Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Heavy MTL - I was Caught In A Mosh (Day 2)

So this past weekend was the first Metal festival in Montreal. Seeing as I love Metal, I attended this great festival. The bands I went for were: Iron Maiden, Anthrax, 3 Inches of Blood, and Dethlok. While these were the bands I was going for, the rest of them were good, well most of them in any case.

This was also the first time I crowd surfed, and I have to say, it’s quite an experience. I did get hurt during this, but it was fun nonetheless. I also moshed in a lot of pits. I was told that I looked like Tom Araya. I met new people. I ran away from the front for the first time in my life. I almost got into a fight. Now the weekend is over and I have pains all over my body.

I think this was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.

Day 2: I was completely Caught In A Mosh!!!

Bands playing:

- Death Boat

- Your Favorite Enemies

- Priestess

- Warrant

- Drowning Pool

- Shadows Fall

- Voivod

- Anthrax

- Three Days Grace

- Disturbed

- Motley Crue

After all the energy I had spent on the first day, my body didn’t want to get out of bed. My mind was willing, but the rest of me was not cooperating. I ended up getting out of bed at around 11:00, which meant that I was going to be late for the festival, which I was.

Truth be told, the only band I really wanted to see on Day 2 was Anthrax, so this made it easier for me to stay in bed longer. However, I did head out to be able to get there somewhat early.

When I got to Parc Jean-Drapeau, I had already missed three bands and the fourth one was already playing. I also didn’t care much about this, but I would have preferred seeing all the bands. As I was getting out of the metro and heading to the checkpoint, I saw Desmond, the guy from Toronto coming out to complain about some merch he bought. With him was another one of his friends, Nathan, that was also going to complain about a 50$ watch that didn’t work. So out of pure coincidence, I ended up not being alone again for the second day.

After the guys went to complain, we headed out to the hill and we sat down while Warrant was playing. I didn’t know this was the band that plays Cherry Pie, and I have to say, they’re pretty good live. I didn’t see them from up close, but they seemed to put on a decent show.

After they finished playing we went to secure a spot for Shadows Fall and Anthrax. While we were in the Red Stage, Drowning Pool was playing in the Black stage. I don’t know that many songs from them, but I do know Let the Bodies Hit the Floor. So when they played that song I was head banging while staying at the Red Stage.

Drowning Pool finished their set and Shadows Fall was starting. I didn’t know about this band until I recognized a song from Guitar Hero. I have to say, these guys put on a really good show. The singer has long dreads, and he windmills his hair while head banging. Pretty cool. Another thing I really liked about these guys is that the singer jumped off the stage and put the mic in the crowd so that the fans could sing the song. And yet something else I loved, is that the singer thanked the fans for keeping Heavy Metal alive because it was true music unlike the little whiners that can’t get over their break ups. All in all, Shadows Fall put on a good show.

Next up, Voivod. Didn’t listen to them very much because I was at the Red Stage while they were playing. However, from what I heard they seemed pretty good.

And finally, the one band I was waiting for, Anthrax. Before they started playing, I started talking to some other guys in the crowd, one of them was Brian. The other guy, I can’t remember his name, but I remember what he said. He told us that Heavy MTL was his first concert. This guy chose a KICK ASS concert to be his first, but anyways, I digress. Anthrax started playing and they came in really heavy. I mean, their second song of the set was non other than Caught In A Mosh. That was the one song I was waiting for ever since I found out that I was going to see these guys. And as you might suspect, there was a pretty big mosh behind me. I didn’t want to miss anything from their set, which again, was an AMAZING act! The new singer in the band is quite good and the guitarist is A-FUCKING-MAZING! I really loved the lead guitarists… well, guitars. The finishes made them look like they were covered in blood. The music, was the best of the second day, probably because I’m a Thrash Metal fan and because they’re one of The Big Four.

Another reason why I wanted to see Anthrax was because I’ve made it a life goal to see all of The Big Four of Thrash Metal. And with this, I’m one step closer to achieving this goal. I now only have one band left to see: Metallica.

So with Anthrax finishing their set and playing great songs like Caught In A Mosh, Safe Home, and I Am The Law, I was satisfied for the day. It was really disappointing that I wasn’t able to catch a pick or a drumstick from Anthrax, but at least I was able to see them front row!

In all the commotion, I lost sight of the other guys I was with and ended up alone again. However, this didn’t last long because I saw Brian again. While Three Days Grace was preparing their stage, we walked around and also bought some overpriced food. After a little while of this, the music started again, and we went to see them. We didn’t stay long in the crowd as Three Days Grace sounded a little Emo for the festival. Oh well, they were ok, but not fit for a festival named Heavy MTL.

With the Black Stage finishing, the Red Stage was about to start again. Brian and I decided to stay at the back and just enjoy the music… at first. While we were waiting, we saw this guy wearing a weird trench coat, which made him look like a pimp. Brian and I were a little jealous of this guy because all the girls were taking pictures with this guy. After we saw this, we told ourselves that next time something like this happens, we’ll be wearing weird flashy clothes.

Disturbed started playing while we were walking around, so we quickly went to the back of the crowd. Brian suggested that we crowd surf, and at first I said maybe, but there weren’t enough people where we were, so we dismissed the idea… for the moment. We saw that a pit had started, so we pushed our way through the crowd to go there. In the pit, I saw the guy from the day before, Martin, and he was moshing in the same pit. We moshed for almost two songs, and then the other people stopped. One good thing that came out of this is that we saw a spot where we were able to start our surfing. Brian went in first and I followed shortly after that.

This was the first time I ever crowd surfed and I ripped my jeans while going up, but that didn’t really matter. The sad part is that I wasn’t able to go all the way to the front and go back for more surfing. While I was on the crowd, I got hit in the head and in the groin. While the pain was clearly there, I didn’t feel it much because of the adrenaline of the event. As I was saying before, I wasn’t able to go all the way to the end; I fell near the front of the stage. I fell on a guy that was wearing glasses and I almost got into a fight with him. I don’t understand why people think that they won’t get pushed or hit when they’re in the crowd and are trying to get near the stage. It’s a Metal show; they should expect those kinds of things. I, for one, don’t bring anything that can get broken, save for my cell phone. I won’t start a rant in this post; I’ll save that for a rant post later. What made me not get into a fight with this guy was another guy that was trying to get to the front and pushed him to be able to pass. They almost started a fight and while this was happening, I just moved closer to the front to enjoy the show.

It turns out that I fell right next to where Desmond and Nathan were. It was kind of a nice coincidence. So I continued to enjoy Disturbed while inside the crowd. I had not planned on being that close for that band, but it was worth it. The music was great, the crowd was energetic for this band, and I was close to the stage. I also saw Brian crowd surf a couple of more times when I was there, but I didn’t see him after that.

When the act ended, they through the picks and the sticks, and I was able to catch a guitar pick that I have in my wallet right now. I then hung out with Desmond and his friends before the last act started at the Black Stage. We went to the food stand and then to the merch stand. While we were walking around, Motley Crue started playing. Like many people that were there, we just continued walking around and went to Steve’s booth to play some Guitar Hero III. Yes, I played Guitar Hero while I was at a concert. And I won the match as well. We also saw some random guys playing Iron Maiden songs in that booth because they had instruments for people to jam on.

After our little match of GH, we decided that we should go see the band playing. We did pay for our tickets and Motley Crue isn’t a bad band. The guitar playing in that band is quite frankly amazing. The solos are good. However, I didn’t stay until the end of the set because I had to work the next day. So I ended up just watching a little over an hour of the last act.

With this, one of the greatest weekends I’ve ever had ended.

Some little notes:

- I spent a little over 230$ on this event. This includes food, tickets, and the taxi I took on the first day.

- Most of the bands playing had songs in a Guitar Hero game.

- I hate stupid people that think they won’t get hurt.

- The ages ranged from around 2 years old to like 70 years old.

- I’ll think of more things to add later.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Heavy MTL - I was Somewhere Back In Time (Day 1)

So this past weekend was the first Metal festival in Montreal. Seeing as I love Metal, I attended this great festival. The bands I went for were: Iron Maiden, Anthrax, 3 Inches of Blood, and Dethlok. While these were the bands I was going for, the rest of them were good, well most of them in any case.

This was also the first time I crowd surfed, and I have to say, it’s quite an experience. I did get hurt during this, but it was fun nonetheless. I also moshed in a lot of pits. I was told that I looked like Tom Araya. I met new people. I ran away from the front for the first time in my life. I almost got into a fight. Now the weekend is over and I have pains all over my body.

I think this was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had.

Day 1: Somewhere Back In Time

Bands playing:

- Unexpect

- Lauren Harris

- Overkill

- 3 Inches of Blood

- Symphony X

- Hatebreed

- Hammerfall

- Mastodon

- Type O Negative

- Dethlok

- Iron Maiden

For the first day, I got to the Parc Jean-Drapeau at around 10:30 because the show doors opened at 12:00. I went there alone, and while I was waiting in line some people started talking to me and told me to stick with them for the show, which I did, for most of it anyways.

After the doors opened, we went straight to the Black Stage, which was the one Iron Maiden was playing in. We secured our spots near the fence on the right side of the stage. I got a little hungry by this point and decided to buy some food. This however was a big mistake. The food and beverages are overpriced to no end at these events. I bought a “trio” for 10.25$ which had the following: a jumbo hot dog, a bottle of sprite, and a bag of chips. The bottle by itself was like 5$ and the hot dog 4.25$. With great pain in my wallet, I dished out the money to get me some grub. When I got back to the guys I was with, they had already made some new friends.

I started talking to the guys there, and it turns out that they were Mexicans, other Latinos that were at the metal festival. It was nice to know that I’m not the only Latino that loves Metal.

Shortly after this money raping event, the first band started playing: Unexpect. I didn’t want to go see them because I was afraid to lose my spot in the Black Stage, but in the end I went to the other stage, the Red Stage. I had never seen this band prior to attending Heavy MTL, so it was something new for me. Unexpect, is a band that was formed in Montreal, in 1996, so just for this little fact I have much respect for them. I saw one of the guys I met, Martin, already watching the band. He asked me to help him start a pit and just ran through the crowd until he reached the middle. I followed, but I was a little more respectful to the other attendees. The mosh pit was a little small, but we kept it going for a little while.

Unexpect was the only band for which I moved to the Red Stage for. The other bands I just listened to them without seeing them. This is explainable by one simple fact: I didn’t want to lose my spot where I would be able to see Iron Maiden up close.

And so the first act in the Black Stage started: Lauren Harris. She is Steve Harris’ daughter and she is very fine. Her style of music isn’t very Metal, but since she’s the daughter of Iron Maiden’s founder, she gets to play at these events. However, I wouldn’t say that her music is completely bad because that would make me a liar.

The one thing that I will remember from this act (not counting the fact that she is HOT!) is that Lauren’s microphone stopped working near the beginning of the show. The poor girl was singing, but no sound was coming from the speakers. So what did she do after she saw that the technicians weren’t doing anything about it? She took the mic that was on her guitarists’ side.

Overkill played next, but I didn’t see them, I listened to them from afar. And again, the technicians failed in this act as well. The show didn’t start until half an hour later. This made other bands start later than previously scheduled. As for the music, they were decent. They’re not my favourites, but they were ok. The one song I really enjoyed was their cover of Black Sabbath’s War Pigs.

While I was listening to Overkill, some guys came behind me to wait for 3 Inches of Blood to start. The only thing that I will remember from these guys is that they told me that I look like Tom Araya the singer/bassist from Slayer. This really made me happy because Slayer is one of my favourite bands and probably is my favourite band.

After the Red Stage finished its act, 3 Inches of Blood started playing on the Black Stage. This is another band I have a lot of respect for because they’re a Canadian band. Their style is very heavy and has a little power and metalcore in it, but it has more heavy than the last two. This was actually the third time I saw them live and I have to admit that every time I see this band, I get really into it.

Symphony X was up next on the other stage, but I didn’t pay much attention to it.

Hatebreed played after the Red Stage was done. This band, which I’ve seen twice, the first time when they came with System of a Down, was the first one that got the crowd really moving. Their heavy and fast guitar and drums mixed with the violent lyrics got the crown moshing and crowd surfing. And although some of my new friends didn’t like the band very much, I did and I liked the fact that they got the crowd to move like any metal band should be able to. And I won’t lie; I loved the fact that they played the intro to Slayer’s Raining Blood.

And again, I didn’t pay much attention to Hammerfall, because I didn’t want to move from my spot in the Black Stage, but from what I heard it was pretty good.

And who was up next on the Black Stage? Mastodon. This band… this band was putting most of the crowd in front of the stage to sleep. They were… not very good. Their guitar was ok, but the rest was nothing special.

Type O Negative wasn’t as good as people had told me. They were just ok.

Dethlok, this is another band I’ll remember. While I wasn’t able to see them, I was watching the big screen in the middle and they were playing the cartoon version of the band, although there was an actual band playing the music on stage.

Before I continue on to the next band, I have to say that by this time, I wished I didn’t have legs. My legs were killing me and I wanted to sit down somewhere. I almost decided to just go back and sit somewhere on the hill. Also, by this time, I had made some new friends. Some Quebecers from up north and some dudes that live near Toronto, one of them is named Desmond. A funny fact about this is that I was talking to the Toronto guys in English and then I switched to French with the Quebecers and I was still talking to the Mexicans in Spanish.

And so, finally, the headliner of the day came on stage: Iron Maiden. Before the band went on stage, the crowd was already pushing and already I was fighting for my spot. After a few minutes of this, the band finally came on stage, and what an entrance that was. The set looked like the Powerslave one. It had the Egyptian feel to it. They started playing Aces High and this got the crowd crazy. By this time I was starting to have trouble breathing as I was being crushed between the guys on the fence pushing back and the guys behind me going forward. After the first song, I stayed for half of the second one and decided that I had to jump the fence to get some air. I was about to lose consciousness and I don’t think that anyone would have noticed as there wasn’t any space to actually fall to.

After I jumped the fence I felt a little confused and disoriented. I saw some other of my new friends near the exit in the front. They weren’t able to take the crowd either. I was also out of cash and I couldn’t buy food or water. I had to walk all the way to the entrance to get some cash from an ATM and then I bought a hot dog and a Sprite. That soft drink felt really good to drink. I tried to go back to watching the show, but I wasn’t able to right away. I decided to go sit down next to a fence and recover a little.

After half and hour of recovery, I felt a little normal and went back to enjoy the show. Good thing as well, had I not gone back I would have missed Bruce Dickinson climbing up the side of the stage.

The stage had a lot of pyrotechnical items and when they went off, there were fireballs in the back, fireworks in the front and at the top. The lights were amazing as well. They had at least five rows of lights and they all moved.

Eddy also came out when I went back to see the show. At first you saw the big mummy version of Eddy hanging at the back of the stage, but a little later, the Eddy form Somwhere in time came out, the one that looks like a cyborg. This Eddy was actually walking and was at least twelve feet tall. He had a laser gun that he was using to shoot the people in the crowd and he masturbated behind one of the guitarists (I was pretty far at this point, I didn’t recognize him).

When they finished their set, they played three more songs and they called it a night.

I then took the metro and decided to take a taxi home when I got to Angrignon because I was completely exhausted from the day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Feel by music

How I love the wonders of music. How I adore music. There’s so much to say about it. All types of it exist throughout the world. Every civilisation, no matter how distanced they were from others, had music in their culture. Why do you think that is possible? Most inventions come from a single civilisation and are then transferred to other ones. However, music existed in so many different forms in all of them and for many reasons: rituals, entertainment, etc. No matter what the reason for its existence, it is something that should never cease to exist. It is the reflection of the soul, but one that cannot be seen, only heard.

When a person creates music, he puts his heart and soul into the piece he’s making. Sometimes, the composer might not notice that what he’s making is a reflection of what lies inside of him. When a person listens to music, they normally have a connection with what they are listening to. This is because the melody the person is hearing is the reflection of the composers’ soul. This is not true for all music however. These days some musicians make music for the money. These songs are hollow ones because they reflect the hollowness that was put into them. They might become popular, but they have no feeling, they have no heart, no soul. These things should not even be called music. Music is the thing that makes you feel, that satisfies a part of you. This feeling should not only be there when listening to it, but also when creating it. If the person making music doesn’t have any feelings, then the complete thing will not give a feeling to the people who will listen to it.

Just like there are different reasons for the music, there are also different forms of it, as well as different ways to interpret the feelings inside your heart. By this I mean that there are genres in music and there are different instruments. Each and every genre interprets different feelings. Thrash metal, for one, can interpret feelings of hate and anger. An example of this would be Slayer’s song Exile (which I like very much) that has a very strong feeling of hate in it (http://youtube.com/watch?v=uLSA-zI18eE). There are also songs that convey a feeling of sadness of all types. Again, an example I can give is the emo genre, which is very emotional, but mostly in sad themes (http://youtube.com/watch?v=cb06Euo-gbs). The examples I have given reflect the feelings mostly through the vocals, but the reflection of the soul is not limited to singing. An example I can give for this is a classical piano piece from Franz Liszt titled Liebestraum No3 (http://youtube.com/watch?v=ejXPcv9MS7s) which reflects the feeling of Love. However, these feelings cannot be showed if the person interpreting them do not show some of the emotions. What I mean by this is that even if a composer writes the music, if the person that will then play it cannot feel the emotion, then the people that will listen to it will be unable to feel it as well.

So would you not agree with me that the best music is the one that you can relate to? It’s like talking to someone about your problems because they understand you, music that shows the same feeling you have will make you feel better because of the feeling it gives you, because the person who played it was probably feeling a little like you are feeling.

And so I ask you know, what is music for you? Does it make you feel? Can you sense what the person playing it feels? Can you sense what the person that composed it was feeling? Can you relate to what you listen to?


Life. Life? Life… How can you explain this thing called ‘Life’? How can all the experiences you have be contained in this single word called ‘Life’? If you were asked to explain what Life is, how would you do it? How would you put it in words? Would it be something positive? Negative? Or just neutral? Well, here’s what I have to say about Life.

Life is the compilation of all your experiences. Many of these can be bad, but the ones you want to remember, the ones that stick to your memory, or at least should stick to your memory, are the good ones. The events you experience during your time on Earth that make you feel good. The things that make you smile. Remember the people that care for you. These are all things that you can find in your Life. However, most people seem to remember mostly the bad experiences during their short time they are amongst the living. Why is this I wonder? Personally, I think that we remember the things that hurt us because we do not want to experience them again. Unlike the good things that we feel, we want them to happen to us, so we tend to think less of them. Again, we tend to think more about the bad things so we can train ourselves on how to handle them if they ever happen to us again. We think about these events and we try to find ways to better deal with them. While we do these things, we forget about the good times, we let these memories fade.

Now, if I could give you an image on what Life feels like, I would explain it to you in this way. My image of Life is that of a boxing match. This battle, however, does not end in a fifteen rounds of three minutes each. This fight is one that lasts years upon years. You might be asking why I see it as a boxing match. Here’s what I will explain. When a boxer is fighting, he doesn’t want to get knocked down; it’s just not something you want to happen. Because of this, these fighters train themselves so that they won’t be knocked down. Would you not agree that being knocked down is like a bad experience in Life? A boxer that gets knocked down will remember it. A person that experiences something that hurts them will have to surmount this with his will, he’s strength. Don’t you think that it’s similar to a boxer that goes down? They need to feed on their fighting spirit to be able t get up. They don’t want to stay down. They always try as much as they can to get up. The stronger the fight spirit, the less time he will stay on the ground. However, there comes a time when the boxer will just let himself stay down. After this happens, the fighter will train himself more so it doesn’t happen again. Like a hurtful experience, a person will sometimes not be able to get back up, but with time, the person learns how to go on and get back on track. If I image it like a boxing match, then there has to be an adversary. I see Life itself as the adversary.

Experiences, good or bad, are what Life is. No matter the experience. Memories are what are important in it. We tend to remember the bad ones, but we have to keep in mind that the good ones are what keep us going. I once heard a saying that went like so: It’s not the destination that is important, but the journey that leads us to this destination. I think that the person was right in a lot of ways, but it is also true that a good destination is always welcome instead of a bad one. The destination is what will influence the next journey. In my eyes, we are all fighters struggling against the adversary that is Life. If we fall down, we have to get back up; we have to use the most of our fighting spirits. And if we can’t get up, it does not mean that we have to quit. We have to train ourselves so that we can surmount it, and try and not fall down from that same blow a second time.

And now I ask you, how would you explain Life to me? How would you image it?