Last Saturday, the Montrecristo bar was the host of HardcoreMania’s fifth edition, a night dedicated to the finest metal and hardcore acts the province of Quebec has to offer. Once again the lineup was quite amazing and diverse. HardcoreMania is always a great night to discover new bands but they also manage to get established acts to draw the crowd. The first edition that I went to had Get the Shot as a headliner, and I haven’t missed one since. This year, I was even more excited since two of my favorite’s bands were present and I knew they would deliver memorable sets. I was happy to find the venue quite packed for what would be an amazing night of music.
I sadly missed most of Crack & Counter’s set but what I heard from the parking lot was quite good. They seemed to be mixing guttural and clean vocals to create an effective post-hardcore sound. Next were Modern Eyes, and their performance was something to behold. Their songs feature numerous tempo transitions, and they just seemed to be playing faster and faster as the night went on. The only downside to their performance was the fact that their lead guitarist and singer was playing with his back to the crowd. I wished I could have seen him play because the technicality of the songs was impressive, and it would have added to the awe factor. The crowd didn’t know what to do with them at first but at one point everything just seemed to click, and you could see the reaction growing stronger.
The next band was Kennedynoise and they were the total opposite of the previous act. Their lead singer was so fun to watch due to the intensity of his performance. At one point he jumped into the crowd and fell down, then from the pit he swung his microphone around his neck and almost hit a few people who were looking at him in disbelief. Musically, they were not really my thing: their sound was very chaotic and they mixed certain elements that didn’t really go well together in my opinion. However, they were so much fun to watch that I didn’t really care. After all they played for approximatively thirty minutes and it went by in a flash, so clearly I was entertained. I would recommend checking them out if you like intense bands like The Dillinger Escape Plan.
Harriers took the stage next and I couldn’t have been happier. I discovered them during 2015’s DesBouleaux Fest (a small music fest in St-Augustin, near Quebec City) and I have been a fan ever since. During the last edition, they announced that they were taking a break. I feared this would be the last time I would see them live. Since then, they only played a few selective shows that were all connected to the DesBouleaux Fest organizers. Their performance at HardcoreMania just reminded me why I love them so much. Their singer has one of the most powerful hardcore voices around, but they sound closer to Metallica or Pantera. It creates this great music that all comes together when played live. They normally play short sets so it was fun to see them get that full hour treatment where they can dive into their catalog and please the fans with multiple classics. To add to their coolness, they were selling a t-shirt with a metal dog on it and all the profits where going toward the SPCA. I hope they never stop playing: they are just great people and musicians.
It was finally time for Quebec City’s Boundaries to bring their Punk Hardcore music to the Montecristo stage. Funny enough, Boundaries is another band that I discovered at 2015 DesBouleaux Fest. At that time, they were touring behind ‘Rock Bottom’ and they were already great. In 2017 they released their second album ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ that featured the song ‘Worth the Ride’ and they finally managed to make an impact on the Quebec metal scene. Their third album ‘Turning Point’ came out in April and they have been touring behind it non-stop since the release. The album is great and it shows how much these guys evolved with the years. I was very eager to hear some of their newest tracks live and they didn’t disappoint. They opened with ‘Big Red’ and the crowd went nuts. The track has a nice breakdown that just makes you want to start pushing people around. Boundaries’ live energy is strong and I have seen them win over even the most skeptical crowds but they didn’t have to convince anybody that night. The crowd was mostly there for them and it showed. People were jumping, dancing and moshing like there was no tomorrow. I actually had to protect my beer a few times to make sure a random fist wouldn’t knock it off my hand. My only disappointment was that they didn’t play ‘Wet World’, a song about water parks (!) that packs quite a punch. Live, it features a second breakdown that is not on the actual album recording and it’s always my favorite part of their show. That song was featured on their second album and I understand that they wanted to focus primarily on their third offering but as a fan I feel like there are certain classics that can’t be skipped. After almost an hour they thanke the crowd for their participation and left the stage. Up next was Doomsayer, a tribute to Hatebreed but it was time for me to leave. I am not the biggest Hatedbreed fan and I already had more than my share of awesome music. I can’t wait for HardcoreMania 6!
Check out these awesome bands on the Web:
Modern Eyes: https://moderneyesmtl.bandcamp.com/
Crack & Counter: https://crackandcounter.bandcamp.com/