Concert Review: Heavy Trip @ Vitrola

On Friday the 20th of November, the famed local Francophone rap group LLA were having an enormous show at the Metropolis. One the same night, Heavy Trip was presenting a hip-hop and metal show at a smaller venue called La Vitrola. After much hesitation, I ended up choosing the Heavy Trip gig to encourage the underdogs.

The gig featured NUKE, J.U.D, Hashed Out, The Posterz and VNCE (the beatmaker of Dead Obies). A few days before the show Toronto rapper Sean Leon got added to the already packed showcase. Being a long time fan of The Posterz and VNCE, I was rather excided to see them bless the stage once again. Unfortunately, I missed Nuke, J.U.D and half of the Hashed Out set due to, you know, time miscalculations. Once I finally got there I found a rather amorphous crowd calmly bumping their heads to the hardcore metal sounds of Hashed Out. Despite the crowd’s lukewarm enthusiasm, the group was as energetic as could be. However, it seemed like the lead singer’s mic was not working at all. He was furiously screaming yet we could not hear his vocals at all. Regardless, with some much-appreciated help from my entourage, I proceeded to start a mosh pit that got a few people moving along with us.

A pretty unknown rapper called Billy Eff Le Chef then gave a quick but on point performance. Props to the guy, he has like two tracks on his soundcloud yet he was a solid rapper and seemed totally comfortable on stage.

The Posterz started their set. They delivered the kind of dynamic performance that longtime fans have come to expect. The dudes are skilled rappers and charismatic performers. Unfortunately, the sound system could’ve been sharper. They played most of the songs from their latest EP “Junga,” which is a definite recommendation for pretty much any hip hop fan. They have their own style, a great vibe and sharp production. The only complaint I have about them is how long they keep fans waiting between releases. Their last project, the debut EP “Starships and Dark Tints” came out two years ago. Needless to say, I enjoyed their performance and am eager to see how this rap trio will evolve.

To my surprise and disappointment, the show ended there. The program was running a whole hour late and neither VNCE nor Sean Leon ended up performing. It seemed like no explanation was given. Everyone left and it was a wrap. The lack of professionalism by the organisers was frustrating. Take note: don’t book a bunch of artists if you can’t go through with the program. Sean Leon was supposed to start at 1:45AM so I was ready for a hell of a long intense night but that’s not what I got! Being the last ones at the venue, my friends and I ended up leaving too as it was clear that no one else was going to take the stage.

In conclusion, even though the performances that did take place were great, the lack of a good sound system and the cancelled performances made the show more of a disappointment than a success. Some people expressed their frustration with the show via Facebook comments on the event page. Seeing videos of the huge success that was the sold out LLA show I couldn’t overcome the feeling that I made the wrong choice. Oh well!

– Review by Raphaël Langlais-Oligny