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Arts & Culture ᐊᔨᐦᑐᐧᐃᓐ

Heavy Montreal’s b-sides

BY Will Nicholls Aug 14, 2019

What is there besides the music at Heavy Montreal?

Two days of heavy metal is a great thing if you’re a fan as I am. After exploring the new look of the old site on Jean Drapeau island, I was sitting in the VIP lounge getting ready for the shows when out of the blue I heard a voice saying this next song is from their first album recorded 35 years ago. Quiet Riot’s blast from the past was “Come on Feel the Noise,” which transported me back to my youth.

Hanging out in the VIP section I came across some young guys who may be playing their golden oldie 35 years from now. The band Junk Owl from Montreal had won a battle of the bands competition and the prize of playing at Heavy Montreal. They were stoked and promised that someday they would be headlining the festival. 

But what is there besides the music at Heavy Montreal? Well, there’s the cold beers and other drinks. Guitar World was there with different guitars to try out. A kids’ world had been set up complete with bouncy castles, face-painting and other activities. North Star bar from St-Laurent Blvd. had a booth featuring pinball machines for the wizards in the crowd.

Then there was the Tarot booth run by Samuel. I learned I was in the midst of change but anxious about it and while I knew myself I was still learning to know myself fully. It was a fun experience. He’s available for readings, events and parties. You can contact him at s.bonneau01@gmail.com. Might be a cool idea for health conferences or Halloween parties.

I loved the body marbling. It’s a new trend that makes incredible designs on your body. This booth was the scene of many a person looking for individuality in a crowd of thousands. The really cool thing about it is that it is a water-based paint so that it’s gone with a little soap and water. If you’re interested in something different for Halloween or Xmas parties, they can be contacted at info@kandesworld.com  

Of course, there was my old favourite Heavy Mania. Many a person grew up watching Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and a number of other favourites battle it out in the ring. Many of you don’t know that Montreal has its own wrestling scene and that’s showcased at the festival. Over two days they did eight shows and worked the crowd. In the wrestling world you have the good and the bad guys and gals.

As wrestler Shayne Hawke once told me, it’s all about telling a story and doing it well. Hawke can’t wrestle due to a back problem involving his spine, so he’s become a manager for Maxim Lemire, “The Strongest Man in Canadian Wrestling.” Hawke got the crowd going saying heavy metal fans had no taste in music and were the worst out of shape people he has even seen in his life. He said that Max spends time in the gym listening to rap and hip hop – “real music.”  The boos and catcalls almost drowned him out even though he was using a sound system to deliver his monologue. Max is a true strongman, who once pulled an airbus a few feet. He beat out Bob “The Animal” Anger to win the Heavy Mania championship. Max is also a comic-book artist for DC, Marvel and more. This shows that wrestlers are more than just people who enjoy their time in the ring. They are creative people who like to explore all their abilities to the fullest. Waiting until next year to see what stories they bring to life.

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Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.