(Pour mes amis francophones, désolé de faire cet article en anglais! )

Heavy Montreal was last weekend (August 7-9) and I was super excited to have been assigned to shoot it again for Journal Métro. Instead of posting favorite pics from the weekend, I though I would do something different and talk a bit more about the experience with Hits and Misses.

I was super excited to finally see Lita Ford, Alex Skolnick (with Testament) and Nuno Bettencourt. I played guitar for about 10 years and they all were of great inspiration to me. The fact that they still rock is awesome!!

Scène de la forêt
For those of you who have never been to a music festival on parc Jean-Drapeau, there are 4 stages at Heavy Montreal. 2 mega main stages and 2 smaller ones in a wooden area. One of those smaller stages is called the Forest Stage and it is magical. It is like walking into an enchanted fairy tale-like forest with devil music playing!! With the sun shedding its last ray of light through the trees... priceless!

Upon a Burning Body
I know there is a lot of controversy around this band (google it) but their performance was bananas. They were on the Forest Stage and people were climbing trees to then jump in the mosh pit. They went nuts over this band and I can’t believe security let us photographers stay in the photo pit for so long.


Local acts
One of the things I enjoy most about Heavy Montreal is the chance to see local bands play and get to photograph them on a huge stage with great lighting. (they normally play in bars and sometimes (often) the lighting sucks)





Slaves on Dope

Slaves on Dope

The fans
Awesome costumes, props and crowd surfing galore!

This guy had the moose costume the 3 days of the festival!! Must have smelled...

This guy had the moose costume the 3 days of the festival!! Must have smelled...

These two fans, in full Slipknot attire, were in the same spot from the first show up till the last one on Sunday.

And of course, it is always great fun to get to spend the weekend with awesome photographers!

1- I got to say “Hi” to Chuck Billy from Testament while he was in the media tent. (I know… small victories)
2- Slipknot was absolutely bananas. I had a hard time shooting, I was so excited to see them live. The stage setup was awesome, movement everywhere (drums on spinning high-rises). And the costumes!
3- Got to shoot MORE than 30 seconds of Lamb of God's performance before security kicked us out of the pit for safety reasons.
4- The weather was perfect! Not a drop of rain and low humidity.

Best bands to photograph over the weekend (for me personally):
Arch Enemy
Iggy Pop (who punched and spit in one of the video cameras on stage)
NOFX (lots of energy and hilarious)

- I was kinda disappointed with a few of the bands (won't mention names...). Felt like some performances were missing something. Some bands' energy levels were not there.

- Warrant: I was excited to finally see this band that I was a fan of in my teenage years… without Jani Lane it just wasn’t the same.

- The main stages were so high up that the munchkin I am (5 feet 4), I had trouble shooting.

- The food was ok but not many "healthy" options. Also wished they had iced coffee on the site.

- It felt like there were less people than in the past years, especially Saturday. (good for us photographers that have to rush from one stage to the next but bad for the organizers who worked hard on putting the whole thing together)

I had a blast again this year and can’t wait for the 2016 edition of Heavy Montreal.
Wish list for next year: Rob Zombie (of course!), Rammstein, and Marty Friedman.


A few more favorite band pics:

Venom Inc. watching Slaves On Dope from the photo pit

Venom Inc. watching Slaves On Dope from the photo pit

More pics on my flickr stream.

Un gros merci à Journal Métro pour ce mandat!