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 Heavy T.O. 2012

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Messages : 5254
Date d'inscription : 20/05/2012
Localisation : saint céré

MessageSujet: Heavy T.O. 2012    Sam 18 Aoû - 17:11

Heavy T.O. 2012 – Here’s Mud In Yer Eye!

By Carl Begai

Images by Alitzia Tyminski

For the record, I love Toronto.

Sure, the public transit system isn’t fit to service Legoland let
alone a bustling metropolis, the cost of living has punched a hole
through the roof, and we have a mayor with less credibility than your
average high school junkie hall monitor, but it’s my home. I was born
and bred here, I got my metal skooling during the righteous and
never-to-be-repeated Gasworks/Rock N’ Roll Heaven era. Even so, when
word came down in 2011 that Hogtown was going to echo Montreal’s highly
successful weekend metal festival Heavy MTL – launched in 2008 – with a
two day thrash-and-burn open air of its own in Downsview Park, I was
skeptical. I had no doubt the organizers would pull things together in
order to make it happen, but far less confident it would last more than a
single “nice try” run.

Having lived in Germany since the tail end of 1995 as BW&BK’s
European correspondent, I’ve attended my share of metal festivals great,
good, bad and painfully ugly. Every weekend between May and September
the classic metal festival model is put into action somewhere on the
continent, attracting rivet-heads from all walks of life by the
thousands and tens of thousands for two or three days of distortion and
debauchery. It’s this model on which Heavy MTL was based - and succeeded
- thanks to the European mentality of the Québécois. I didn’t see Heavy
T.O. having the same impact in a city where metalheads are about five
steps less committed to getting off the couch when a show hits town
(sorry, it’s sad but true).

Heavy T.O.’s 2011 line-up turned out to be a ray of hope. MEGADETH,
and EXODUS on the same bill? Hard to believe but a European
festival had come to town and landed with a bang, featuring a bill more
than merely strong enough to drag the metal masses out into the light.
By all accounts it was a rousing success beyond the expected and
inevitable screw-ups that come with organizing anything for the first
time. When the dust had settled it was a done deal: there would be Heavy
T.O. 2012, with a legion of fans waiting in the wings brandishing
piggybanks in hand when tickets finally went on sale.

When the roster came down for the Heavy T.O. 2012, however, it was
met with a considerable amount of grumbling, and in some cases outright
disappointment. The mixed bag of old(er) and young artists from the
previous year had been seemingly abandoned, catering instead to fans of
more extreme fare and the school of nu-metal. Dinosaurs like Yours Truly
could and would find worth in acts like OVERKILL, KATAKLYSM, SUICIDAL
and frickin’ MARILYN MANSON on the bill?
Puh-lease. The organizers had clearly shot themselves in the foot. Add
to this the torrential rains that turned Downsview Park into a mudbowl
and Heavy T.O. 2012 was destined to be a dismal failure.

For the record, I’m now eating crow as a good source of humility.

In spite of any shared misgivings – and there were several – Heavy
T.O. 2012 went down as a success. Ticket and security personnel had
people prepped and inside as quickly as possible, regardless of whether
you were a VIP or mud warrior mortal. With no-to-very-little lag time
between bands as they hit the side-by-side twin stages (complete with
Hi-Def video screens for the folks on the remaining grass), there was
little time to worry about the muck swirling about the ankles and
sucking the boots off one’s feet. Concession stands, port-o-potties
line-ups and an ill-conceived wrestling ring (THE OFFSPRING as a
soundtrack? Really?!) provided distractions for those not into the
on-stage mayhem at any given time. All of it looked and reeked and felt
very European, which (I believe) was the ultimate goal.

In retrospect, the seemingly ho-hum festival line-up can be blamed
on the number of European festivals and tours underway at the same time,
thus reducing the choice of acts to be scooped up for Heavy T.O. Once
inside, however, it became an education for naysayers on both sides of
the fence.

Folks who were unaware of our own CANCER BATS, PROTEST THE HERO and
received an unforgettable lesson in Canadian content.
and CANNIBAL CORPSE proved (in spite of
some sound issues) that the old guard is as tough and mean – and
certainly more entertaining – than many of extreme artists currently
making noise on the scene. The beginning of Day 2 was a death metal
eargasm thanks to GOATWHORE, EXHUMED and FLESHGOD APOCALYPSE. And bands
proved to be far more metal than folks in my playground give them credit
for. From a musical standpoint it was an eye-opener for a lot of
people, and while Heavy T.O. 2012 could have used a wider variety of
acts on the bill it was anything but boring.

Personal high points include watching underdogs GOJIRA owning the
festival crowd from the first chord in, and IN FLAMES frontman Anders
Friden giving a shout out to Toronto/Southern Ontario metal scene icon
Rob Cranny, who passed away back in April of this year, at the end of
the band’s set.

On the gripe end of things, there’s only one. MARILYN MANSON. Nobody
but the man himself could have known he’d phone in a lack luster
performance, but seriously, the only thing heavy about his set was the
make-up. Would have been better yanking KILLSWITCH ENGAGE over from Day 2
to play in his place rather than trying to cash in on a “big” name

Ah yes, and the lack of Heavy T.O. 2012 merch. One shirt motif on
offer and that’s it? You’ve gotta spend money to make it, and merch is a
festival goldmine if the cards are played right. Particularly when many
attendees will gladly wear said shirts as badges of honour in the years
that follow.

Ultimately, the accolades and attention have to be given to the
folks behind-the-scenes and the fans. From the rig-monkey who braved the
elements dozens of feet above the stage during OVERKILL’s set re-attach
one of the windblown Jägermeister banners, to the Team Coast people
that had to deal with well-watered VIP divas, to the LAMB OF GOD fans
that showed up and endured even though the band had to cancel due to Mr.
Randy Blythe’s legal troubles overseas, to metal ma and pa that wheeled
junior through the muck in a stroller, Heavy T.O. 2012 was living,
breathing, mudsliding proof that the festival DOES work. Give Toronto’s
metal fans a reason and they WILL come.

No, things did not go off without a hitch, but attendance was higher
than 2011. If not for Mother Nature doing her best to wreak havoc on
the proceedings attendance this year would have been much higher.

She’s welcome to try her luck next year, but after seeing the 2012 edition up close my money is on the Heavy T.O. legion.

Check out more photos in the photo galleries below:

Day I

Day II
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