Published Jun 18, 2018The 13th edition of Montebello Rockfest is in the books, and this year brought another exquisite and diverse collection of bands. Once again, dozens of thousands of wasted music fans descended on the otherwise sleepy, 1,000-person town of Montebello, Quebec. There were cars and tents in most every nook and cranny within a three-mile radius of the fest, with many of the locals renting out their lawns to people desperate for a place to crash between laps at the three-day affair.
At least one house along the strip beckoned fans into a stage at the back of a driveway, where a dozen smaller metal acts (including Fractures & Outlines, pictured below) played in front of dozens of thrashing fans.
Similar to the 2017 edition, the festival opened on a muddy, drizzly Thursday afternoon. A lesser-packed schedule than the days to follow, it included a half-dozen Quebec area bands, Canadian punk mainstays Propagandhi and even American rap legend DJ Yella. Several metal bands were scattered through the day as well, including We Came As Romans, A Day to Remember and Five Finger Death Punch. The edgy, Marilyn Manson-esque metal outfit Deadly Apples (pictured below), fronted by festival founder Alex Martel, opened the main stage in front of droves of fans.
The second day began on a dour note as word quickly spread around the festival that a fellow party-goer had died early Friday morning in a suspected overdose. The sun was out in full force, drying up the stinky mud and giving many hammered headbangers a lobster tan. And with a full schedule of 28 bands on deck, moods picked up as day two swung into full force. Notable bands on the schedule for day two included Unearth, Dropkick Murphys, Lagwagon, Sum 41, Stone Temple Pilots, Cannibal Corpse and Prophets of Rage. A good number of the bands were prepared to get their anti-Trump message across to the fans.
With many different genre tastes being server across the three stages, everyone had their own personal band-of-the-day highlight. For most metal fans, that highlight seemed to be the jaw-dropping performance by Norwegian black metal legends Dimmu Borgir (pictured below) who pounded the crap out of the medium-sized stage in front of a dozen thousand howling, crowd surfing fans.
As a good festival should, day three of Rockfest had most fans stumbling about like people three times their age: hungover, sore, bruised and filthy. Some sought water; others sought weed and booze to get back into a state of mosh readiness.
While the schedule for the final day certainly boasted some variety — especially the punk and ska flavours in acts like the Exploited, the Toy Dolls, Millencolin and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones — it was dominated by the heavier side of music. The Trump love also continued: U.S. thrashers Municipal Waste had a pretty awesome stage backdrop that featured an artistic rendering of the president blowing his own head off with a pistol.
Alongside outstanding performances by Lamb of God (above) and Municipal Waste, other heavy hitters from wildly different genres included U.S. metalcore upstarts Atreyu and new metal phenoms Motionless in White, who served a packed crowd that were absolutely enthralled by them, hanging on their every note.
Before headliner Weezer were set to close the main stage with an incredible performance, Tenacious D put on a honed, hilarious set in front of a raucous crowd that seemed to know every word of every song, and throwback glam rockers Steel Panther (below) put on an incredibly crass but amazing show — certainly one of the most talked about, if not the favourite performance for many of the fans at the festival.
See more from the festival in our galleries below: