By Jacqueline Howell

The mighty Montebello Rockfest returns to Montebello, Quebec, June 14 to June 16 for its thirteenth great year (the past five years have sold out.) At just $149 for a weekend pass, this is the best buy in the game for Canadians and visiting Americans, with over 70 bands.

2018’s weekend features Prophets of Rage, Weezer, Five Finger Death Punch, Godsmack, Tenacious D, A Day to Remember, Lamb of God, Jimmy Eat World, Stone Temple Pilots, Sum 41, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, Flogging Molly, All Time Low, The Used, Henry Rollins, The Exploited, Steel Panther and many (many) more established and emerging names. The offerings are focused on Alternative, Hardcore, Hip Hop, Metal, Post-Hardcore, Punk and SKA.

Montebello Rockfest (formerly known as Amnesia) is one of a kind, set annually in a quaint town midway between Ottawa and Montreal that is home, the rest of the year, to “just 900 residents (and 1000 cows)”. Every year, the entire town gives itself over to the masses who come to rock out, and the wild party extends throughout the town who rolls with it like champions.

OUR PICKS of Montebello:

We caught Prophets of Rage last year in Toronto, and it’s a show not to be missed. Combining the talents (and catalogs) of the best M.C. ever, Chuck D. (Public Enemy) guitar legend Tom Morello, bassist Tim Commerford and drummer (Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave) B-Real from iconic rap group Cypress Hill, and DJ Lord. The show is relentless, pulling from all of the contributors deep contributions to rap and heavy music that is a whirlwind tour through the evolution of music, and a reminder of what music needs to be today.

Tenacious D has long been on our bucket list. The comedy duo of A-list actor Jack Black and his musical partner Kyle Gass, have heavy cred & chops in the world of music (Dave Grohl even shows up to play the devil in their hilarious film, Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny). Please don’t miss them playing “The Metal”, whatever you do. The song is ostensibly a comedic survey and criticism on the state of music in the 2000s, and a successful one that may have even breathed life into this important genre of music lately rebranded as “heavy”. But the song goes further: it’s actually goddamn great.

Stone Temple Pilots have rebuilt themselves from the ashes of the departed Scott Weiland, (and later, briefly, Chester Bennington) with new singer Jeff Gutt. STP is currently enjoying a resurgence with a major U.S. tour this summer.

Norwegian Black Metal never disappoints, and Symphonic Black Metal band Dimmu Borgir is a step up from even the usual wild ride. They’re back like a nuclear bomb with a new album after “more than seven years of silence”.

The strong punk showing this year shows Montebello’s (ever more unique) attention to curation, something we never used to have to worry about. They’re going deep & iconic: The Exploited (who formed in 1979 Edinburgh), Henry Rollins, California’s Rancid (1991) festival stalwarts Dropkick Murphys and Flogging Molly, and many newer acts. (The bill boasts 36 Punk acts alone, and we’re very interested to hear what Montreal’s own The Horny Bitches have to say in a mostly male landscape. We’re sure it will be interesting.

Tickets are still available as of this writing, as well as tailored special VIP packages if that’s your thing.

We’ll have a review and photo gallery to share after Montebello 2018.

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