A Tale of Two Metal Cities

Recently my crew convened for what we call the Gentlemen’s Constitutional, which is basically a Sunday afternoon spent drinking, solving the world’s problems and talking about music. Our last GC concerned the summer festival circuit, in particular the Heavy MTL event and its new offshoot Heavy T.O. Since both events are being held the same weekend (how stupid is that?), clearly there were decisions to be made. Listed here are some of the main concerns we had at the time, and our rationale leading up to ticket purchases. You can compare the facts yourself at www.heavymtl.com and www.heavyto.com.

Lineup – Toronto has Rob Zombie, Slayer, Testament, Mastodon and Megadeth. Also Melissa Auf Der Maur, but no one cares. What’s that you say? We saw every single one of these bands at Heavy MTL last year? Wow!

What else you got T-dot? Motörhead, Diamond Head, Anthrax, Children of Bodom, The Sword and Devildriver? Montreal will see those bands and raise you In Flames and Machine Head. Montreal has all the ‘Head bands! Only the lack of Anvil and Volbeat makes the people of Montreal sad. Oh wait, some guys named “Kiss” are there instead. Advantage: MTL

Travel Arrangements – As Ontario lads, a trip to Montreal will require an extra day off work. This issue was quickly dismissed by asking ourselves the question “Do we Like Going to Work?”  There will also be extra cash outlay for gas (it’s a six-hour drive for us) and hotel rooms. Driving to Toronto would be easier (1 hour) and we could go home at night. But why would we want to? It’s a vacation! In Toronto someone would have to be a Designated Driver and pay outrageous parking prices, or someone’s domestic partner would have the lovely task of fetching us. On the chances of one of us wishing to be DD, I would like to  reference this image from last summer: 


Advantage: MTL

Ticket Prices – Montreal is $202.50 for reserved seating with semi-private concessions and washrooms. The service charges are included. Toronto’s Live Nation Lounge, which sounds like a similar arrangement, is $275 for the weekend plus service charges. Fewer bands for more money; nice work LiveNation. Advantage: MTL

Hospitality and Vibe – Inertia Entertainment has tried very hard for the last 20 years to bring great bands to Toronto, and we’ve seen some fantastic shows there. Toronto is a familiar city to all of us.  We can get around, we know where the food is and we won’t get lost. We’re also familiar with strip-search event security, rude cab drivers and skinheads with radar for any show with a pit. In our two Heavy MTL experiences, we have taken the subway (beer in hand) directly from our hotel to the show, chatted about music and girls with police and event staff (who still did their jobs) and met about 1000 chilled-out people for every one douchebag. The hotel concierge asked every sunburned, reeking metalhead stumbling back to their rooms if it was a good show. Advantage: MTL

What do you think we chose? For my crew it’s about spending some time together, and the music. I realize not everyone has the same priorities. The trip will cost us some more money, but we understand who we are and why we’re spending it. I can’t wait for another edition of what has become the highlight of my year. I’m not dissing Toronto; I lived there for years and was proud to do so, but the fact remains that it is a stuffy, puritanical place unsuited to a massive outdoor music festival celebrating heavy music. The lineups and pricing just put more nails in the coffin. Perhaps one day Heavy T.O. will aspire to the level of sophistication and class that Heavy MTL already has down pat, but that would require Toronto to become Montreal.

Can you believe this is Post #100? It’s been a strange trip, and thanks to all those from my extended Derby and Metal families who have made it with me. Stay Heavy! – Slim

4 Responses to “A Tale of Two Metal Cities”

  1. Warsteiner Says:

    I’m in! We should talk this weekend.

    • Glassbane Says:

      You down for the VIP with the rest of us Warsteiner? Or just in for a day since you hve a shorter drive?

  2. Glassbane Says:

    Awesome post Slim, as always. I think we made the right choice in cities and summer fare.

  3. The plot thickens, as Toronto releases an ABAB two-stage format that means that no tunes must be missed. They are also promising a full-wander licensing arrangement for beverages. Still sticking with our MTL choice! If we have to do a bit of thinking about our stage choices that’s just another chance to meet up and discuss our favourite things!

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