Bar Le Ritz P.D.B was the place to be on the night of August 15th. The gods of heavy music were about to bless the club with an amazing night. As I made my way to the venue, I recalled the last time I saw the Truckfighters play at this very same place. I hadn’t kept up with their music and so I wondered what changed and what surprises they might have in store for us hungry metalheads. I was ready.
First on the stage was Montreal, QC’s very own Mooch. After a quick setup and soundcheck, they erupted into “Fee Fi.” The groove had begun. With a mixture of hard blues and some funky riffs, Mooch caressed their audience with their unholy sound. Benjamin Cornel was on fire, singing with a soulful voice and picking at those strings like a madman. Besides him, Julian Iacovantuono and Alexandro Segreti keep the rhythm tight and supported with back vocals and some sweet harmonies. Mooch had never been heavier than they were that night; something the audience responded too with joy and headbanging. Even with a quick drum malfunction (Alex lost one of his symbols mid-song), they kept on playing like if nothing had ever happened. The vocals were very low and it was difficult to hear any back vocals or even the mains at times, yet with that aside, I think this was Mooch’s best performance yet.
When the Moochness had calmed down, Sierra was there to bring another breed of metal, one more technical than the first act. With a sound that mixes doom influences with a more progressive sound, Sierra had very interesting song structures that were a joy to hear. Though the length of some songs were too long and, as a result, made some things sound repetitive, the overall style of the guitar playing made up for it. Seeing him sweep up and down the neck of his instrument was extremely satisfying. The rhythm section did everything right, with a special shout out to the bassman, who had some impressive bass lines. Again, the vocals were a bit low, but the singer has a strong register and great control over his voice. All in all, Sierra gave the audience the show they wanted.
By the time the Truckfighters got on stage, the room was as packed as an American kitchen on Thanksgiving. The air was suffocating and it was nearly impossible to move an inch without bumping into someone. I’ll start with what bothered me the most to get it out of the way: the sound was off. An outside source told me they were not playing with all their gear, which was probably the reason why things didn’t sound as clean as they should have. But with that being said, holy shit does this band know how to play. When the songs were good, they were really good. And the crowd loved it, jumping around and calling out to the band for more songs.
Keeping with what they had said, Truckfighters played Gravity X in its entirety, starting with the last song and ending with “Desert Cruiser,” the track that put them on the map. As you can probably guess, when the audience heard the intro to that one, things got wild. As the crowd sang the chorus with Ozo, Dango made sure people were at his energy level. From the back of the bar, I could see his Charles Manson looking face bop up and down from the stage. But when the album was at its end, the audience wouldn’t leave. Again, they were chanting and to satisfy them, the Truckfighters took the stage one last time for some more songs, one of them being “Mexico.”
The Truckfighters came, they saw, and they conquered.
Written by Johnathan Robinson
Photography by Michael Kovacs
*edited by Danielle Kenedy