungover or annoyed. He looked like he was genuinely happy to be there and gave his 100%. Rollin’ through all of their biggest hits, one after the other, they made the audience wonder, Avenged who? Limp Bizkit was the perfect band to close off this year’s nostalgic roster of 90’s metal pioneers. I can’t wait for next year’s edition and hope that Osheaga and ÎleSoniq had good luck in trying to upstage this year’s Heavy Montreal festival.

Philiam - Turn on the Darkness – Wednesdays – 12 – 1PM




After being gone for some time, Gojira put on a marvelous performance for the masses on the last day of Heavy Montreal. One of the most aggressive bands in the greatest cities of metal, showcasing how far they've come in their career showcases how much growth and how much their fan base loves their music. With Magma being released a little over two years ago, it was interesting to hear the songs in a live setting, as well throwing in the classics such as “Flying Whales”, “Backbone”, and “The Heaviest Matter in the Universe”.


Alestorm was one of the highlights of the fest while also being the silliest. I've never seen a big crowd for them in my entire life of going to Heavy. It made me happy how much this band has grown and gotten so popular. I enjoyed everything about their set and it was actually the best set to date seeing them, especially since they now have a vast catalogue of music in their discography. Also kudos to the crowd rowing on the floor during “Nancy The Tavern Wench”.


Being a headliner at this year's Heavy changed things for me as BTBAM's hit the stage. To me, it signaled they had officially "made it", and it never made me so proud to see them perform their classics such as “Disease Injury Madness”, as well as the newer track of Voice of Trespass which was a banger live and I absolutely loved. Overall the tight performance and sleek visuals turned me on, as well as fireworks in the background adding a nice touch. A very memorable and enjoyable ender to Saturday's bands.


Trivium tore open the entire floor. That literally was one of the best performances I have ever seen from them since 2014 at Heavy, drastically improving on everything. Crowd surfers everywhere, three big circle pits, and moshes galore... holy heck was I impressed by this insane show.


This was not a set in any way shape or form. After a beautiful day, for 15 minutes a downpour of rain hit Heavy Montreal, and caused the performances to be delayed for 15 mins, including Emperor. I believe there was some witchcraft or something that occurred during the day that caused it to happen. But it was the most intense thing ever.


Napalm Death had a great and fast set. Grinding away with that grindcore, and as well playing classics, such as “You Suffer”, which was glorious to see live.


Wizards, goblins, hammers!... All about power metal and fantasy. Gloryhammer put on a great debut North American performance in Montreal. It was hype enough to finally see these young energetic guys finally make it, and was totally worth it.


Seeing Intervals in a festival setting changed my mind on how much they've evolved into a huge band these past couple of years. Aaron Marshall knows how to put on a show, from seeing them back in February, they've drastically improved a lot in terms of performance and knowing their songs and the facemelting shredding that happened on stage was just pure fun.

Angelica – BVST – Wednesdays 7 – 9PM

Heavy Montreal roared back to life in 2018, with an at times perplexing, but always entertaining lineup. Where else can you see Pallbearer, Sleep, Red Fang, and Emperor, but also Limp Bizkit? And where else can you say that you enjoyed every one of those performances?

I feel extremely blessed that I was able to catch at least some of every single act that interested me, and to have the awesome experience of dancing like a fiend to Rob Zombie, while fireworks exploded at my back. I kicked it back to the 80s with Lee Aaron, Helix and Sword, and saw bands that I've always been curious about seeing live, but would likely never go see headline (like Napalm Death and Witchcraft). I ate delicious food from some of Montreal's best restaurants, drank a few beers, enjoyed watching Tabarnak de Team take their match at Heavy Mania, and tramped all over the Heavy Montreal site with friends, new and old. The weekend was packed with excitement, and I'm sure many of us will be talking about the flash storm that split the sky open and dumped down buckets of driving rain just minutes before Emperor was set to hit the stage, for a long time to come.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the weekend for me was being able to participate in CJLO's live broadcast. We were set up in a lovely tent, surrounded by an idyllic garden bursting with flowers, where we chatted about metal, and our Heavy Montreal experience, as bands wandered through for interviews. Live radio is always fun, but live radio in one of the prettiest spots in the city, surrounded by people that are all excited about the same thing you're excited about, is unparalleled.

Thanks to everyone at Heavy Montreal for the hard work they put in to pulling together Canada's most badass festival, and for letting us take part in it again this year!

Phil - Sin after Sin – Wednesdays 10PM

This was my first Heavy Montreal experience, and one of the first times I've seen a concert at Parc Jean-Drapeau in general!

Saturday was a day of variety: new school, old school, metalcore, grindcore, black metal and... rap! The first show I caught was Lee Aaron, old school "metal queen", and Quebec's newly reunited Sword, still kicking butt like it was 1987. I stuck around the Heavy stage to catch Tech N9ne, a hip-hop show at a metal festival! The stylistic dissonance didn't stop him and his collaborator, Krizz Kaliko, from spitting rapid fire bars and annihilating barriers with their performance.

Utimately, my highlights of the day were definitely Napalm Death and Emperor. Napalm Death, despite their uproarious image, were incredibly humble fellows and played a variety of songs from their career, spanning their first releases to their recent cover album. I was also ecstatic to see a father and his five year-old daughter at the front row enjoying this display of raw brutality and energy.

And finally came Emperor. Despite the beautiful weather the entire day, a dark cloud shrouded us with darkness only 20 minutes before the band were to play and the heavens opened up on us. Being in the second row, I wasn't going anywhere, but there was no escaping the rain, everything and everyone was soaked. Of course, it was only appropriate that a storm hit just before Emperor's first time in Montreal since 1999. The rain pelted us, but no one moved: we were all gonna get pneumonia, but at least we'll have seen Emperor. The rain cleared up to reveal the night sky and Emperor took on the damp stage to play their 1997 album Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk and a few numbers off of In the Nightside Eclipse. A treat and my definitive highlight of the festival.

It wasn't over, however. Sunday came. I immediately caught Canadian glammers Helix to sing along to their catchy hits. I was able to see Voivod, one of my favourite bands, play a collection of classics and their excellent newer material, showing that you can still r o c k after 35 years in the game. Sleep was another treat courtesy of Heavy Montreal, playing their lengthier and moodier tracks. To my surprise, they played a 25-minute version of “Dopesmoker”! I closed off my Heavy experience with Khemmis, a newer gothic-doom band, and the reformation of Necrotic Mutation, bringing members from the bands entire history back together quite literally revolving their lineup as they played songs from the band's entire catalog from the 90s.

Overall, I was impressed with Heavy. The lineup was compelling and varied, and I ultimately appreciated the new discoveries on the spot than I could have imagined.

Sean - Sublime State of Doom – Mondays 8 – 9PM

HOLY SHIT. What a weekend. There were so many goddamn bands that my head literally exploded and I’ve spent the time since the festival gathering skull and brain fragments and super-glueing them back together. Where do I even begin?!!?!?!?!?!?!

I finally got to see Sleep, who dazzled us all with a set of old and new numbers. Marilyn Manson, despite absolutely phoning in his vocal performance, made me happy when he played the beautiful people. EYEHATEGOD played with the swagger of a band of your falling-down-drunk friends playing their first show but with the skill of grizzled road veterans. Rob Zombie surprised me by playing old White Zombie songs, including a rendition of “God of Thunder” from the ultra-rare 1989 EP of the same name. Napalm Death gave their usual best, with some tracks from 1997’s Inside the Torn Apart thrown in. The Black Dahlia Murder made some nice sounds with their guitars, and Limp Bizkit mostly made me think of junior high. The real highlight of the weekend, though, was seeing Emperor play the entirety of Anthems to the Welkin at Dusk plus a few of their other greatest hits. It was a set played in the middle of (no shit here) thunder and lightning from a flash storm just as… dusk… hit, creating a suitably evil and unforgettable experience. Woulda gone just to see that, honestly.

Andrew – Grade A Explosives – Sundays 4 – 6PM

Another Heavy Montreal has come and gone and after a year absence, this edition of Heavy made it up to all of us with an impressive array of bands with all kinds of genres represented.

I got in Saturday to see the greatness that is Pallbearer take the stage and play their crossover doom that is so good even the cooler-than-thou at Pitchfork have taken notice to their prowess in tunes. This was followed by catching some tracks from Lee Aaron, who, to be honest I didn't know was still doing things. Between you and me, is it weird that a ton of people from the 80s have moved onto country music? Maybe there's a natural progression I'm not aware of, but between her, Bret Michaels, Steven Tyler, Bon Jovi, and Sebastian Bach there is definitely a trend to get some twang in your step. After that, I got to catch a Quebec band that's still keeping 80s metal alive, Sword, who put on a pretty good set even though I would have liked to have seen more people support some home grown talent.

I then got to see Baroness be great before getting a chance to do some interviews with bands, including Allegaeon, Red Fang (who I caught later in the day and were AMAZING), and Jungle Rot. Of course, this leads to the double edged sword of being able to talk to amazing people, but miss bands. Alas, this is price that we must pay. I did however, get to catch a couple minutes of Underoath between interviews, and despite the fact that they’ve leaned into the fluorescent yellow color present on the new album, they were great.

I then got to see Marilyn Manson be absolutely awful, which is what I expected, and then nature drenched before watching Emperor, and apart from watching Neurosis as the sun set behind me, watching Emperor perform as lightning flashed around them on stage was the most striking and epic Heavy moment I’ve ever gotten to experience. This all culminated with some Rob Zombie ending the night and generally understanding that sometimes the spectacle is what people want from a show, and with fireworks going off in the background, the night was topped off right.

Sunday was way more chill and was more dedicated to our third annual live broadcast from the grounds of Heavy. Huge thanks to the people that stopped by including Khemmis from Colorado, Get The Shot from Quebec City, and Sarah from PR company Looters. Also, huge thanks to the Heavy press tent crew for helping us set up and get power running to our tent. Hopefully you guys listened in and liked what you heard.

As for bands, I got to see Sleep was pretty good as well as the aforementioned Khemmis. EYEHATEGOD deserves a special mention for their great set, and Hollywood Undead who deserve a special mention for being the worst thing that I saw all weekend with bad jokes, an obviously staged “fan guitar set”, and more covers than of their own songs, which now that I think about it may actually be good.

Of course, I can’t mention the weekend without talking about Limp Bizkit. Now, I have written articles defending them for not being as bad as everyone has made them out to be, and even if you hate them, the fact that both Fred Durst and Wes Borland got into the pit during their set shows that they are either extremely brave, extremely stupid, or both. Regardless, I still stand by my statement of, “it’s not as bad as people have made it out to be.”

All in all, another great showing from North America’s largest metal festival. I hope next year’s is able to get back to the original area now that the construction to the normal grounds should be done. And, don’t forget, to fill your fix Heavy Montreal does events during the year that you can check out at Evenko’s website.