Montreal – You know, Pop Montreal has a very broad definition of what the word “pop” means. On this somewhat rainy Thursday night, I made my way from the kind of classy and adult pop of Clare and the Reasons and Van Dyke Parks to the thrash metal of Municipal Waste, which kind of made me feel like a teenager again. Appropriately enough for a band that has been described as “party metal,” (and who have a song called “The Art Of Partying”) this show was literally a party presented by Vice Magazine.
And what a party it was – copious amounts of alcohol and the craziest mosh pit ever. Municipal Waste sure knows how to work a crowd into a frenzy. Watching from above, the mosh pit was quite the sight to behold. People were moshing of course, and crowd surfing. Literally surfing in many cases – somebody brought one of those flutter boards which was then used as a platform upon which to navigate the crowd. In addition to that, there were so many failed stage dives, one after the other. This may sound cruel, but this was one of the more entertaining aspects of watching the pit. I guess seeing people get hurt because of their own reckless actions is entertaining somehow (This is pretty much the entire appeal of Jackass). They got up immediately afterwards though and seemed to keep going so I didn’t feel too bad. (Although the guy who seemed to take a running start and then kept running on people’s heads is a total dick) Also, a note to Vice Magazine: giving out free copies of your magazine was appreciated, but probably not so much by the staff at Club Soda, who would have had to clean up the hundreds of ripped up magazines that were strewn about during Municipal Waste’s set. It was kind of like really large pieces of DIY confetti.
While they take their music seriously (as I previously mentioned, drummer Dave Witte is amazing), the guys in Municipal Waste do not take themselves too seriously. I mean, they do have songs with titles like “Headbanger Face Rip,” “Beer Pressure,” “Drunk As Shit, and “Terror Shark.” Vocalist Tony Foresta was really hamming it up onstage too. Most amusing was his continuous mocking of the gigantic security guy who stood on stage right. This guy looked like a cross between Peter Stormare and Vin Diesel and he pretty much became a part of the show. “Look how tiny I look next to this guy!” said Foresta at one point and he later jumped up and hugged him, forcing security guy to actually crack a smile. Security guy must have started to feel pretty comfortable up there because during bassist Philip Hall’s solo, he just strolled across the stage kicking stray Vice magazine pages off the stage.
Further evidence of the band’s sense of humour (or maybe Vice Magazine was responsible for this. Who knows?) was seen in their choice of post-set music to be piped in. During the time between them first leaving the stage and their encore, instead of music, we were treated to a snippet of an old Andrew Dice Clay routine. After that bizarre interlude, the band returned for a brief encore, and then the first song as the lights went up? Third Eye Blind’s “Semi Charmed Life.” This pretty much ensured that the metalheads would leave swiftly. Probably many of them headed up the street to Katacombes.